Comedian Pauly Shore is stepping into his shortest shorts to portray the legendary fitness icon, Richard Simmons, in an upcoming biopic. The film is in development at Warner Bros.’ subsidiary, The Wolper Organization, with ongoing casting.
The biopic is a continuation of an unrelated short film, directed and written by Jake Lewis, which serves as a concept trailer. This film, titled “The Court Jester,” will have its premiere at Sundance on Jan. 19. It features Shore as Simmons, Tamra Brown as Ellen DeGeneres, and Jesse Heiman as David, a television producer who underwent a remarkable 160-pound weight loss with Simmons’ help. David documented his journey on the blog “Keep It Up David!” Following its debut in Park City, “The Court Jester” will be available worldwide on YouTube.
“I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’s life with the world,” Paulie Shore in a statement. “We all need this biopic now more than ever. Simmons represented mental health, getting people in shape, and being his authentic silly self! Whenever he was on TV you could never take your eyes off of him and he brought such a joy to his appearances that represented nothing but a good time.”
“The Court Jester” director is no stranger to shorts about beloved public figures. Jake Lewis gained recognition for a short film he directed back in 2021, featuring Jamie Costa’s uncanny portrayal of Robin Williams.
Paulie Shore and Richard Simmons Were Both Fixtures of Pop Culture
Although less visible and talked about these days, at the age of 75, there was a time when Simmons enjoyed a much higher level of fame. He was known as a fitness guru, actor, and comedian, celebrated for his vibrant and enthusiastic approach to health and wellness. It was in the 1980s that he became a household name through his high-energy aerobic workouts and his charismatic personality.
He gained popularity with his bestselling weight loss programs, such as “Sweatin’ to the Oldies.” In addition to his fitness pursuits, Simmons made appearances on various television shows and talk programs, often playing himself in shows like CHiPs and Arrested Development.
Meanwhile, Shore rose to fame in the 1990s. He captivated Generation X with his role in MTV’s Totally Pauly, which showcased his stand-up alter ego, The Weasel. This persona, with his catchphrase, “Hey, BU-DDY”, was featured in movies such as Encino Man, Son in Law, and Bio-Dome.
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