Today on Today, viewers were treated to a segment in which Matt Lauer and his cheeriest frenemy Al Roker received digital rectal prostate exams live on air. As you might expect from a television program that devoted equivalent Twitter promotion to this as it did to this week's Throwback Thursday theme ("favorite chick flicks"—tweet using the hashtag #TODAYtbt), the segment was handled with all the gravitas of a clown's funeral.
The gals in the studio were joined by their halfway house neighbors Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb ("We came to watch The Prostate Movie!") while Lauer and Roker prepared to buck up and and drop trou at Lennox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side. The tone in the hospital was decidedly more subdued than in Studio 1A, though Lauer's urologist, who performed both exams, did crack a joke out of nowhere about having to lose five pounds "in order to make my finger a little smaller" (the implication apparently being that Lauer has a teeny tiny asshole?).
The actual exams took place behind a closed door, and were timed on screen to show that the insertion of a finger up a butt doesn't take long at all. (Lauer himself was trapped, mid-exam, in a kind of cosmic endless moment, and had to ask his producers how long it took: "It took 34 seconds from what I'm being told from the control room," he said, indicating his earpiece and leaving viewers to wonder how much of his private rectal exam the control room was privy to.)
Matt's prostate is fine; Al's is "a little enlarged, but it's not terrible"; and Katie Couric's colon, which moved so many when she had it examined on Today 13 years ago, abides, enduring.