clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The time Muhammad Ali caught New York City public school students on Candid Camera

Back in the wild days of New York City in 1974, as the city fell into debt and Phillipe Petit strung his tightrope between the Twin Towers, students at Greenwich Village’s PS 41 got a surprise visit from a giant celebrity.

Muhammad Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world, made an appearance at the school to film a segment of the proto-Punk’d practical joke television show Candid Camera. In the segment, several students are asked what they would say to Ali if given the chance. As they answer, Ali appears, clothed in boxing attire. The students’ expressions are priceless.

Now, producers from a British television network that’s putting together a Candid Camera special in honor of the show’s 50th birthday are looking for those students. I heard today from producer Catherine Crowe, who has narrowed down her search to 1973’s Class 3-313, taught by Mrs. Edgerly, and Class 4-306 from the 1974-1975 school year. Class pictures are below. If you can identify any of the students from the video, let us know.

Unfortunately, the producer could provide only a French-dubbed version of the segment, so if you know what’s being said, please translate in the comments.

In a separate segment, also filmed at PS 41, Candid Camera’s producer and Ali offer a meta-analysis of the show. That video is posted on Ali’s Facebook page.

Help Chalkbeat raise $80k by Dec 31

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom filling a vital community need. We could not do this without you, and we need your support to keep going in 2022.

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat New York

Sign up for our newsletter.