Big name celebrities pitch their latest products on late-night talk shows every weeknight, but last night marked a first for one famous person: Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The tech industry titan visited CBS’s (CBS) The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, marking the first ever late-night talk show appearance for the man who has led Apple (AAPL) for four years.
The appearance came almost a week after Cook took the stage for Apple’s latest special event, in San Francisco, where the company unveiled a host of new and updated products such as the iPad Pro and Apple TV as well as two new smartphones — the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus — that went on sale for pre-order over the weekend. Not surprisingly, Cook took the opportunity to plug his flagship phones by allowing Colbert to play around with a new, rose gold iPhone 6s. The CEO and the talk show host talked about the phone’s 3D Touch and Live Photos features, and Colbert joked that he would refuse to give the phone back to Apple.
Colbert later put Cook on the spot by asking him to address the myriad rumors circulating regarding Apple’s possible top-secret work to develop driverless car technology. “I’ve read that,” Cook said with a laugh, referring to the unconfirmed reports (while also refusing to confirm or deny them himself).
The Late Show host also spoke to Cook about his decision last year to publicly announce that he is gay, as well as the Apple CEO’s efforts to increase the company’s charitable works: “It became so clear to me that kids were getting bullied in school, kids were getting discriminated against, kids were even being [disowned] by their own parents,” Cook said. “I needed to do something.”
Finally, Colbert used the new iPhone to ask Apple’s digital personal assistant, Siri, for some advice on what questions to ask Cook. Siri responded by telling Colbert to ask Cook when she will get a pay raise.
Colbert announced the Cook booking in a tweet last week with a photo of himself wearing an Apple Watch. The day before taping the episode in New York City, Cook also made a surprise visit to the Fifth Avenue Apple Store, where he and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue chatted with customers.
Colbert is in just his second week as the new host of The Late Show, but the comedian has already set a precedent for hosting guests from the corporate world, with Tesla Motors (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick visiting during the show’s first week.