CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


TV star puts Apple product placement into his stand-up act

Film and TV star Eddie Izzard slipped anti-PC jokes into his brilliant stand-up act last night.

Eddie Izzard, the star of TV's The Riches and a face you might recognize from George Clooney's Ocean's Twelve and Thirteen, last night decided to make the Apple vs. PC battle part of his act.

Izzard, an Englishman who wears his transvestitism on his sleeve, is perhaps one of the greatest stand-up performers in the world.

Like the best of performers, he allows his thoughts to ramble spontaneously over such subjects as the impracticality of the Latin language and Americans' inability to find original names for its cities.

Last night in San Francisco, his act was curiously sprinkled with (perhaps spontaneous) ads for Apple.

You might decide that this was merely puffy pandering to the city that will, one day, be rechristened San Jobs.


But if you were anyone associated with the manufacture, marketing or, dear God, no, use of a PC, you might have laughed and then wondered just how different things might have been in your life.

The apogee of his Apple shtick came when Mr. Izzard considered what it must take to start up a PC. He claimed never to have tried.

But he figured that you had to take one of those cranks that used to start up truck engines and then spin a 78 on a turntable to activate the machine.

Naturally, you had to be there. Mr. Izzard delivers with both body and mouth, making for a truly great comic spectacle.

But it did make me wonder how it is that all those who designed PCs didn't stop to think that perhaps, just perhaps, it might be worth giving the machines some slight visual appeal or ease of use.

Did they not notice all the IKEAs springing up around them like happy hints of the world's minuscule visual awakening and say to themselves: "Hmm, perhaps people are trying to prettify their ugly world a little,"?

I'm no great Ap(ple)ologist, but what is it about manufacturers of certain goods- and, of course, General Motors is not the first brand name that comes to mind- that seduce only by price or lugubrious function, rather than some slightly more humanity-acknowledging attribute?

I can honestly say that there have been times when my fingers have, not by choice, drifted over a PC keyboard and felt as welcome as a foot-fetishist in the reception area of a chiropodist.

Perhaps those of you who live in Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego or LA might wander along to one of Mr. Izzard's shows over the remainder of his "Stripped" (yes, this time Mr. Izzard is not wearing fishnets and high heels) US tour.

I'm fascinated as to whether he will continue to use the Apple gags.

And as to whether you will laugh.

We've come a long way since 1996 and the (perhaps apocryphal, perhaps not) story of the Apple executive who, allegedly, took a call from the producers of "Mission Impossible."

"We want to feature your laptops in our movie," said the producer.

"Oh, OK," said the Apple employee. "We'll pay you $10 million."

The producer was momentarily silent.

He had been thinking of paying Apple.