The Plank

Mr. Richard Simmons Goes To Washington

 

As Richard Simmons prances up the steps of Congress, he
bypasses the assembled congressman and their aides stationed at a podium and
marches straight toward the swarm of news cameras at the far end of the veranda,
having just finished testifying on the Hill in his capacity as "Fitness Expert
and Advocate." With a sudden, two-armed wave that could, it seems plausible,
lead to a backbend, Simmons wails out "Hi everybody, how are we feeling
today?" Footloose's "Let's Hear it for the Boy" begins to
blare from an unseen loudspeaker. The crowd of mostly congressional interns and
Hill staffers in various states of smile-plastered bemusement cheer into their
cell phones, which they use to alternately take pictures and text. Richard Simmons
striding through a crowd of Washington
suits in a bright red tank-top-and-tiny-shorts combo made suitable for the
occasion with red, white, and blue rhinestones is the sort of spectacle that
merits proof.

To read TNR's account of Simmons's trip to Capitol Hill
yesterday, click here.

--Bess Kalb

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