Know who I respect? Richard Simmons. He was basically a national joke for so long, with his flamboyance and short shorts and overwhelming perkiness. And you know what? He just decided "I am going to own this." And he did. He played along with all the jokes and totally owned his character, and look at him now. He's completely made the transition to from national laughingstock to national treasure. And now when we see him on TV, he's a cherished part of our collective culture.
And he hasn't changed a bit.