FOLLOWING THE TRAIL blazed by folks like Jack La Lanne and Debbie Drake, actor Richard Simmons branched out from strictly being an actor to the throne of his own physical fitness program, television shows, home videos and nutritional supplements & books. It all started when Richard, who really had no background in physical training or nutrition, decided to do something to correct his overweight, out of shape condition.
IT WAS AS if he was an overnight success with THE RICHARD SIMMONS SHOW after some years in show biz. In no time, his was a name known to everyone, a true household word. So what was his secret? We're not really sure, but we'll try to give it the "Old College Try" in offering our theories.
FIRST OF ALL, Mr. Simmons knew that his former condition of obesity. He sort of wore this as a Badge of Honor; as the public also knew that he trained himself to a successful result. Being before the advent of the widespread proliferation of Personal Trainers, that was the way it was done.
SECONDLY, THE OBVIOUISLY flamboyant personality of the man was right out there. Rather than running away from this characteristic, Richard embraced it and used it in his openings, promos and in his guest appearances on other shows. His careful manipulation of these frequent forays into the talk show territory made him an even more of a hot property. The "routines" that evolved with the host on LATE NIGHT/LATE SHOW WITH David LETTERMAN (pick you network) were laden with much comedy gold.
PERHAPS THE GREATEST factor that Richard had going for him was his display of sincerity. He truly believed in what he was doing. When it came to interviewing those with weight problems, he was most gracious and sympathetic.
HE WAS ONE who could truly identify with the plight of guest; for he was once in he same boat. Formally trained or not, he displayed concern.
FOR THIS HE was often seen doing Jumping Jacks while laughing all the way to the bank.
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