harry_katie_3-9.jpg“I was just in Harry’s kitchen, and he chugged a big tall glass of miraLAX,” CBS’ “Evening News” anchor Katie Couric told us. She’d stopped by “Early Show” co-anchor Harry Smith‘s apartment on her way home after the newscast to give him some advice and words of encouragement.

Smith was prepping himself for the colonoscopy he’d be undergoing the next morning live on “The Early Show.” “The night before is when you do your prep,” Couric said. “We’re trying to take people through the process. I’m like a colonoscopy tour guide.”

In 2000, Couric famously taped an on-camera colonscopy for NBC’s “Today” show. The segment is credited with starting the “Couric-effect,” a spike in the colonoscopy rate. She’s referred to it as her “proudest accomplishment” in the past.

In fact, Couric was the one that asked Smith to have the live colonoscopy in the first place. “Katie came to me and asked me about it,” Smith told TVNewser. “It so happened that I’d had a physical a year ago and the only thing that was incomplete was this. I thought, why not do it?”

He also said knowing about the “Couric-effect” played a part in his decision to go through with the exam on the air. “This is a moment in morning television you can be an advocate,” he said. “It can save lives. It was a no brainer.”

Smith’s live colonoscopy will make “TV history,” but he joked, “It’s not exactly the first color telecast.” He pointed to what Couric had done as an important step. “You have to continually remind people of this kind of screening,” Couric said. “It’s so ‘easy’ to put it off.”

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