Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Free advertising: Stephen Colbert and Pee Wee Herman get Apple iPads

February 1, 2010: 6:03 AM ET

Apple's tablet computer makes cameo appearances at the Grammys and on Funny or Die

Colbert at the Grammys. Image: CBS Television

David Pogue and Walt Mossberg, eat your hearts out.

America's premier tech columnists -- at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, respectively -- are dying to spend some quality time with Steve Jobs' latest creation.

But they're going to have to wait their turn.

First Pee Wee Herman brought what looked like a non-functioning iPad to his Playhouse in a 2-minute FunnyOrDie.com skit.

And then, in a triumph of product placement, Stephen Colbert capped his Grammy monologue Sunday night by pulling a live one out from under his belt to read the nominees for Song of the Year.

Both cameos were clever and self-deprecating. Both seemed designed, in part, to defuse the unfortunate association with feminine hygene products.

"The consensus on the Internet," Magic Screen tells Pee Wee's Puppetland pals, "is that its name closely resembles a popular brand of sanitary napkins.

Colbert had also poked fun at the moniker the guys at Apple (AAPL) chose for their new device -- a name, he deadpanned last week on the Colbert Report, "that just barely beat out the TamPod."

The audience laughed and clapped when he whipped out his iPad at the Grammys. The camera cut first to a celebrity couple (Nichole Kidman and Keith Urban), then to Jay-Z ("Did you not get one of these in your gift bag?"), and finally to Colbert's daughter Madeline, who indicated, with a slight shake of her head, that no, this did not make her dad look cool.

Let's go to the video tapes:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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