Muhammad Ali Plans to Fight on Mars in Lost 1966 Interview

Perhaps you remember the short animated film, I Met the Walrus. It revisits the moment when Jerry Levitan, a 14-year-old kid, slipped into John Lennon’s Toronto hotel room in 1969 and asked the Beatle for an interview. And he got one. The film provides all the proof you need.

Now here’s a nice companion story. It’s the summer of 1966, and 17-year-old Michael Aisner approaches Muhammad Ali, then the heavyweight champion of the world, and asks him to appear on his high school radio show. The kid persists and eventually lands the interview. The audio segment, rarely heard until now, reminds us what makes Ali so charismatic and endearing. The champ answers some of Aisner’s questions seriously. But he also launches into a hilarious riff about how he plans to take a spaceship to Mars, battle the Martian champ (named something like Winnekawanaka) and thereby win the “Universal Title.” Pretty priceless. The complete audio segment appears here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.