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Pop Culture

Richard Simmons spot on 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' was so funny no one could stay in character

20 years later, this is still perfect TV.

richard simmons, wayne brady, drew carey

Richard Simmons and Wayne Brady in a loving embrace.

Richard Simmons broke a six-year silence last year when he spoke out following the documentary's release about his sudden disappearance from the spotlight. A spokesperson put it simply: “He is happy, healthy and living the life he has chosen to live.”

But that doesn't mean we don't miss him.

Simmons was a mainstay on American television for 4 decades, either “Sweating to the Oldies,” selling his Deal-a-Meal program or appearing on countless daytime TV talk shows, including his own. The effervescent Simmons was part of the fabric of American culture.

He was also hilarious.

Twenty years ago, he appeared on “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and it is one of the funniest moments in the show’s history. According to IMDB, it’s the most-watched episode on YouTube. While playing the Living Scenery game with Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady, Simmons transforms into a host of inanimate objects on a cruise ship, including a telescope, a deck chair, a jet ski, a tree, and a raft.

As a jet ski, Simmons makes a rather suggestive motion with his head toward Mochrie's crotch, to which the improv legend responds by smoking a fake cigarette.

The sketch is hilarious because Simmons seems to enjoy being in close contact with the three male actors, leading many to believe that he was not-so-subtly commenting on his sexuality. Simmons never publicly talked about his sexuality, even though he is seen by many as a gay icon.

Regardless who Simmons was in his private life, the sketch is joyous for the same reason he was so beloved. He was always himself, and there was no one in the world quite like Richard Simmons.

Family

Woman goes to huge lengths to adopt husband's ex-wife's baby to save him from foster care

She had lived in foster care and didn't want it for the newborn with no name.

Christie Werts and her son, Levi


Christie and Wesley Werts have taken the idea of a blended family to the next level. When the couple fell in love five years ago and married, they brought together her children, Megan and Vance, and his children, Austin and Dakota.

As of January, the Ohio family has five children after adopting young Levi, 2. Levi is the son of Wesley’s ex-wife, who passed away four days after the child was born. The ex-wife had the boy prematurely, at 33 weeks, and died soon after from drug addiction and complications of COVID-19.

When Levi was born, he was a ward of the state with no first name or birth certificate.

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Jennifer Garner ad father William John Garner starring in a Capital One commercial.

Grief and gratitude might seem to be in opposition to the other, but in times of loss, they both work in tandem to help us process our pain. As the “Ten Percent Happier” blog eloquently puts it, “grief embodies our humanity even as gratitude allows us to embrace pain and hardship.”

Actress Jennifer Garner recently gave a poignant example of this.

On April 1, the “Alias” star took to her Instagram page to share the news that her father, William John Garner, died “peacefully” in the afternoon on March 30.

Though her tribute expressed the loss she felt, it made plenty of space for humor and appreciation for the precious memories she got to create with her “kind and brilliant” dad.

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How often should you wash your jeans?

Social media has become a fertile breeding ground for conversations about hygiene. Whether it’s celebrities bragging about how little their family bathes or battles over how often people should wash their sheets or bras.

One of the debates that gets the most diverse responses is how often people wash their denim jeans.

Denim atelier Benjamin Talley Smith tells Today that jeans should be washed "as little as possible, if at all.” Laundry expert Patric Richardson adds they should be cleaned “after nine or 10 wearings, like to me, that is the ideal." At that point, they probably have stains and are "a little sweaty by that point, so you need to wash 'em," Richardson says.

Still, some people wash and dry them after every wear while others will hand wash and never hang dry. With all these significant differences of opinion, there must be a correct answer somewhere, right?

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Identity

Formerly enslaved man's response to his 'master' wanting him back is a literary masterpiece

"I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters."

A photo of Jordan Anderson.

In 1825, at the approximate age of 8, Jordan Anderson (sometimes spelled "Jordon") was sold into slavery and would live as a servant of the Anderson family for 39 years. In 1864, the Union Army camped out on the Anderson plantation and he and his wife, Amanda, were liberated. The couple eventually made it safely to Dayton, Ohio, where, in July 1865, Jordan received a letter from his former owner, Colonel P.H. Anderson. The letter kindly asked Jordan to return to work on the plantation because it had fallen into disarray during the war.

On Aug. 7, 1865, Jordan dictated his response through his new boss, Valentine Winters, and it was published in the Cincinnati Commercial. The letter, entitled "Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master," was not only hilarious, but it showed compassion, defiance, and dignity. That year, the letter would be republished in theNew York Daily Tribune and Lydia Marie Child's "The Freedman's Book."

The letter mentions a "Miss Mary" (Col. Anderson's Wife), "Martha" (Col. Anderson's daughter), Henry (most likely Col. Anderson's son), and George Carter (a local carpenter).

Dayton, Ohio,
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

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Family

A 9-year-old goes in on standardized tests and ends with the best mic drop of all time.

When 9-year-old Sydney Smoot stood up at her local school board meeting, I doubt they expected this kind of talking to.



If you need proof standardized testing is setting students up for failure, just ask the students.

Sydney Smoot has a bone to pick with the Hernando County School Board. The issue? The Florida Standards Assessment Test, or FSA for short. On March 17, 2015, Sydney bravely stood up at her local school board meeting to share how she felt about the test and why she believes it's failing students and teachers.

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Science

2 monkeys were paid unequally; see what happens next

Sometimes you get the grapes; other times it's just cucumber.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

A study on fairness packs a punch.

True
Workonomics



This is short, but it definitely packs a punch.

Be sure to pay close attention from 1:34 to 2:06; it's like equal parts "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Econ 101."

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