Richard Simmons: YouTube Celebrity?

Holy shit: the oddest, greatest thing to ever happen to the Internet in 2014 has finally arrived, and it's all thanks to Richard Simmons. If you're at all like me, you may have — somehow, and woefully so — missed out on Simmons' transformation from excitable workout guru to aspiring YouTube celebrity. However the time for ignorance and naivete are over, as this is 2014 and if Simmons has declared it a drag (and oh, has he ever), we would be terribly misguided to not stand at attention (it's the best use of your core muscles) and give the whole endeavor its proper due.

Because this shit is just so out-of-control strange and outrageous (even for him) that we can't help but be minorly obsessed with it.

Of course 2013 was a big year for Simmons: he became BFFs with Kellie Pickler, made a guest appearance on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and debuted a music video for his single "Hair Do," which we will embed shortly, below (trust us: it's worth the wait). But it seems as though it was all merely setting the stage for his most drag-fabulous year ever: 2014, or the year that Richard Simmons decided to become a YouTube celebrity and/or human meme.

At least, that's the explanation we've saddled ourselves into on the matter, given Simmons' positively perplexing social media doings. It started out simply enough: photos of the fitness personality in highly elaborate drag were frequently posted on his self-run Facebook page. And then came the parody videos.

And the characters...

Not that what he's doing is all that perplexing, of course (I mean, come on): we just can't seem to look away, burdened with an equal sense of second-hand embarrassment and trainwreck-status fascination.

Social media stardom may be just the place for Simmons' hyper-driven antics: things that outrageous are best in small doses, and with the Internet's collective attention span hovering at around 30 seconds, social media meta-stardom may just be the perfect outlet for that overabundance of energy he has on a near-constant basis.

Listen, Simmons is 65-years-old so I'm not about to give him any shit, after all his is a tale as inspiring as it is cautionary. He fully embraces his life and his choices, which is more than you can say for a lot of people. But kids, it's important to see what happens when you're the posterchild for repressed sexuality and you take the elephant in the room as your wife and run with it.

Image Credit: Richard Simmons/Facebook