1 9 7 7 – 1 9 7 8 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
This NBC cartoon was based on the flamboyant heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
Ali voiced his own character – replete with his weighty statements – as did the fighter’s real-life public relations agent Frank Bannister.
Designed to appeal to kids, episodes had Ali participating in contrived adventures with his young niece Nicky (voiced by Patrice Carmichael) and nephew Damon (Casey Carmichael), always outwitting assorted villains who were preying on the weak.
Ali appeared himself at the close of the show with some personal words of advice for his young viewers. His subjects ranged from eschewing violence and the value of teamwork to accepting disappointment and the importance of healthy nutrition. Here’s a sample:
“Do you know who I am? I’m Muhammad Ali, boxing champion of the world. You see how I look. You hear how I speak. Well, I don’t look like everybody else in the world. Neither do you. Look at my daughter, Hana. She’s about a shade lighter than me. Different complexions. There are no two people in the whole world alike. That doesn’t matter. But what does matter is how we treat people. So, we should open up to people. Look at the deeds, not the race, creed, class or colour, and life will be much better, take it from Ali. Oh, my darling, everybody listens to me but you”.
Another one of Ali’s show-closing statements went like this:
“I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but even the great Muhammad Ali isn’t perfect. That’s right! I try to learn something new every day. I learn by watching television, I learn by reading books, even going to the movies, mainly by exchanging ideas with other people – and you could do the same. Learn something new throughout all your days, and you will improve yourself in many, many ways. Try it!”
The Great Alligator | The Air Fair Affair | The Littlest Runner | Ali’s African Adventure | Superstar | The Haunted Park | Caught in the Wild | Volcano Island | Oasis of the Moon | The Great Bluegrass Mountain Race | The Werewolf of Devil’s Creek | Sissy’s Climb | Terror in the Deep