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Anderson Cooper Wonders: Does Richard Simmons Ever Change?

Richardsimmons

The self-described fitness clown/court jester pays a visit to AC360, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Could it be that Richard Simmons is too moronic and tasteless to actually be gay?

    Posted by: NSFW | Jun 19, 2009 7:52:01 AM


  2. I think Mr. Simmons has a portrait of himself up in the attic that he has to look at periodically.

    Posted by: Paul Brown | Jun 19, 2009 8:25:07 AM


  3. I don't care whether AC ever decides to come out, his giggle just cracks me up!

    Oh and NSFW, you are an asshole. Just sayin...

    Posted by: sparks | Jun 19, 2009 8:26:44 AM


  4. Richard Simmons looks just as freaky as ever - he must have a portrait of himself up in the attic!

    Posted by: Paul Brown | Jun 19, 2009 8:27:57 AM


  5. Pathetic. He thinks he's funny? He's just sad.

    Posted by: hank | Jun 19, 2009 8:39:52 AM


  6. If they offered “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” to kids at school instead of giving them a ball and expecting them to be experts at football, baseball, basket ball or what ever kids might be more interested in staying fit. Lay off Richard he does lots of good works and donates most of his money to fight obesity.

    Posted by: ggreen | Jun 19, 2009 8:53:29 AM


  7. Simmons is a sweetheart. So's AC.

    Posted by: elcamino | Jun 19, 2009 9:03:43 AM


  8. I wonder if Andy looks at Richard Simmons and says to himself: "Me in five years."

    Posted by: David D. | Jun 19, 2009 9:18:01 AM


  9. I think admitting liking Lady Gaga is, from the WASP perspective, tantamount to coming out. Way to go, AndyCoo, little by little, inch by inch, you will see the light outside those closet walls...

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Jun 19, 2009 9:37:05 AM


  10. I'll watch Richard Simmons, and applaud his work, over the legions of useless bimbos (male & female) that populate the gossip pages any day.

    Posted by: henry | Jun 19, 2009 9:40:33 AM


  11. How refreshing to see someone who doesn't take itself too seriously-and even more interesting, we can see opposites sides of the gay spectrum here, the flamboyant, crazy, funny "trollish"looking guy and the uptight, self absorbed, good looking with a stick up the butt asshole.

    Posted by: Joe Moon | Jun 19, 2009 9:54:40 AM


  12. He's harmless and seems to have a good heart. Leave him alone.

    Posted by: CB | Jun 19, 2009 10:13:59 AM


  13. Richard is far more sincere and interesting than Anderson will ever be. Anderson's been left behind while the torch has been passed to the likes of Maddow, et al. Richard has been a fighter since day one who never cared what people thought of him.

    Ga Ga isn't quite cutting edge, but Richard has more in common with her than Cooper's sterility.

    Posted by: lodenmuse | Jun 19, 2009 10:25:26 AM


  14. "we can see opposites sides of the gay spectrum here..."
    Joe, these two guys may well not be of the same sexual orientation as each other, but their personalities are definitely different shades of the human spectrum.

    Posted by: GregV | Jun 19, 2009 10:34:40 AM


  15. Well he is a little over-the-top but his heart is in the right place.

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 19, 2009 10:35:17 AM


  16. This was fun and made me laugh. Hopefully Anderson will dance next time! :)

    Posted by: KFLO | Jun 19, 2009 12:02:44 PM


  17. Well, they are both closet cases, but Simmons is publicly able to admit that weight loss schemes almost never work in the end, which is quite remarkable.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 19, 2009 12:19:17 PM


  18. Lodenmuse, nearly all of the many gays in news are still in the closet. Anderson is actually more out than most of them. He hasn't been left behind.

    And am I missing something here? When did Simmons come out? Richard Simmons is incredibly flaming but he's been in the glass closet himself most of his career. He never goes officially on the record about his sexuality. He's been a "fighter" of flab not on gay issues. Here was Rosie talking about him to the Advocate in 2003:

    "When Kathy Kinney came on my show and outed Richard Simmons, I didn't try to "in" Richard Simmons. The gay community accused me of in-ing Richard Simmons, like I was trying to make people think that he was straight. I will tell you this: If Richard Simmons ever wants to discuss his private life with me on national TV, he's welcome to do so. It is not anyone else's right to do that before he decides it's time. That's the reason I said to Kathy Kinney, "We'll be right back with a commercial." I'm simply saying that that right belongs to him. [Loudly] And no matter what community you feel he's a part of or what he represents to you, it is not as relevant as his own truth.".

    Posted by: mark | Jun 19, 2009 12:35:46 PM


  19. Lodenmuse, nearly all of the many gays in news are still in the closet. Anderson is actually more out than most of them. He hasn't been left behind.

    And am I missing something here? When did Simmons come out? Richard Simmons is incredibly flaming but he's been in the glass closet himself all of his long career. He never goes officially on the record about his sexuality. He's been a "fighter" of flab not on gay issues. Here was Rosie talking about him to the Advocate in 2003:

    "When Kathy Kinney came on my show and outed Richard Simmons, I didn't try to "in" Richard Simmons. The gay community accused me of in-ing Richard Simmons, like I was trying to make people think that he was straight. I will tell you this: If Richard Simmons ever wants to discuss his private life with me on national TV, he's welcome to do so. It is not anyone else's right to do that before he decides it's time. That's the reason I said to Kathy Kinney, "We'll be right back with a commercial." I'm simply saying that that right belongs to him. [Loudly] And no matter what community you feel he's a part of or what he represents to you, it is not as relevant as his own truth.".

    Posted by: mark | Jun 19, 2009 1:00:16 PM


  20. methinks Richard has more integrity than MANY of the bitchy lookist commenters on this blog. At least he does something good for the world. If he was 'ripped' and had a big package you'd be begging for it. How typical.

    Posted by: ZnSD | Jun 19, 2009 1:36:30 PM


  21. I have no problems with Richard Simmons. But there are many dozens of you attacking the Bruno movie for being a straight guy playing an exceptionally gay character. Yet Richard Simmons has never come out of the closet, so isn't he doing the same thing?

    Richard Simmons acts gayer than nearly anyone else in the public eye. I'm certain that when a lot of people see him on TV, their main reaction is, "Oh look, there's that fag." Everyone assumes he's gay, but for the sake of his career he remains closeted.

    Granted, Bruno's humor is far more explicit, but both are characters/stereotypes. I know no one who acts like either, but the closeted Simmons gets a pass because most of us assume he's gay. Yet the straight Cohen---and the closeted Cooper---attract a lot more vitriol whenever they come up on Towleroad.

    My point is, accept all of them or none of them. Cohen is a comedian, Cooper is a reporter, and Simmons is a fitness motivator. The gay world has many faces, and I don't see why the closeted Simmons should get a pass while the other two are vilified.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 19, 2009 11:02:54 PM


  22. Paul R., "Everyone" doesn't assume that Simmons is gay. For all I know, he could be heterosexual, gay, bi, transgendered, inter-sexed or even asexual.

    It is an erroneous assumption that some people make that anyone who behaves in a silly way or has a certain body type "must be" gay, without any evidence of what's he's got in his pants or what kind of person attracts him.

    Just because I have only heard him talk about fitness and weight, rather than his love life, does not mean he is closeted. And if ever I were to see a headline saying "Richard Simmons discusses his sex life," I have no idea what his answers would be.

    As for Bruno, I don't mind at all that a straight guy is playing a gay character. Seeing straight people like Tom Hanks and Laura Dern and Glenn Close playing gay characters has only endeared them to me more.

    The possible problem with the Bruno character is not that he is gay but that this is a straight guy playing an offensive gay man who fulfills every nightmare that homophobes falsely imagine about gay people, from buying a child only to neglect him to behaving in a sexually inappropriate and predatory way toward men who have already let him know that they are not interested in having sex with him.

    Posted by: GregV | Jun 20, 2009 5:43:07 PM


  23. GregV, I see your point and respect it, but have you ever seen Richard Simmons on late night talk shows? I recall numerous instances on Letterman and Conan O'Brian where he engaged in plenty of gay innuendo and, in fact, caressed the hands, thighs, and faces of the straight hosts...who had no interest in such behavior. So that's akin to Bruno since, as you say, he's straight (or whatever) for all we know.

    So he's willing to use different personae depending on the audience, but remains closeted because he's scared of losing money from his base: overweight straight women. To me he's just a modern Liberace, another gay minstrel. I'm assuming he's gay because of his behavior (not the silliness, but the flirtiness) and comments.

    As I said, I really have nothing against the man. He's from an older generation and I can understand why he'd be concerned that, say, his work with kids would be compromised by coming out. But I also think he's playing both sides of the fence.

    And while I can better understand the animus toward Bruno, I don't get it when it comes to Anderson Cooper. I feel sorry for closeted people, but I'm not living their lives. Cooper isn't antigay, so with him it seems like jealousy over his looks, success, intelligence, charisma, and money.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 20, 2009 9:27:47 PM


  24. GregV, take a look at this and tell me if you still think Simmons is just acting silly, or if in fact he's acting as expressly gay as a man could act.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ_lXJTaT5g

    I'm sure that many of the people opposed to Bruno would find this equally offensive, especially the reaction after he leaves the stage.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jun 20, 2009 9:40:07 PM


  25. So Richard Simmons is a "gay minstrel" but Anderson Cooper is somehow heroic for staying in the closet, and anyone who says otherwise is "jealous"?

    That's some messed-up logic.

    The only difference between these two is that Cooper is able to hide (and/or suppress) his homosexuality, whereas Simmons cannot. Don't for a minute think that makes Cooper morally better, because he's staying in the closet for the same reasons -- he doesn't want it to hurt his career, or the money he makes, or for it to become a distraction from his work as a news reader.

    And while it's true Cooper has not been "anti-gay," he's not exactly an advocate either. He's been asked directly about his sexuality on more than one occasion, and he's always found a way to deny he's gay without actually saying it.

    Posted by: True | Jun 25, 2009 7:04:58 AM


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