I, Too, Would Be Pissed If Pauly Shore Was Playing Me in a Biopic

Could this be...the Shoreassance? Not if Richard Simmons has anything to scream about it.

I, Too, Would Be Pissed If Pauly Shore Was Playing Me in a Biopic
Photo:Kathy Hutchins (Shutterstock)

Even in his mysterious absence from public life, Richard Simmons is an American pop culture icon and considered one of the most famous fitness gurus of all time. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to write that he—and his matching short shorts—motivated millions to see health and wellness as a means of fun rather than just fat loss. That very story is now being made into a major motion picture. Who, you might wonder, could possibly be tasked to portray The Weight Saint? Pauly Shore, apparently.

On Wednesday, it was announced that a biopic about Simmons was in development at Warner Bros. subsidiary The Wolper Organization with Shore to play the lead. The film follows a short film about Simmons titled The Court Jester—which will soon premiere at the Sundance Film Festival—and also stars Shore as Simmons.

Now, I watched the trailer, and despite the fact that Shore bears a striking resemblance to Simmons (the voice isn’t bad either), I’m held back by a few things. First and foremost: the biopic is unauthorized. That’s right, Simmons—who’s chosen to live outside of the spotlight since 2014—hasn’t signed off on any interpretation of his life. A statement from his representative confirmed such almost immediately after the trailer and a series of stills hit the internet.

“Richard and I are not endorsing this project,” the representative told Entertainment Tonight. “It is unauthorized. I spoke to Pauly last year and told him [Richard] is not ready to tell his story.”

Simmons’ official Facebook page, too, confirmed that he hadn’t signed off on the film via a statement from the man himself:

“Hi Everybody! You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore. I have never given my permission for this movie. So don’t believe everything you read. I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful. Thank you for all your love and support. Richard.”

Even as a Pauly Shore fan (Encino Man, Son in Law, and A Goofy Movie…hello!), if I learned my precious legacy would be portrayed by a deeply unserious comedian whose most recent acting credits are nothing but animated movies, I, too, would be pretty pissed. Shore, on the other hand, seems stoked.

“I’m really excited about sharing Richard Simmons’ life with the world,” Shore said 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.”

A good time, it’s safe to say, is probably not being had by the one person who most deserves it in this situation. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope this prompts Simmons to finally re-don his headband and beat these Wolper Organization people to the punch with his own damn film.

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