Host of “Dirty Jobs” Mike Rowe has gotten himself into a lot of stinky situations, but this latest one might be his most uncomfortable yet: a real-life prostate exam in front of the camera.
The two-minute spot created for non-profit Zero-The End of Prostate Cancer by Erich & Kallman balances delightful comedy with its important message. It opens with Rowe clad in a hospital gown lying across the examination table, gushing to Dr. Jordan Shlain, his real-life doc, about the “amazing” burrito he had the night before he delivers the sort of expected, yet crucial facts about catching prostate cancer early--that about one in 9 men develop prostate cancer, and that with early detection, the five year survival rate is nearly 100%.
Rowe than proceeds to give a play-by-play of his doctor’s moves as he begins the exam:
“He is going to insert his actual finger into my actual rectum to examine my actual prostate. There he goes! He’s in! He’s all the way in,” he continues, grimacing.
Fortunately, the exam goes well, and Dr. Shlain, who seems to be quite touchy with his gloved finger even after the fact, declares Rowe’s prostate “feels fine, normal size, no nodules.”
The spot continues to milk the moment for laughs with a button in the corner of the screen reading “Click Here for Reverse Angle,” which we’ll leave to you to check out for yourself.
According to Erich & Kallman co-founder Erich Kallman,"I had the idea after reading an article about Ben Stiller having to deal with prostate cancer over a year ago. He turned us down. I was telling my friend, director Andrew Laurich, about the idea and he happened to be friends with Mike Rowe, and the idea seemed even better suited for him. It turns out when we approached Mike he had a good friend who was dealing with prostate cancer, and he liked the idea so he agreed."
The production took place in Dr. Shlain's real office in Menlo Park, California. Kallman says the exam was genuine and no one knew what the outcome would be until the actual shoot. The agency did a few rehearsals ahead of time, but there was only a single take in which the exam was performed. “We decided to keep the camera rolling after the director yelled cut so we could capture their actual reactions to share,” Kallman says. “Without them I’d be afraid people wouldn’t believe the exam actually took place.”
The film begins running online tomorrow and Rowe will also be sharing on his social channels.