Some of you may already be aware of this — whether you’re a student of late-night television, or you heard about it in the Fresh Air segment we posted yesterday, or you’re one of the 180,000 people who have watched it on YouTube, or you’re just really, really old — but back in 1963, Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) performed a song with Liberace on The Jack Paar Show. If you were not already aware of this, however, you are welcome, because your life has been empty and meaningless up until this very moment, and you didn’t even realize it. Here to help.
My favorite part of this clip is that, between Ali’s recital of one of his boastful poems and Liberace’s improvised ivory tickling, you could make a pretty decent argument that it’s really just an early ancestor of modern hip-hop. Or, to put it another way that is a lot more fun to type and/or loudly exclaim out of nowhere during a lull in the conversation at your next fancy cocktail party, LIBERACE AND MUHAMMAD ALI INVENTED RAP MUSIC.