The 80s gave us a lot of laughs and enough Aqua Net to make a hole the size of Texas in the ozone layer. One of the most notable 80's trends to stand the test of time is the celebrity workout video. Yes, it all began circa 1982 with Workout, when one Miss Jane Fonda chose to sweat it up in her camel-toeing leotards over stripping in space (a la Barbarella). And with that, celebrity fitness was let loose.
Since then, celebs of all levels (A, B, F and reality-wannabes alike) have invaded the shelves of your favourite music and video stores with their piece of the workout pie. Flash forward to today, where You Tube and personal websites showcase the various tight asses and "one-mores" of the likes of Carmen Electra and even Chuck Norris. Confused? Annoyed? Aroused? Here's my take on a few of the most interesting vids out there - all with the help of our friend Jane's leotards (scale of 3).
Photo by Michael Buckner/ Getty Images
Kim Kardashian's Body Beautiful
- Famous for that "other" sweaty video, this tabloid darling now has a DVD and various downloadable short workout videos available free on her website. You might get excited over Luscious Legs or Booty Blast , but unfortunately, both titles under-deliver. My recommendation to her is that she should have spent those few minutes driving her drunk sister home instead of wasting my time with yet another lame fitness segment.
- Rated: 2 leotards (I'm giving a bonus of 1 sweat band here, as at least these free vids come with workout cards that are basically leftovers from her Playboy shoot).
- WATCH: Fitness fit for a princess! I guess vomiting IS a form of weight loss, although I can't help but seriously question her methods...
Aerobic Striptease with Carmen Electra
- It may seem self explanatory, but there's more here than just pole stands and fire-chick spins: she actually sweats! With the assistance of a personal trainer, Carmen glistens her way through a variety of exercises to such classics as Fit to Strip and The Lap Dance and Hip Hop! It may be just about every guy's dream to have their gals swinging around on a pole to get in shape, but the most likely outcome is a "soft" addition to your porn collection.
- Rated: 2 leotards.
- WATCH: The Intro to Aerobic Striptease, and get your dollar bills ready!
Credit: Koch International
Walking It Off With George - starring George Foreman
- Walk? Sure! But more like walking my way to his grill, and not to the body of my dreams. I find nothing appealing about George, other than his late night infomercials. (Who else makes you salivate to a rotisserie chicken at 3am?) Yeah, walking is something almost everyone can fit into their day, but when I think of George Foreman and 35 minutes, 6-pack abs are not the first thing that come to mind.
- Rated: 1 leotard
- WATCH: A promo for George's new web show Knock Out The Fat, featuring gratuitous shots of the Foreman Grill.
Credit: MTV News
- Our favourite Daisy Duke-wearing MTV alum actually had a workout video in the making, but it was yanked before anyone could see it. Rumour-mill be what it may, the press was swirling with speculations of why the fatties of the world were being denied. Was it her drunken state while shooting? Her refusal to re-shoot? Or was it her father who banned it in the end? My vote is that daddy wanted to keep images of lil Jess sweatin' it up to himself.
- Rated: unwrapped leotard
- WATCH: This, as proof that Jessica probably thinks a leotard is a big cat living in the Africa. It's a marketer's wet-dream: endorsing a FITNESS VIDEO and PIZZA HUT!
Credit: Time Life
Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons
- Watching Dick in shorts once rejected by Hooters employees is enough to turn even the 1,000 pound man off food. If that's his gimmick, then so be it. 2 minutes is about all I can handle of this squealing hot-panter and the various celebrity seniors bobbing to his right and left (insert random non-famous parent, like scary Sly Stallone's ma). Success story bonus footage be damned ... I'd rather make a big girl cry than listen to one bar of this royalty-free Big Girls Don't Cry.
- Rated: 0.5 leotard
- WATCH: Words you never want to see or hear: Richard Simmons, rock star.
Credit: J2 Communications
Team Steam with Alyssa Milano
- Pre-Charmed era, and at the peak of her stint as Samantha on Who's the Boss?, I have to admit I enjoyed this video more for its flashback value (maybe "more for its throwback value") than anything. With TeanBeat posters adorning her bedroom walls, this video is more like an excuse for boys to watch young Alyssa work out in a training bra than anything else. Plus, it's outfits like this that make me both alarmed and excited to watch this years MTV Video Music Awards.
- Rated: 2.5 leotards
- WATCH: This, especially if you're really into 80s kitsch or a just really creepy old perv.
Credit: Morningstar Entertainment
Warm Up with Traci Lords
- Like porn for ... well, more like porn-lite. Stretch and bend the Traci way, but with a shocking twist: she's not naked. For shame. I've seen her get better workouts in those other videos of hers. So what if she's fallen off the map? Even the underage queen of porn probably rates this as one of her worst caught-on-tape moments.
- Rated: 1 leotard
- WATCH: What more than likely, confused hordes of excited men back in the 80s.
Credit: Fox Video
Cher Fitness: New Attitude and Cher Fitness: Body Confidence
- It's like porn for drag queens! I don't care how old or how alien-like she becomes - this woman is scary, yet fascinating. She was one of the first cross-overs of musician/TV star/Oscar winning actress/label whore, and one of the first to roll out a workout vid back in the late 80's. Regardless, if I wanted to see this gay icon's sweaty ass, I could easily head down to the gay-bourhood and catch a live show.
- Rated: 1.5 leotards
- WATCH: Corset or leotard? Inquiring minds want to know.
Credit: Image Entertainment
Private Lesson - Chuck Norris
- Who wants to get fit with Walker, Texas Ranger?! Private Lesson should have been what Traci Lords named her video. Chuck should have stuck with Deltoids Force or Missing in Action.
- Rated: 1 leotard
- WATCH: An early precursor to Private Lesson or just a feeble Andy Warhol "movie"?
And the list goes on and on ... some notables though:
- Paula Abdul (and one more rum and coke, and one more gin and tonic...)
- Chyna (tranny fitness mess)
- Cindy Crawford (lose weight the supermodel way - confusing aerobic with anorexic)
- Claudia Schiffer (confusing dieting with disappearing)
- Kathy Lee Gifford (Face Lifts 101)
- Heather Locklear ("Loose weight the groupie way!")
- Ultimate Warrior (grab your face paint, neon streamers and roids and let's have ourselves a workout!)
- Oprah (does this come with a warning that it may induce hysteria?)
- OJ Simpson (this is too easy)
- Zsa Zsa Gabor (Slapping police officers 101)
- Barbie (Mattel should spend more time pouring all that plastic into double Ds instead of DVDs)
- David Carradine's Tai Chi Workout (what a drastic switch from Kung Fu!)
- Angela Lansbury (I'm scared, Papa Smurf)
- OK Go (ya it's not really a fitness vid, but there are treadmills and indy-hipster-workout-wear involved)
- Happy Healthy Monsters (Sesame Street gets in on the action, and I'm not referring to Bert and Ernie)
- Bas Rutten (you don't mess with El Guapo!)