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Public figures pay tribute to Jobs at Webby Awards

updated 12:50 am EDT, Tue May 22, 2012

Dreyfuss, Obama, Clinton, children, others

A group of notable public figures, including two US presidents and a class of schoolkids -- along with the reunited "Mac and PC" team of Justin Long and John Hodgman -- paid tribute to Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs at the Webby Awards held yesterday in New York City. As part of the ceremony, a video tribute was run featuring "five words" (and sometimes more) from various celebrities and politicians who in turn paid tribute to Jobs, who died in October.

Among those in the video were Web pioneer Vint Cerf, Apple board member Al Gore, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Star Wars creator George Lucas, comedic journalists Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, talk-show host Jimmy Fallon, comic Sarah Silverman, publisher Arianna Huffington and a class of unidentified schoolchildren. The video also featured appearances by former US President Bill Clinton as well as current President Barack Obama.

The video was preceded by a longer introduction by actor (and the voice of the TV version of Apple's famous "Here's to the Crazy Ones" ad) Richard Dreyfuss, who recalled some of the background behind the ad, calling it a response to a world filling up with mediocrity. He ended his speech by reverting to the preferred five-word "thank you" speeches popular at the Webbys, saying Jobs was the "exception that proves the rule."

In the video tribute, Lucas thanks Jobs "for making technology into art" while Seth Meyers of SNL appreciates the invention of "a handheld Internet" and the schoolkids said he was responsible for "making the classroom fun." Many of the tributes in the video were clearly shot on an iPhone or iPod Touch camera.

Jimmy Fallon added that Jobs "made turtlenecks sexy again," while Colbert noted Jobs' "meticulous attention to detail." Jon Stewart used his five words to say "43 patented inventions. Check Wikipedia!"

Al Gore said "Steve Jobs was insanely great" while Clinton thanked Jobs "for spreading American ingenuity worldwide." Obama, who along with Clinton got to speak twice in the video, said "thank you for thinking different," and later said that "when it comes to Steve Jobs, we only need one word: amazing" to end the video.

Jobs was posthumously awarded a Grammy in February for his meritorious contributions to the music industry, and he was also honored during the "In Memoriam" montage at the Academy Awards. Apple itself has won Webby awards, including two in 2004 for iTunes. The video from yesterday's Webby Awards is below.

by MacNN Staff



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