BODY BREAK

In the entertainment industry there is no such thing as bad PR.

Kill your wife? Beat someone up? Been accused of rape? It?s all good if it gets your name out there. Ever watch Chicago?

The Razzle Dazzle song and dance performed by Richard Gere pretty much sums up the human condition of hungering for titillating entertainment over justice.

?Razzle Dazzle them and they?ll let you get away with murder?

Think O.J.

If you?re down on your luck, entering rehab or attempting suicide you might be sitting on a million dollar novel if you make it out the other side. Think James Frey.

Even if you lie, people will still happily plunk down their loonies for your story. Think James Frey.

But can this work for every celebrity? What about Dr. Phil for example? If he got divorced would we still wait breathlessly for his brilliant bits of advice on how to save our crappie relationships?

Admit it. At the end of every show a part of you is secretly hoping that his wife won?t be there. That Dr. Phil is going to wade triumphantly into his audience of adoring fans, turn right and hold out his big ole hand to an empty chair. To be honest, that?s the only reason I ever watch the show.

So far that damn woman disappoints me every afternoon. There she is, sitting dutifully in her seat, day after day, week after week.

You?d think she might at least have a doctor appointment sometime. Or have to pick up the kids. Or something. But no, the show ends, the music starts, Dr. Phil heads into the audience, holds out his hand to his adoring wife and they exit the set hand in hand, the whole time looking deep into each other?s eyes, their mouths moving in animated, meaningful, conversation.

It?s enough to make a person puke.

And it?s mean. It?s so cruel. His whole show is about giving advice to messed up lives and then at the end he exercises some pathological need to rub these same poor soul?s faces in his perfect marriage. ?Get a load of me and my wife! Aren?t we something? Don?t we look happy together? Well, don?t we??

I?d love to be a fly on the wall when they get to the dressing room.

Canada?s answer to Dr. Phil would have to be Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod. For a quarter century they have been popping up, uninvited, to interrupt our otherwise perfectly slothful evenings just so they can remind us to ?Keep fit and Have Fun.

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?Body Break! Bawwwwwddddy BREAK! With Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod.? Once you hear that intro you know you?re in for 90 seconds of their healthy, beaming faces as they snowshoe together (while smiling adoringly at each other), play tennis together (while smiling adoringly at each other), toss a salad together (while smiling adoringly at each other).

I watch them intently, but not to learn healthy living tips. I watch them to see if they?re getting fat. For a delightful period of time, I was sure Joanne was starting to get a little chunky, but then I read that she was into body building.

What would happen if they did let themselves go? Say Joanne put on a couple hundred pounds and Hal turned into an alcoholic? If Joanne waddled onto our screen munching a cheeseburger and fries, while Hal staggered about at her side slurring out things like, ?Fit some fun into your keep, next time remember to break your body!? how would we feel about them then? I think I would like them better. How sick is that?

All of us seem desperate to lose weight, get fit and find that elusive inner joy, yet when someone actually looks like they?ve succeeded; we ridicule and despise them for it. If Oprah had managed to keep off that wagon load of fat, would we still love her? I don?t think so. Jealousy. That?s all it is. Ugly, green, envy. A terrible, diminishing, emotion. One we would all do well to rise above. Oh crap! Would you look at the time? I?ve gotta go. Dr. Phil ends in five minutes and I?ve got myself a real good feeling about today.

Oh crap! Would you look at the time? I?ve gotta go. Dr. Phil ends in five minutes and I?ve got myself a real good feeling about today.