04/11/2013 09:38 am ET Updated Jun 11, 2013

Matt Lauer Jokes About Bad Reputation: I'm Less Popular Than Polio

Matt Lauer approached his recent woes with some humor on Tuesday night.

He emceed the UJA Federation of New York’s Broadcast Cable & Film Division event, according to The New York Post, and joked about his battered public image. Lauer told the crowd that he was “a bit surprised" when he was asked to host the dinner.

"If you’ve been following the papers lately, you know it’s been a bit rough for me," he joked. "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, he introduced his former "Today" co-host Katie Couric, 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."

Lauer's popularity plunged after Ann Curry's messy departure from "Today" last year. He has received a slew of negative press over the past year, with the Times recently reporting on what seemed like the boatload of problems facing Lauer.

One of those problems has been Lauer's sinking Q score, a widely used measure of a television figure's popularity. It had fallen 25 percent as of September, to which Lauer responded, "Is it only 25 percent? Because it actually feels much worse."



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