I'M ONLY DOING THIS FOR DEBBIE
April 8, 2019 3:47 PM   Subscribe

It was the 80s, the decade of workout videos. Everybody was making them & Hollywood veteran Debbie Reynolds was at the top of the heap with her star-studded video Do It Debbie's Way. Dionne Warwick, Teri Garr, Florence Henderson - & the video's true star, Shelly Winters. Dressed in a baggy black sweatsuit with "I'M ONLY DOING THIS FOR DEBBIE" blazoned across it, Shelly alternates between at least trying to fake it enough to get by, just plain not having any more fucks to give & actively fomenting revolt among the other exercisers with impromptu lines including "HOW MANY GIRLS HERE HAVE SLEPT WITH HOWARD HUGHES?" & "I DID THESE MOVES IN A MOTEL IN VEGAS". A true tour de force.
posted by scalefree (27 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is the kind of content I come to Metafilter for.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:09 PM on April 8 [25 favorites]


"..right down to Joey Bishop's underwear. You know how grouchy Joey always was. When I called him, he didn't want to give them to me. But I insisted."
posted by clavdivs at 4:10 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Several years back I went on a Shelly Winters movie kick during which I watched in quick succession A Place in the Sun, The Night of the Hunter, The Big Knife, Lolita and The Poseidon Adventure.

My big takeaway was that Shelly Winters characters and conveyances just do not mix.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:30 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


"I hate exercise!"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:42 PM on April 8


One part of Growing Up Brady I'll never forget is when Barry Williams writes about the time Shelley Winters smacked the shit out of him.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:46 PM on April 8 [6 favorites]


Thanks, scalefree! We're supposed to get a foot of snow this week in our annual WTF April blizzard, and I have just found the perfect WTF alternative to my morning walk. For Debbie!
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 4:55 PM on April 8 [5 favorites]


I think I’ll do this video in the next few days. Alone. And laughing the whole time.

I watched the first 11 minutes of it and I can’t wait to see the whole thing.
posted by bilabial at 5:05 PM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Saw a link to the video on twitter yesterday, it's worth reading the entire thread for some truly golden nuggets about Shelly Winters.

@rachsyme EVERYONE LISTEN UP BECAUSE I'M ABOUT TO GIVE YOU A GIFT
posted by pjsky at 5:41 PM on April 8 [20 favorites]


"You don't have to get it high. I like to get high..." Cut off by overdub.
Hilarious.
posted by greermahoney at 6:01 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


God, her voice could have walked right off the set of Singin' in the Rain.
posted by newrambler at 6:15 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Shelley Winters, like David S. Pumpkins, is her own thang (Any questions?)

In lieu of a separate FPP, here is the opening to the Debbie Reynolds Show. Look/sound familiar? Start 25 seconds into this video.

Tom Bosley discusses Debbie and her show.
posted by zaixfeep at 6:39 PM on April 8 [6 favorites]


This is brilliant, and I'm totally going to give it a go:)
posted by kjs4 at 6:52 PM on April 8


If you're interested in Hollywood memoirs, Shelley Winters' first book is worth a look, she's mostly fun-loving to enjoy what life has to offer. (I haven't read her second book).
posted by ovvl at 7:36 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


My big takeaway was that Shelly Winters characters and conveyances just do not mix

Omg, you have to watch Cleopatra Jones...she literally dies on a conveyer belt. In a black leather suit..
posted by sexyrobot at 7:59 PM on April 8 [7 favorites]


I'm amazed that Debbie and Shirley were still hanging out after Debbie's account of their working together on a movie in Debbie's book, "Unsinkable."

* Shelley went straight up Method/asshole during the filming of "What's the Matter with Helen?" and then was totally in denial about it when anyone called her on it.
* Debbie also mentions walking in on a party that Shelley was at and she had a full skirt out, "covering two young men who were servicing her...Hugh and I left immediately, not wishing to spend time around Shelley's doubleheader."

HOW IS THIS ANATOMICALLY POSSIBLE
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:58 PM on April 8 [8 favorites]


Shelley Winters is twice the woman Debbie Reynolds is?
posted by benzenedream at 10:12 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Or I mean just front and back approach on the you know, probably better just left to the imagination.

Sorry MetaFilter.
posted by taterpie at 11:30 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


[One deleted; let's not turn this lighthearted fun post into a kinda gross overly-explicit thing.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:34 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


taterpie: "Or I mean just front and back approach on the you know, probably better just left to the imagination."

Eponysterical.
posted by chavenet at 12:15 AM on April 9 [9 favorites]


MetaFilter: you know, probably better just left to the imagination.
posted by zaixfeep at 2:58 AM on April 9 [5 favorites]


"Or I mean just front and back approach on the you know, probably better just left to the imagination."

They definitely weren't Doing It Debbie's Way.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 6:48 AM on April 9 [7 favorites]


Saw a link to the video on twitter yesterday ...

I saw this on Rachel Syme's twitter yesterday, too, and it is truly the greatest thing on the internet! (Syme's twitter coming in a very close second.)

One of the commenters on Syme's thread noted that Rose Marie is another of the participants here. Honestly, where was Karen Black for this?

One of my earliest movie memories—maybe my first movie memory that isn't strictly Disney is of Shelly Winters dying heroically in The Poseidon Adventure.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:49 AM on April 9 [5 favorites]


I totally want my home gym to have a big shiny chandelier.
posted by JanetLand at 7:02 AM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I can't get over the amazing Big Band medley background music. I would buy an album of this.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:37 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


If you're looking for more gems like this, the Found Footage Festival guys are great curators of 80s exercise video tapes.
posted by Otis at 7:48 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Pulled from an image in the linked Twitter thread (apparently from Roger Moore's Last Man Standing: Tales From Tinseltown):
The story goes: Shelley Winters is in her 60s. She has already had a long and crazily successful career, but she is now getting old. An up-and-coming director is considering her for a role in a movie and he makes a beginner's mistake — he asks her to audition. You don't ask stars to audition. You have meetings with them, you do lunch, but you don't ask a star to come in and read sides, as though she is a beginner. It is assumed that Shelley Winters knows how to act. That is one of the perks of being a star! Now Shelley Winters was never a dummy or a diva — she liked to WORK (and her career shows that — she was working, and very well, right up to the end), but she did think, “Audition?? What are you, cracked?” She went to meet the director at his office. She was dressed in her normal attire: urban bag-lady with a big floppy hat. She carried an enormous bag over one shoulder. The director was a big fan of hers, “Oh, so excited you're coming to read, Miss Winters, thank you so much...” Shelley Winters sat down, opened her bag, rummaged around in it for a bit, and pulled out one Oscar statue. Plopped it down on the desk. Then she reached into the bag again, rummaged around again, and pulled out a second Oscar statue. Plopped it down on the desk. Barked, “So. Do I still need to audition?”
This is a near-peerless flex and I am just in awe.
posted by protocoach at 10:31 AM on April 9 [26 favorites]


My grandma used to make me get up with her before dawn to work out to this video when I was a pre-teen, and it's just now dawning on me how hard I imprinted on Shelley Winters.

I also want a chandelier for my home gym. But I'll probably just lay on the floor under it and eat snacks.
posted by palomar at 1:56 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


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