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Matt Lauer and Al Roker undergo prostate exams on 'Today'

Today (tv program)Colon CancerU.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionKatie Couric

And you thought your morning was rough.

Matt Lauer and Al Roker received prostate exams Thursday on "Today" in an effort to build awareness around prostate cancer.

Lauer's urologist, Dr. David Samadi, oversaw both procedures, which took about 35 seconds apiece. To emphasize the speed of the exams, "Today" even ran a clock at the bottom of the screen.

"Is it the best 34 seconds of your life? Probably not," said Lauer, who has a family history of the disease but received a clean bill of health. "But if in 34 seconds a guy like this can detect something that might save your life, what are we talking about?"

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Roker, whose prostate was deemed "a little enlarged, but not terrible," will require follow-up visits (no word on whether those would be televised). The weatherman, whose candor is the stuff of legend, managed not to crack any off-color jokes in the segment, instead soberly discussing the prevalance of prostate cancer in the African American community with Dr. Nancy Snyderman.

He left the cringe-inducing comedy to the medical professionals: After examining Lauer, Samadi joked that he had "lost about five pounds to make my finger smaller" prompting groans from the entire "Today" team.

"He's here 'til Thursday. Try the veal!" Roker quipped in response.

The on-air medical exam, now something of a talk-show staple, began on "Today" in 2000 when Katie Couric, whose husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998, underwent a colonoscopy on "Today." Similarly, "Good Morning America" chronicled Robin Roberts' bone marrow transplant in detail last year.

Along with thousands of other men around the country, Lauer, Roker and their "Today" colleague Willie Geist have pledged not to shave for the month of November to raise awareness for men's health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

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Twitter: @MeredithBlake

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Today (tv program)Colon CancerU.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionKatie Couric
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