4 Celebrity Workout Videos That Should Not Have Been
Do you want a hot body like your favorite Hollywood star? Would you settle for second favorite? Third? Look, how about you tell me where LaToya Jackson ranks in your top 10 and we'll go from there. The aerobics VHS tape is apparently some trial that every celebrity must go through, and after years of research and $1.96, I've tracked down the four worst.
LaToya Jackson's Step Up Workout (1993)
Years ago, amateur Indiana biochemists went through the Jackson's garbage in an attempt to create a second Michael out of food scraps and discarded maxi pads. LaToya Jackson was the shrieking and unkillable result of that experiment. Do not be fooled by LaToya Jackson's timid Michael Jackson impersonation -- it will use your bones to build its nest.
When LaToya raises her voice, local cats go into a blood frenzy, so she doesn't actually lead the workout. The routine is led by National Step Champion and International You Have Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me With This Name, Gay Gasper. LaToya is only there as the celebrity participant and to host a deadly battle between leotard and vaginoplasty. Now take a second and imagine you were Gay Gasper. You're whatever a National Step Champion is, you're built like a womanly dump truck and by any fitness and likeability standards you've earned the right to be the star of your own workout video. Then your producer says, "Sorry, Gay. We need a celebrity face to sell this. Or at least a celebrity face-like meat sculpture. Who did I get? Tell you what: crowbar open that sarcophagus behind you and see for yourself. Just give me a second to move inside this circle of protection."
Given her successful entertainment career, I don't know where LaToya Jackson finds the time to work out so much, but she's in great shape. She pushes on through what must be a stinging cascade of sweaty Aqua Net and she almost keeps up with Gay for 45 minutes of high energy flapping and marching. It appears these bat soldiers maintain their strength and endurance even in human form. The leader will be pleased.
The rest of this sentence is going to sound a lot like Phil Collins' microphone because LaToya spends most of her time in this video getting berated by Gay. Gay Gasper is a muscle-bound sack of slave driving intensity and her three assistants are all clearly professional aerobics instructors. LaToya's contribution is almost all panting while she struggles to not fall behind. It's kind of tragic. After all, the last thing LaToya Jackson needed was to be in one more damn room full of people where she was the least talented one.
I tried to find the perfect clip of LaToya Jackson working out, but you wouldn't be able to tell it apart from this video anyway:
Bonnie Franklin's I Hate to Exercise I Love to Tap (1984)
Thirty years ago, Bonnie Franklin played a sassy divorcee on One Day at a Time and now she uses her celebrity to promote theater to undertheatered children.
Tap dancing isn't quite exercise, especially the way it's done on this tape. I'm sure tap dancers will disagree, but get used to that feeling, tap dancers. The rest of the world is going to be pretty goddamn annoyed with you for the rest of your life. There really isn't a category for a workout this easy. Is it fair to real exercise when you put both hands in your pockets and just scrape your shoe across the floor and call it fitness? I know you 18th century ladies want to look good in your colonial dresses, but a real fitness routine should work more than your ankle and side ankle.
The pace never picks up, either. It's like Bonnie Franklin knew her target audience was dying in a hospital bed and didn't want to show off. Luckily, this tape prepares any terminal patient for both the discomforts of Hell and the crushing nothingness of oblivion. An hour in and I was still astonished every time the camera held on a closeup of Bonnie's foot as she counted off 32 slaps. Watching this video is like scraping joy out of your brain. By the time I was done, I knew how to shim sham, but I couldn't remember why happiness made a person smile. If you feel up for a game of Boredom Chicken, I fucking dare you to try to watch this for five minutes:
You'd think with all the razzmatazz of musical theater, there would be more to this production than an empty community center and a dining chair. There isn't. All Bonnie Franklin has done here is take all the misery of a lifetime of tap lessons and weaponized it against us.
Sandy Duncan's The 5 Minute Workout (1990)
Sandy Duncan was America's Sweetheart back when we still had those. She taught us that Wheat Thins were baked and not fried and explained to the Six Million Dollar Man why Bigfoot was always fucking with him. She was a spritely and theatrical singer and actress who performed Peter Pan on Broadway for so many years that you can't even wear that costume in public anymore without looking like a pussy.
Sandy Duncan has never been described without the word bubbly. She was the perfect choice for a 5-minute workout video because she burns 900 calories every time she smiles. If you feed her an alka seltzer, her body will explode like a seagull and every piece of her will possess the powers and memories of the original Sandy Duncan.
In some kind of cruel spacetime joke, Sandy Duncan's 5 Minute Workout is 60 minutes long. It's brought to you by Wheat Thins and co-hosted by musical choreographer and tanning industry supporter, Kevin Carlisle. He's a fit little man with the white hair and black skin of a picture negative. He and Sandy are obviously very close, and being next to each other for an hour in hot pants leads to an unnerving amount of playful sexual chemistry. I swear Wheat Thins was one lingering touch away from accidentally sponsoring the first celebrity sex tape. They seem like sweet people and dear friends, and there's a solid chance at least one of them is a gay man, but I'm not imagining things. In one scene, Sandy is openly staring at Kevin's pumping basket before clumsily reminding them both that she has a husband. Seriously, watch a couple minutes of this and tell me these two aren't fucking:
Kevin claims the 5 Minute Workout is a routine that can be done anywhere and at any time which is insane because most of it is pelvic thrusts. It's a great way to reassure the person in front of you at the bank that they picked the right outfit today, but there might be a little too much humping for those of us not raised in the theater.Sandy Duncan is the cheesiest woman I've ever wanted to sleep with. The script for this video is so bad I think it was adapted from a Hitler resurrection spell, and when you see this lovable woman read these horrible cue cards, you will hate yourself for how much you adore her.
Zsa Zsa Gabor's "It's So Simple Darling" (1993)
Zsa Zsa Gabor has starred in over 40 films and has made a guest appearance on every sitcom ever made without exception. Despite this, she's mostly famous for slapping a Beverly Hills cop and boning rich men. We coddle the wealthy today, but back in the '60s and '70s, we forced each of them to marry Zsa Zsa Gabor for a year or two. She's been with so many millionaires that her gynecologist bought a boat with all the watches he found in her birth canal. Of course back then it was called a vaginopithecus africanus.
When she filmed this video, Zsa Zsa Gabor was 76 years old and had the range of motion of a woman being digested by a snake. Corpses get better workouts when the gasses inside them shift. And this would all be normal for an elderly fitness video if there were old people doing it along with her. Instead, she has two gigantic body builders, Francois and Mike. People with good taste in television might recognize Mike as the ridiculous cartoon of a man who went on to become the American Gladiator named Thor and the American Gladiator named Titan. Mike is what sexy firemen use as their calendars.
Mike and Francois can barely contain their shame while Zsa Zsa leads them in girl pushups and 6 ounce barbell pumps. Plus, there's something about a strange foreign woman with muscled henchmen on her flanks that makes me feel like Batman is about to get captured. I'm trying to remember who taught me that lesson ...
Holy shit. And I was right not to trust Zsa Zsa. She cares less about proper form than she does about the number of fox puppies her furrier had to tear apart to make her diaper. She moves like a necromancer made some kind of terrible mistake. Her routine is a combination of barely stirring her body with the violent pumping of her hands. Don't try it at home. Zsa Zsa comes from an era where women really isolated the muscle groups used for harvesting sperm. Ms. Gabor can handjob so hard that she can only get to second base with one of her age peers if his penis has been securely anchor bolted to his pelvis by a certified concrete finisher.
When your workout is mostly leaning on a chair, it gives you some time to chat. And wow, does Zsa Zsa chat. While she performs the coma-like workout, she talks about her ex husbands, sex, the importance of sucking in your stomach during sex and of course how much she's going to sex Mike and Francois. It sounds pretty gross on paper, but you don't get to be Miss Hungary 1936 without having a certain appeal. When she calls Francois over to help her stretch, she is a predator on the hunt and the poor guy is way out of his league. Eight decades old or not, it only takes 8 seconds of flirting before Francois is ready to stick it in.
Zsa Zsa really is from an unrelatable period of antiquity. After a half hour of nonstop chatter about the benefits of senior citizen fitness, there is only one mention of self esteem and none about health. Zsa Zsa Gabor's entire philosophy on life seems to be wrapping your legs around it until it buys you a house. Exercise is only good for two things: making ozzer vomen jealous and fucking zeir husbands. My favorite advice came when she said gently marching in place was "a vonderful vay to strengzen your legs for an unfaisful husband, lover, lawyer, doctor ..." It's a special kind of woman whose main goal in a workout is to be a better lay for her lawyer and doctor. Zsa Zsa Gabor's genitals deserve some kind of lifetime achievement award, and I hope you honor them by watching her fitness video:
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet at Seanbaby.com. Follow him on Twitter.For more fitness hilarity, see The 5 Most Spectacularly Unsexy Workout Videos and Nine Reasons Iraqis Suck at Jumping Jacks.