‘Lady Scarlett Says to Say Hi’: Never Before Told Raunchy Muhammad Ali ‘Elevator’ Story Gets Exposed by Mike Tyson’s Podcast Guest

Published 12/12/2022, 6:00 AM EST

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The world can thank ‘Gorgeous George’ Wagner. For had it not been for him, instead of the trash-talking and abrasive Muhammad Ali everyone got used to, a more somber boxer, eulogizing the opponent’s virtues, would have careened through boxing’s golden era. But the gift for the gab proved a boon for The Greatest. Lectures and interviews on life as a boxer and an activist packed Ali’s schedule once he retired in 1981. A comedian duo shared one of the lesser-known anecdotes from those years during a chat with Mike Tyson.

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Mike Tyson and co-host Leslie Jones invited comedians Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong of the comedy act Cheech & Chong to the latest Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson episode.

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The free-spirited hippies – Cheech & Chong in Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson

During the sixties and seventies, the comedians pulled off one of the most successful counter-culture acts. Spreading their message through shows espousing the era’s free love and ready acceptance of cannabis, the duo soon bagged a massive following.

After the routine introductions, Cheech began with the details of his transition from shows and live acts to animation. Soon, Tommy pitched in with the Oscars Award for Best Animation won by Disney’s Zootopia, where he did the voice-over for Yax.

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Further, he took Tyson and Leslie through the times when Dianna Ross ‘discovered’ his band in Vancouver.

In the good old days…

He soon progressed to a strange tale that involved none other than The Great Muhammad Ali. Chuckling, yet engrossed with the details of that time, he told them, “…he stopped boxing he was doing his his lecture tour I had played in a strip club or with strippers a couple of years before that and uh and I get a call from the stripper X stripper she was calls me up and she goes uh guess who I was with last night and I said she goes Muhammad Ali I said really yeah he’s so beautiful.”

Apparently, Tommy was friends with a person whom Ali knew as well. The familiar friend, Bobby Taylor, was the lead singer of Tommy’s band. When the latter visited Detroit, Bobby called him to inform him about Muhammad Ali’s visit to the city.

Once Chong reached the venue, he found himself in the company of The Greatest, “…he doesn’t know who I am, and I don’t know who he is. I know who he is, but we’re riding up the elevator, and I on the way up, I said: “Lady Scarlett says to say hi…he looked at me like his eyes got all big; he looked at me, and then then we got to the floor and the door opened and we walked to the same apartment…”

All’s well that ends well

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Thankfully the incident didn’t fall off further and wrapped up with parting pics. As he narrated, Tommy could barely control himself from laughing by this time; the pack soon joined him.

Later on, Cheech wanted to know, in the present times, what Mike would pick if he had to choose between boxing and mixed martial arts. Without batting an eyelid, Iron Mike walked away with boxing. His reason was, “…I was making massive money…”

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Going down memory lane, chronicling the tiny bits and pieces of a foregone era still holds an appealing charm after all.

Watch Out for More: When Iron Mike lost his cool – outside the ring

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

1,374Articles

One take at a time

After completing 18 years in the corporate sector, Jaideep decided to make a move out of the comfort zone and follow his heart's calling to becoming a writer. His understanding of Boxing began with Iron Mike's debut as an 18 year old in 1985. Like anyone and everyone else, he holds Muhammad Ali as the greatest, though his personal favorite remains the 'PacMan' Manny Pacquiao for his speed and sheer toughness.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha

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