09:26 AM

ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Colonoscopy at Cedars-Sinai on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Katie Couric Brings Jimmy Kimmel to His First Colonoscopy

Katie Couric didn’t waste much time following Jimmy Kimmel’s 50th birthday to cajole him into getting his first screening colonoscopy—accompanied by the newswoman herself--broadcast on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

The segment shows Couric driving the talk-show host to Cedars-Sinai, where he underwent the on-camera procedure. The process looks for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

In Kimmel’s words, he took the audience “where a camera has never gone before.” Couric invited “Today” show viewers to observe her own colonoscopy 18 years ago, leading to a 20 percent jump in the procedures afterward, known as the “Katie Couric Effect.”

Kimmel agreed to share the procedure with his audience, in support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March. He says in the segment that he was eager to spread the word about a screening that is among the most potent weapons for preventing colorectal cancer. The disease is expected to kill 50,630 men and women in the U.S. this year. More than 97,000 new cases of colon cancer and about 43,000 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, the cancer society estimates.

“Colon cancer is the second-leading cancer killer of men and women combined in this country,” Couric says in the taped segment, “so that’s why it’s so important to get screened.”

Men and women who are not at high risk for colorectal cancer should ask their doctors about a first colonoscopy screening at age 50, or at 45, if they’re African American or have a greater risk for the disease, Couric says.

Injecting some levity into his preparation, Kimmel, ensconced in his prep room, pulls back the privacy curtain, revealing himself decked out in a sparkly blue evening gown.

“Am I in the wrong gown?” he jokes.

Seeking to allay the fears of patients who may be on the fence about whether to have a colonoscopy, Cedars-Sinai gastroenterologist Christina Ha, MD, who performs Kimmel’s procedure, tells Couric and him that, “most people afterward say, ‘is that it, you’re done?’”

After Couric admonishes Kimmel to “go get ‘em, tiger!” he’s wheeled into the colonoscopy procedure room where, accompanied by a soundtrack of power drills, jack hammers and loud plumbing sounds, viewers get a peek at Kimmel’s colon on a large screen. The TV host was not awake during the 10-minute procedure.

Back in his room, Kimmel gets the good news.

“Everything went really well,” Ha says.

“No polyps—this is what a healthy colon looks like,” she adds, pointing to an image of his colon on a TV screen.

Kimmel will get a follow-up colonoscopy in 10 years—"like the Olympics,” he jokes.