Richard Simmons, reacts to an explosion under his vegetable steamer, during a demonstration with Dave on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Sweatin’ with two oldies.
Richard Simmons and his short shorts graced “The Late Show with David Letterman” stage many times — enough to be considered one of Letterman’s go-to guests and certainly one of the most memorable. He first appeared on the show in 1991.
The fitness guru and pop culture icon rose to fame in the 1980s for his fun, upbeat aerobic videos including the classic, “Sweatin to the Oldies.”
THE SEARCH FOR RICHARD SIMMONS: FITNESS GURU ABRUPTLY VANISHED TWO YEARS AGO
Simmons, 67, has not been seen in public for nearly two years. In January 2015, police conducted a welfare check at his Hollywood Hills home, according to TMZ.
The visit came after a long-time friend of Simmons reported the fitness guru was being abused. Simmons turned out to be fine and officers said he seemed genuinely happy.
Happiness also beamed from Simmons’ on the “Late Show,” but it was quickly shot down by Letterman’s sly remarks.
The duo perfected on-stage banter to the point where viewers couldn’t draw the line between what was serious and what was a joke.
Richard Simmons visits Letterman as a Turkey on November 22, 2000.
Simmons later said that despite being on the show countless times he never actually “met” Letterman.
“You’re just not allowed to talk to him. Or if you are, he’s very standoffish,” he said. “Then the commercials are over and you’re back, you sit down again and finish the show. Maybe that’s just how he is with me, I don’t know.”
Even if the two weren’t buds off screen, their tension on-screen made for some great late night television.
Letterman said when introducing the flamboyant fitness personality in 1995: “We could always depend on our next guest for three things, an energetic entrance, enthusiasm about fitness and, of course, a blatant disregard for our dress code.”
Here are Simmons’ best moments from “The Late Show with David Letterman:”
The Turkey Suit
Simmons dresses up in a giant feathered turkey costume and flaunts around the stage.
Simmons attempts to give Letterman a kiss. And as if the outfit wasn’t enough, Letterman hoses his guest down with a fire extinguisher (2000).
The Vegetable Steamer
After a six-year hiatus following the turkey incident, Simmons returns to get pranked once again.
The fitness nut is demonstrating one of his vegetable steamers when it explodes into flames.
Simmons screams and runs away after the shock of the explosion. Letterman, on the other hand, found it hilarious (2006).
Letterman announces an appearance by Simmons’ idol Barbara Streisand, but it’s certainly not her.
Simmons was very outspoken about his love for Streisand. Letterman tried to convince the fitness guru that the singer was about to come out, but it ended up being an elderly man (1994).
In a 1995 episode, Letterman brings out a replica Barbara Streisand doll.
Richard Simmons admires the doll in the likeness of his idol Barbara Streisand.
“I’ll never meet Barbara, now I have a doll,” Simmons said. “I can eat dinner with her every night.” David unveils a frightening doll that does not resemble the singer at all. In a second showing, Letterman shows the actual doll that cost Simmons $ 10,000.
The two travel door-to-door in New Jersey on a late rainy autumn day.
Simmons and Letterman even go inside people’s homes all while Letterman still makes a mockery of the fitness guru (1994).
Simmons appears on the show in 1997 to promote his recipe book “Sweetie Pie.”
Letterman doesn’t take the cooking demonstration seriously. He starts juggling eggs and things get messy, particularly all over Simmons.