Izzy Iskowitz, Heavyweight Champ, 1977
YouTube is increasingly killing me. I can lose whole mornings on the site now, mostly with comedic stuff: Louis CK, Ricky Gervais, old Eddie Murphy. I'm not sure how I came across this but it's a bit from “The Tonight Show,” July 11, 1977 when Rob Reiner, of all co-hosts, was co-hosting, and late in the program he brought on Harry Shearer and Billy Crystal who did a Tom Snyder/ Muhammad Ali bit. Apparently Ali was changing his name and religion again; he was now going to be Izzy Iskowitz. The whole thing is so well-done and smart. “Portnoy's Complaint” is even referenced:
But my favorite part is when Muhammad/Izzy/Billy talks up great Jewish athletes and mentions Rod Carew. “He's going to hit .400 this year,” he says, “but for you .395.”
The past isn't even past. It's on YouTube.