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It's No Joke, but He's Still Laughing

Don Imus, in 2007, shared serious personal news on the air yesterday. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Inappropriate humor is Don Imus's specialty, and he did not let up even when announcing yesterday that he has cancer.

The controversial radio host told listeners he has stage 2 prostate cancer. What does this mean for the New Mexico getaway he and wife Deirdre run for sick kids? He quipped that he's "changing the name of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids With Cancer to the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids With Cancer, and Me."

He also took the opportunity to haze his own publicist, whom he didn't alert before going live with the story. The publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, told our colleague Howard Kurtz that Hiltzik called to ask about putting out a statement, and Imus told him "stress makes cancer worse. You're giving me worse cancer right now" -- then jokingly hung up on him.

But seriously folks: Sources told Kurtz the cancer is considered treatable, the prognosis good.

"The day you find out is fine," the shock jock, who previously battled drug addiction and a collapsed lung, said on the "Imus in the Morning" show. "But the next morning when you get up, your knees are shaking. I didn't think I could make it to work."

Imus was famously fired by CBS Radio in 2007 after the uproar over his racially charged ridicule of the Rutgers women's basketball team. Today he claims he has more affiliates and listeners from his new base at N.Y.C. station WABC than he did then.

Hiltzik later issued a statement thanking fans for their good wishes: "After years at the Imus Ranch surrounded by inspirational children battling cancer, Don is well prepared to fight this. And no, this does not make him eligible for the kids' rodeo competition."

By The Reliable Source  |  March 17, 2009; 1:03 AM ET
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Dogs seldom get prostate cancer, Don.
Follow your dogs lead, licking makes it better.
Go ahead, Don, we won't watch.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | March 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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