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Colbert visits Google, is clueless about Google Play

Interviewed by Eric Schmidt, Colbert is stunned to discover he can buy his own book through the great hydra that is Google.

No, he's not corpsing.
Google screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Google's Eric Schmidt is a very busy man.

But he still found the time to interview fellow political philosopher Stephen Colbert, when the latter appeared at Google this week.

Indeed, Schmidt even found the time to post a chunk of the escapade onto his Google+ account. (The full hour has been posted to YouTube and I have embedded it at the bottom of this post.)

You might imagine that Colbert would be au fait with all of Google's services before presenting himself before an audience of Googlies.

But, no.

Colbert was there to push his masterwork "America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't." He wanted people to go to their local bookstore or to the "one that's named after the rain forest."

Schmidt, ever the subtle salesman, explained to him that his book was for sale not merely on Amazon, but on Google Play.

"What does that mean?" asked a bemused Colbert.

Patiently, Schmidt explained that the Google hydra had a book-selling arm too.

Colbert still worried that -- Google being Google -- it would only sell e-books. He was stunned to discover that there might even be the possibility to buy a physical book too.

Yet he still had brand recognition problems. Shortly afterward, he appeared to forget the name again altogether.

When he learned his book would be for sale on Google Play at list price, Colbert said: "So go to Google Plus for no deal!"

How extraordinary that despite Google becoming one of the bigger tech spenders in advertising, there is still work to be done.

The whole interview embraced vast numbers of topics. Many will enjoy Colbert telling Schmidt that Google Maps are phenomenal. Schmidt agreed. "Ask an Apple user," he said.

Should you be keen to hear someone say "bulls***" to Eric Schmidt, then I recommend the 19th minute.