An Old Friend Returns

November 16, 2006
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Fitness guru, Richard Simmons stormed into the studio unannounced, hugging Howard, Robin and Fred and claimed he used to watch Artie on “Mad Magazine.” When Richard noted he hadn’t seen Howard in more than a decade, he asked for one more hug, which Howard granted him. Howard then pointed out Richard was responsible for naming his youngest daughter, and wondered why they hadn’t been talking in the past 10 years. Richard replied by admitting it was his fault that his relationship with Howard had deteriorated, but assured him he was back in his good graces.

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Richard reported he still didn’t have a woman in his life, adding he didn’t need a one-on-one relationship to be happy. This led Howard to point out that Liberace used to give the same response to that question, but stopped talking when Richard began yelling that he didn’t like where the interview was going. Howard next asked Richard what he thought about Artie’s physical appearance, and Richard said he could tell he was “a compulsive eater.”

Richard proceeded to acknowledge he was upset with Artie because of a role he played years ago in a sketch about him on “Mad TV,” and when Artie said he didn’t actually play Richard but “another f*g in the back” instead, Richard got up and threatened to leave the studio. However, Howard was able to defuse the situation and get Richard to sit back down. Richard then heard what Artie had eaten already this morning – a diet that included cookies, cupcakes and Hawaiian Punch – and promised to put him on a diet program…if he was interested.

Howard then pointed out he felt Richard had slimmed down since they’d last seen each other before asking him about the jewelry he was wearing, which Richard replied used to belong to his mother prior to her death.

Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Richard commented he was doing press to promote a petition, “Richard Simmons: Ask America,” he created about physical education in schools, explaining that, when he collected 250,000 signatures, he wanted to take them to President Bush. Richard then said he was “crippled” by what Howard allegedly wrote about him in “Miss America,” and again got up to leave when Howard accused him of “fake crying.” Richard went on to say that he had his own program from 3-6 p.m. on Sundays on SIRIUS Starz102, and he actually did need to leave in order to attend a meeting with Scott Greenstein about it. Before he left, though, Richard told Howard they were friends again and hugged him goodbye.