Tonight, we pass along the sad news that Muhammad Ali, one of the great athletes and personalities of our time, has passed away at the age of 74. Having battled Parkinson’s Disease for decades, his passing doesn’t come as a complete surprise. But, for anyone who remembers Ali in his prime, this news will certainly come as a blow. There is perhaps not a better way to remember Ali’s life and times than to watch the 1978 episode of This Is Your Life, the long-running TV show that followed this format:
Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. Next, the celebrity was escorted into the studio, and one by one, people who were significant in the guest’s life would be brought out to offer anecdotes. At the end of the show, family members and friends would surround the guest, who would then be presented with gifts.
This show (recorded in England in this case) is an endearing tribute to the champ, all the more moving to watch now because Ali is gone. The highlight comes around the 38 minute mark, when Smokin Joe Frazier, Ali’s great rival, pays a surprising visit.
Muhammad you will be missed.
Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.