Watch: Things Get Crazy When Sammy Davis Jr. Boxes Wilt Chamberlin
Watch NBA legend Wilt Chamberlin and Rat Pack star Sammy Davis Jr. duke it out in this classic skit from "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In."
Sammy Davis Jr. and Wilt Chamberlin didn’t exactly see eye to eye. They couldn’t since there was literally a foot and a half difference in height between them. But, when they met in the boxing ring, things didn’t turn out as people expected!
Variety shows were a mainstay in the late 60s and early 70s. They were fun because you never knew what to expect. You just knew you were going to laugh.
When Mr. Show Business appeared on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In” in 1971, you knew you were in for a real treat.
Mr. Show Business, Sammy Davis Jr.
Sammy Davis Jr. could do it all. Act, sing, and tell jokes.
As part of the Rat Pack, he never took himself seriously. He even referred to himself as “the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world.”
He was a lot of things, but he wasn’t tall. That’s why this skit with Wilt Chamberlin is so funny.
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Sammy was 5’5″ while the basketball star towered over him at 7’1. It wasn’t much of a match up.
The skyscraper of a basketball player was Tiny Irish Bob Murphy and as Sammy stated, he wasn’t tiny or Irish.
The size difference between them was a strong visual. By all appearances, Sammy didn’t have a chance.
— Erico (@EricoTheriault) August 11, 2019
Things weren’t looking good for Sammy. The fight appeared to be over almost before it began given there was such a height disadvantage.
But, Mr. Show Business had a secret weapon. He couldn’t physically outmatch Tiny Irish, but he had a secret weapon in his arsenal.
Check out the video below for a good laugh and a trip down Memory Lane!
A-Listers Could Take A Joke
This skit wouldn’t pass today’s political correctness police. So many things would be deemed offensive.
But, back in 1971 people could take a joke, even A-List celebrities and athletes.
Wilt Chamberlin and Sammy Davis Jr knew they had massive size difference. That’s what made it funny. The early 70s was a time of great change. And it was okay to make fun of that fact.
Sammy took the basketball star down by saying that George Wallace was going to be his next door neighbor.
That’s funny stuff, even almost 50 years later!