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Arts and Entertainment

Where's Richard Simmons? Popular New Podcast Aims To Find Out

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A former student and friend of Richard Simmons, Dan Taberski, is trying to find the fitness guru, who hasn't really been seen in years. Simmons stopped showing up to his classes, he stopped going out in public, he built a large wall around his home, and he displayed some bizarre behavior last year after some questioned if he was being held hostage by his longtime housekeeper Teresa Reveles. Simmons' life today remains a mystery, and Taberski wants to, at least, "let him know that he’s loved." That is one aim of his new podcast, Missing Richard Simmons.

Taberski, a former producer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, assures his audience in the first episode that while he is looking for Simmons, "the goal isn't to drag him back, it's to find out why someone like him would ditch the world." Simmons had always been incredibly kind and reliable—to strangers, to his fans, his students and friends—and this has made his withdrawal from the world even more baffling. While he had a tortured side, and spoke of being somewhat of a recluse and anti-social beyond his classes and fanbase—"I teach my class, I take hundreds of photos, and I go home"—this total abandonment of the life he created is mysterious.

The studio where Taberski had been taking classes, he explains, was the same studio Richard "had been teaching at religiously since Gerald Ford was president." But on February 15th, 2015, he didn't show up, and never returned. "He wasn't responding to anyone. He wasn't talking to anyone. He wasn't talking to his staff. He stopped showing up. He stopped communicating altogether."

The new weekly podcast (already #1) just released its second episode today (put out by First Look Media), and you can listen below: