You’d think a site that deals with celebrity hearsay as much as TMZ.com would see the sentence fragment “celebrating his 70th birthday at his good friend Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house” as a red flag, but here we are; “Let’s Do the Freddie” singer Chubby Checker was, well, celebrating his 70th birthday at Zsa Zsa Gabor’s house, and was caught on tape explaining how he’s the reason why Muhammad Ali is famous. This should come as no surprise to boxing historians, because after all, who could forget Chubby’s TKO of Jerry Quarry, or the time Ali told George Foreman to “twist again, like we did last summer”?
More, from the Worldwide Leader In Why Is This News:
According to Chubby, he instructed Clay to get as loud and cocky as possible whenever he could — both inside and outside the ring — and before long, Clay became known for his trademark hubris.
Talk about a butterfly effect. Chubby says Ali still hasn’t thanked him.
He went on to add:
So I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. Gimme five bees for a quarter, you’d say. Now where was I…
Talk about a butterfly effect. I love the idea that Cassius Clay was this little studious, quiet guy with no self confidence until he ran into Chubby Checker, and Chubby’s gyrating hips and “Jingle Bell Rock” covers gave him the edge he needed to ascend to greatness. Chubby, I like your “The Twist (Yo, Twist!)” collaboration with The Fat Boys as much as the next guy, but I’m guessing Ali probably could’ve made it through without you. Stick to claiming people you actually made famous, like Chubby Checker, or Richie “The Big Bopper” Belding.