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Jimmy Kimmel gets a colonoscopy with help from Katie Couric

"People say this isn't fun," the former TODAY host told him of the screening. "But I say it's a lot more fun than being diagnosed with colorectal cancer."

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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Jimmy Kimmel turned 50 a few months back and good friend Katie Couric knew just how he should celebrate the middle-age milestone ... with his very first colonoscopy.

In fact, the former TODAY anchor didn't just recommend it; She walked him through the process from preparing for the procedure to going over the results. There was, of course, hilarious bedside banter.

Kimmel shared the experience of being Couric's "colonoscopy date" with his late-night audience Tuesday, jokingly putting on a real gown instead of a hospital gown.

All jokes aside, however, the segment sheds light on an important health issue that Couric cares deeply about.

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In 1998, Couric's first husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer at age 42. Two years later, Couric underwent a colonoscopy live on TODAY in 2000 to help raise awareness. Over the past several years, visits for colonoscopies have increased in what researchers have called the "Couric effect."

"Now we're going to have the 'Kimmel effect,'" she assured her nervous friend.

"Great," Kimmel said before joking, "I always wanted to be associated with a polyp and/or the human colon."

Kimmel played his concerns about the procedure for laughs ahead of it all, but when his doctor joined him, she put his mind at ease, saying, "Most people afterwards say, 'Is that it? You're done?'"

When it was all over for Kimmel, however, he offered up a triumphant "I colonoscopied!" instead.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer death for men and women combined. Considering, that it's oftentimes treatable with early detection, getting tested really is something to cheer about.

"People say this isn't fun," Couric said of the screening. "But I say it's a lot more fun than being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Believe me."

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