It happened Wednesday morning on the CBS Early Show. Co-anchor Harry Smith, promoting prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer, underwent what CBS billed as "First TV Anchor to Undergo Live TV Colonoscopy."
Mabel, pass the doughnuts...
"Harry's colon is clean as a whistle," reported Katie Couric, who herself had undergone a colonoscopy on TV a decade before to promote the same cause.
Remind me never to blow on one of Katie's whistles.
This latest network medical showcase was performed at the medical center named for Katie's late husband, Jay Monahan, who died of colon cancer in 1998 at age 42. With Katie Couric at his side, and a high-resolution microscopic camera snaking through his intestines, Harry Smith peered at the TV monitor showing him, and us, images from what might be described as nature's most intimate luge run.
It was all for a good cause, and a serious one, yet not even Couric and Smith could avoid some obvious jokes. Couric even went out of her way to make one sphincter zinger, joking with CBS weather guy Dave Price, during a two-way exchange, that when he got his next colonoscopy, they might find his head.
The whole point of this live "Colon Cam" TV stunt (that's actually what CBS called it), and it's a good point, is to remind men of a certain age that they're due, or overdue, for this procedure.
I need to make another appointment myself -- but I definitely remember my last colonoscopy, in which the doctor asked me if I wanted to turn my head and watch the TV monitor as he snaked his camera the wrong way through my one-way inner street.
"No, thanks," the nurse later told me I replied. "I watch enough assholes on TV in my regular line of work."