Richard Simmons, the 61 (that’s right, 61) year old fitness guru was in the capital recently getting the Fit Kids Act passed in the House. The Act, which seeks to build better physical education programs in the country’s schools, is now heading to the Senate and Simmons returned to Your World to talk to Neil Cavuto about its victory and the road ahead. And while eight and a half minutes of Simmons and Cavuto yukking it up might not seem like the best way to spend your time, the segment became surprisingly weird (yet sweet) when Simmons broke down and began to speak genuinely about how important his cause is to him.
The first half of the piece, though, is pretty interminable. The pair go through a series of awkward jokes like a subpar version of the appearances Simmons used to make with Dave Letterman with only vague references to a green room spat between Simmons and John Stossel to keep things interesting (we can only assume that they had a bushy-off of Simmons’ afro and Stossel’s moustache). But then, at the six and a half minute mark, Cavuto mentions an article he read describing Simmons as one of the country’s “most likable television entities” and the guest is touched, coming close to tears.
“I’ve never lied to the people. I’ve always told them to love themselves, move their body, and to watch their portions. For 38 years, Neil, that’s the only thing I’ve told them. And, after 38 years, I’ve never jumped on any other bandwagons for stupid diets, shots, or pills, or anything. I am very worried about our young people and we need to take care of them or they’re not going to live as long as their parents. And this is really something very important to me. And it’s my life dream to be able to go and continue going to schools and teaching them about stretching and aerobics, cardio, and strength training. Because I want them to have a better life than I did.”
Richard Simmons may be a little overbearing, but you have to give the man some credit. He believes in what he does and he has a noble cause. And Cavuto does get a pretty good joke in at the end of the segment. After all the serious talk, Simmons goes back to asking his host to send him a present to apologize for doubting the Fit Kids Act. Simmons suggests roses. Cavuto deadpans that a White Castle gift certificate probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
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