Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons Might Just Win Him A ‘F***ing Oscar’

And if Simmons doesn’t like it, too bad
Pauly Shore as Richard Simmons Might Just Win Him A ‘F***ing Oscar’

“Hi everybody! You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore,” reclusive Richard Simmons explained in a recent statement. “I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read.” 

Oh, I believe it, and no amount of cold sweat that Simmons attempts to pour on this project will make me think otherwise. The Court Jester, a 10-minute version of Shore’s proposed feature film about the exercise guru, debuted at Sundance this weekend before arriving on YouTube. Think of it as Shore’s announcement to Hollywood: This Richard Simmons biopic must be made. It will be made! And it will be magnificent!

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The Court Jester’s protagonist isn’t Simmons but David, a schlubby segment producer on Ellen who neglects to give Simmons a copy of his Sweatin’ the Oldies 5 DVD before he bounces onto the stage. Considering that someone handed the DVD to David only seconds before air, you’d think this wouldn’t be a fireable offense but hey, it’s Ellen. You can feel the anguish of donut-craving, self-esteem-deprived David — he’s played by Jesse Heiman, the actor famous as Nameless Dork in hundreds of TV shows and Super Bowl commercials.

As for Shore, he foregoes a slavish Simmons imitation in favor of playing the role like an aging version of his Weasel persona. When he’s not screaming at Ellen to move her buns, he’s appearing like a backstage angel to steal David’s donut. He lectures David on the importance of being nice to oneself, with the caveat that if he’s wrong, David can simply blurt, “Richard, you’re nuttier than a squirrel turd!” But if Simmons is right? Then David should eat a donut “fit for a fucking king!” Try not to jump out of your seat and applaud. 

The short film’s performances are amazing, but nothing compared to its costumes and makeup. Shore’s receding, curly hairline already resembles Simmons’ exercise ‘fro, but producers decided to go the extra mile with a mop-top borrowed from a community theater production of Annie.

Blue Eyed Jack Films

Shore isn’t afraid of being upstaged by other celebrity hair. Check out the wig provided for the Ellen character, a sassy, deranged tangle that screams everything, everywhere, all at once.

Blue Eyed Jack Films

The Court Jester premiered at Sundance, according to the Los Angeles Times, “in the basement of the Cabin nightclub Friday night, its icy-cold, brick-lined bullring of a dance floor laid out with six rows of black metal chairs.” But the Cabin basement isn’t where the movie’s journey ends. A script for a feature-length version is in the works, and Shore has a vision for it. “I want it to be more dramatic than silly,” he told the Times. “I think it should be like, sweet and soft and sincere. You’re gonna have the crazy moments, but it shouldn’t be a goof fest. Little Miss Sunshine, a tone like that, is sort of the vibe. That’s what I’m feeling.”

As for Simmons’ repeated objections to a film about his life? “I think he’s in a place right now where that’s a knee-jerk reaction,” Shore reasoned. “I think that if he sat down with me and the producer he’d want to be part of it.” It’s hard to imagine Simmons putting up much of a fight once he gets a lot of The Court Jester — and who knows? Maybe it will move a few more copies of Sweatin’ to the Oldies 5.

Shore spoke to the Sundance crowd before the screening to share his enthusiasm for the short film and what comes next. “We treated (Simmons) with the utmost respect,” he told the assembled throng. And as for the proposed feature? “There’s no reason I can’t get a f***ing Oscar.”


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