Al Roker’s weather reports have been unwatchable for years. I don’t think I’ve truly enjoyed a Jonah Hill movie since at least 2010, and the MSNBC election coverage was a total disaster. Normally, Chris Matthews would say something unhinged, then throw it back to the studio so Rachel Maddow could restore order. She’d be sensible, and logical, and irresistible in her damn-if-only-she-were-straight way, then toss things to her right where the lovable fat lunatic Al Sharpton used to sit. And that’s when life really got fun. Because Al Sharpton used to be a hoot. He was reckless and crazy and didn’t give a crap what anyone thought. If he felt you were a racist, he’d say you were a racist. If he thought you were a God just because you were a Democrat, he called you a God, and then, probably, called your opponents racist. It was great. And Al’s appearance went along with that greatness. A few years ago, Sharpton looked like Santa Claus at a business meeting — a big chubby guy in a ridiculous suit, and I loved him for it. America loved him for it. Now Rachel finishes making sense and she turns to this svelte gentlemen next to her, and all I can think is “Who is that terrifying Blow Pop in the seat that used to belong to Al Sharpton?” He has the large Sharpton head that I remember, but his body has become a tiny little stick. So dignified, so healthy, and so… lame. And that’s when I shake my fist at the television screen and yell, “Damn you, fat celebrities! Why must you ever lose weight?!”
I miss John Candy. With John Candy, you knew where you stood. Sometimes he was fat, at other times he was very fat, but he was always lovable and hilarious. I could watch Uncle Buck, Only the Lonely, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in a constant rotation for the rest of my life, and never want for anything. John Goodman is the same way. Argo is a good movie, except for when Goodman is on screen, and then it’s a fantastic one. He was the best thing about Roseanne and Treme, regularly killed it on SNL, and gave one of the best comedic performances of the last 20 years in The Big Lebowski. Am I saying this was all because he’s fat? No, of course not. But I’d like to. I mean, there’s something endearing about a super-sized celebrity. They’re comforting, they’re human, and when we get attached to them, it’s so hard to see them change. It’s nice to sit down with some curly fries and think, “I bet Rebel Wilson is doing the exact same thing right now.” Or to go to the half-priced post-Halloween candy bin and think, “What would Ruben Studdard do in this situation?” But I can’t anymore, because I don’t remember whether he’s fat or thin or that thin/fat thing he had going on for a while. If we can’t rely on Ruben, who can we rely on?!
Obviously it’s good for celebrities to be healthy. But what about us? Isn’t it our God given right as American citizens to have a portly weatherman? Who else can we send to county fairs to eat Deep-Fried Oreo Filling? Please understand me, I’m not making fun, I’m celebrating. I too belong to the not-skinny portion of society, and I felt a lot better when Seth Rogen and Al Roker could stand with me. Once celebrities lose their weight, they just don’t look right anymore. Part of it is simple math. I mean, Large Head + Tiny Body = Uncomfortable Audience. But there’s more to it than that. It’s like we got to know someone cool, and then all of a sudden there’s a weird swarthy imposter in their place. Superbad Jonah Hill was one of my favorite people in the world. 21 Jump Street Jonah Hill, I dig him, he’s cool, but I’d kinda like to order him an ice cream sundae. With peanut butter. And cheese curds. I guess famous people getting in shape sets a good example, but so does a star who’s alright with staying extra-large. And sadly, their ranks are decreasing every day.
So please, Jack Black, Cameron from Modern Family, Melissa McCarthy, and plump celebrities everywhere — don’t give in to the pressure to be thin. We need you now more than ever, and you make us smile far more now than your slender selves ever could. I beg you: stay strong, stay proud, stay in and order a pepperoni pizza.