Let's Get Physical... with Milton Berle!
Some people think exercise is the key to healthy living. Others say laughter is the best medicine.
For those of you who are on the fence, there's Milton Berle's Low Impact / High Comedy Workout.
This exercise program is designed to give you barrels of laughs and... kind of sort of work you out.
If you're a senior citizen.
This 1995 VHS classic—which, unlike most of the tapes featured in this column, has actually (and rather shockingly) been reissued on DVD—was made when Uncle Miltie was 87 years old. That's hugely impressive and, among celebrity exercise videos, is probably even some sort of a record. (Milton also allegedly held another hugely impressive record, but to give details of that here would be highly off topic and perhaps a tad inappropriate.)
Suffice it to say that if you like to laugh while exercising—and you're over 80—this is the workout video for you.
Uncle Miltie tells us in the intro that age isn't the enemy, it's our attitude about aging that gets us. And it only takes a quick look at the DVD's cover, which features him in a track suit and holding a cigar and a martini, to make me lose my fear of getting old.
If I can still smoke and drink martinis at 87, I can't imagine fretting over wrinkles.
Perhaps the most hilarious part of Milton Berle's Low Impact / High Comedy Workout is that he doesn't actually do any of the exercises. He just pumps us up with one-liners, like, "My wife and I make love almost every day in a week. Almost Monday, almost Tuesday, almost..."
Beyond that, the humor lies in his impersonations. He does a swishy Richard Simmons, dressed in a bedazzled orange wife beater and short shorts, as well as a pink-clad Jane Fonda, complete with a (now outdated) Ted Turner joke.
But there is some aerobic benefit to this. At the helm of this tape is senior fitness expert Merrily Smith, and she provides a program that is (supposedly approved by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and) filled with laughter and joy with leg lifts and stuff.
He may not be Bruce Jenner, but Milton Berle created a name for himself in comedy and... sort of creates a name for himself in senior fitness.