Dan Taberski has been very clear throughout the making and airing of hit podcast Missing Richard Simmons. The six-part limited series is as much about celebrating the magical life of its subject as it is about determining why the now 68-year-old fitness guru chose to recently withdraw from public view.
On that former count, indirectly, the podcast has scored a bullseye by leading people back to a June 20, 2003 episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway. Simmons was the celebrity guest and his second sketch appearance, a “Living Scenery” cruise-ship excursion for which Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles turned him into a telescope, deck chair, jetski and rafting material, is flat out one of the funniest unscripted things that has ever aired on TV.
The reenactment photo above was taken in the fall of 2013, when Mochrie visited Calgary morning radio show host “Tarzan” Dan Freeman and revealed that turning Simmons into a bobbing jetski on Whose Line ranks as his most memorable show moment. When the photo was shared on Twitter, Simmons replied that he was glad to have been able to make Mochrie and Freeman laugh. Mochrie subsequently confirmed the jetski business remains the scene people mention most consistently to him when discussing the program.
There are a number of uploads of the Episode #521 sketch on YouTube. This one, unlike most, includes the priceless reaction banter of Carey and his cast after Simmons exits glittery stage-left. As various people have so correctly noted, this is that rarest of clips in that no matter how many times you watch it, it still has the power to generate salty tears of laughter.
Photo via: Twitter