Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
TV Execs Seek NYC Kids Pranked by Muhammad Ali in 1974
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
It was "The Greatest" vs. the kids of P.S. 41, the year was 1974 and the match was shown on "Candid Camera." Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali appears in a skit on the television program known for its hidden cameras, disrobing during a lesson and shadowboxing with some surprised students at the Greenwich Village school. Now, over 30 years later, some British producers are trying to track down those students for a 50th anniversary special about the show's U.K. edition.
ITV producer Jason Beresford says it was an amazing moment of television because the children were writing essays about what they'd say to Ali if they ever met him when the boxer snuck into their class dressed as a janitor. "And they turn around and there he is, in his boxer shorts with his muscles rippling, and he's smiling, and he's the wonderful charismatic Muhammad Ali that we all know and love," Beresford says.
If you were one of the fifth graders from P.S. 41 who who met Muhammad Ali in the 1974 "Candid Camera" stunt, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is the only video available online of the skit (it's in French).