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Matt Lauer jokes that he's less popular than polio

April 11, 2013|By Patrick Kevin Day
  • "Today" host Matt Lauer.
"Today" host Matt Lauer. (Evan Agnosti / Associated…)

Things aren't going so well for Matt Lauer lately. The once-beloved "Today" host has taken a beating in the media, sparked by the awkward departure of co-host Ann Curry from the NBC show.

Last month, the New York Times ran a front-page story discussing Lauer's dwindling popularity, and to make matters worse, the show's ratings have been in decline. While "Today" was once the champ of the network morning shows, it's now regularly ranked second behind ABC's "Good Morning America."

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But at least we know that Lauer is reading his own press, both good and bad. According to the New York Post, Lauer recently poked fun at his own troubles while hosting the UJA Federation of New York’s Broadcast Cable & Film Division event.

"If you’ve been following the papers lately, you know it’s been a bit rough for me," he told the audience. "These days, I only get asked to host dinners if polio is busy. Yup, I have a lower Q rating than polio right now."

Later in the event, Lauer introduced his former "Today" co-host Katie Couric with another poke at himself, saying, "Katie has a way of making headlines. Who can forget when she was co-host of the 'Today' show? She got a colonoscopy on TV. Not to be outdone, two weeks ago, I got one in the New York Times."

According to the Times story, Lauer's Q score, the way TV personalities can measure their name recognition and likeability, has dropped more than 50% in the last two years.

Curry was Lauer's co-host until she was publicly dismissed from the program in June 2012. Much of the blame was laid at Lauer's feet, who was seen as the person at least partly responsible for her ouster.

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