A New Weekly Podcast Searching for & Exploring the Mystery
Surrounding America’s Most Iconic Fitness Celebrity
Stitcher is Exclusive Launch Partner
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons, a man of seemingly
infinite live and late night talk show appearances and infomercials,
suddenly withdrew from the public eye. He stopped teaching his regular
exercise class, cut off his closest friends, and essentially vanished
after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world.
Since then, hardly anyone has heard from Richard — and nobody seems to
know why he left. First
Look Media today announces Missing Richard Simmons from
filmmaker and producer Dan Taberski, a weekly podcast searching for and
seeking to unlock the mystery surrounding America’s original fitness
The podcast debuts February 15 – the third anniversary of Simmons’
disappearance from public – and will be available for free streaming via
launch partner Stitcher, as well as iTunes, Google Play and Spotify (here).
Fans who subscribe and listen through Stitcher
Premium can hear episodes ad-free and will receive episodes 2-6 one
Richard taught at Slimmons, his now defunct Beverly Hills fitness
studio, for more than 40 years where he helped thousands of people lead
a healthier lifestyle and lose weight. With a wickedly raunchy sense of
humor, he was as comfortable on the talk show circuit as he was in the
gym. His name is synonymous with the 1980’s fitness craze and he built a
brand and an empire – one dance move at a time. If you didn’t grow up to
Richard’s Sweatin’ to the Oldies, then your mother, grandmother
or neighbor surely did.
Taberski, a former producer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
regularly visited Slimmons and was a friend of Richard’s. Missing
Richard Simmons is Dan’s personal search for Richard, taking him
across the country to talk to other Slimmons’ devotees, fans, former
friends and family. At times comedic and always with heart, the podcast
seeks to answer the questions about one of America’s most iconic and
misunderstood figures—who was Richard Simmons, why did he leave and will
he re-emerge to talk to Dan?
“I first walked into Slimmons to witness the spectacle of it all, and
man it did not disappoint,” said Taberski. “He was hysterical,
passionate, raunchy and bedazzled.” He added, “Richard built really
intense relationships with thousands of people, and he ghosted them all.
I think he’s a superhero – and, as it turns out, a really complicated
Adam Pincus, EVP Programming & Content for First Look Media said, “When
Dan first brought this to us, what impressed us most was his clear
affection for his subject and the empathy he had for Richard’s story.
Dan sees the absurdity and the ridiculous as much as the heart and
passion of this man, and organically addresses all of it in Missing
Missing Richard Simmons is Executive Produced by Dan Taberski,
Pineapple Media’s Max Linsky and First Look’s Leital Molad. Adam Pincus
is EVP Programming & Content at First Look Media. Henry Molofsky is
Producer. Stitcher is the exclusive launch partner.
First Look Media’s other recent projects include RISK by director
Laura Poitras, which debuted in Cannes and a new weekly podcast Intercepted
with Jeremy Scahill, challenging those in power and discussing the
pressing issues of the day. Upcoming projects include We Do Not Forget,
a feature film from writer/director Zach Helm, produced by Antoine Fuqua
and set to star Daniel Radcliffe and Zachary Quinto; and a short form
scripted series created by writer/performer Cirocco Dunlap (Man Seeking
Woman, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon), executive produced by Dan
Powell (Inside Amy Schumer). First Look Media also co-financed
Spotlight, the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 2016.
About Dan Taberski
Dan Taberski is a director, writer, and producer based in New York City.
He created kids show Destroy Build Destroy for Cartoon Network,
and co-created feminist digital comedy series Our Bodies, Myself.
His 2016 documentary short film These C*cksucking Tears won
jury prizes at the SXSW, Seattle, and Outfest film festivals. Taberski
is a former producer for The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart, and worked
on economic policy in the Clinton White House. He’s also an accomplished
About First Look Media
A bold, independent spirit defines everything we do at First
Look Media – from journalism that holds the powerful accountable, to
art and entertainment that shape our culture. Launched by eBay founder
and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media is built on the
belief that freedom of expression and of the press, diverse voices, and
fiercely independent perspectives, are vital to a healthy democracy and
a vibrant culture.
About Midroll Media
Media is a leading podcast content company, advertising network and
distribution platform that is changing the face of digital audio. It is
the parent company of the Earwolf network and its top-ranked comedy
podcasts; popular podcast listening platform Stitcher and its premium
subscription service; and the Midroll advertising network, representing
over 300 of the world’s largest podcasts. With offices in Los Angeles,
New York City and San Francisco, Midroll was founded in 2010 and is a
wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP).
First Look Media Communications
Jeannie Kedas, 347-709-0356
Michaels/Taylor Friedman, 212-691-2800
E.W. Scripps Company
Kari Wethington, 513-977-3763