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The caterer was pressed into service as co-host and ad executives snatched gold statuettes off a table when the presentation of Clio Awards for advertising excellence dissolved into chaos.

About 400 people showed up Thursday night for the awards show honoring the world's best print and radio ads, a prelude to Monday's scheduled Clio presentation for television commercials.But the show was cut short after a series of mishaps.

Stephen Pieretti, who runs a food catering business hired for the show, said he suspected something was wrong when no one from the Clio organization was there when he arrived to set up food tables.

Before the night was over, Pieretti was pressed into service to co-host the presentation because the head of the Clio organization, Bill Evans, didn't show up on time.

Steve Honig, president of Manhattan Center Studios where the show was held, said he, Pieretti, the band, projectionists and others hired for the evening "made it fly as best we could. It was clear to people that this show wasn't planned and it was an insult to people who had worked so hard to get ready for this."