Warning spoilers ahead!
In case you missed it: Iconic fitness guru and former extrovert, Richard Simmons is alive and well.
In February of this year, former The Daily Show producer, Dan Taberski released a podcast, Missing Richard Simmons. As the title suggests Taberski, a friend of Simmons, was determined to find out why his fitness-crusading friend retreated into his Hollywood mansion three years ago, never to be seen from again.
Spoiler: It wasn’t the maid, there was no witchcraft, and Simmons is doing just fine. There were no skeletons in the closet or stomach-churning ending. It was a simply a story of a man who needed solitude.
At one point Missing Richard Simmons was the most downloaded Podcast on iTunes. Taberski’s six-episode series revived interest in a fading fanbase, while introducing him to a younger audience. Basically, it’s the perfect marketing storm.
“All I can say, at least for now, is it is possible,” he said. “But it is yet to be determined, I would say.”
As noted by the Times, Simmons pursued a deal with Prominent Brand + Talent, to secure the rights to “merchandising, endorsements, and licensing opportunities” for all Simmons-related products. The deal would align with Simmon’s lifelong mission and messaging.
“We’re talking about inspiration-themed products that will hopefully accomplish what Richard really set his life’s work to do, which is to help people take better care of themselves,” he said. “We’re not licensing tires and party hats.”
Despite the fact that — last spoiler — Taberski never had the opportunity to speak to his old pal, it seems that his desire to coax his friend out of hiding may have worked. Just not the way he expected it to.