Muhammad Ali: Diff'rent Strokes episode featured legendary boxer
On Oct. 24, 1979, Muhammad Ali appeared on Diff’rent Strokes. The seventh episode of season 2, titled “Arnold’s Hero,” saw the young Arnold (played by Gary Coleman) wanting to meet his hero, the Champ. He got his chance when Willis (Todd Bridges) and Kimberly (Dana Plato) convinced the boxer Arnold was dying and that his last wish was to meet him.
“Meeting him is terrific, but dying I got mixed feelings about,” Arnold jokes. Later, Ali tells Arnold, “It’s me, the Champ,” to which the kid replies, “Joe Louis?” Ali responds, “This kid’s delirious.” Watch video from the episode above.
Ali died Friday after being hospitalized earlier in the week for reported respiratory issues. He was 74. In addition to Diff’rent Strokes, he was also the subject of the landmark documentary When We Were Kings, which focused on his “Rumble in the Jungle” match in Zaire against George Foreman. He was later portrayed by Will Smith in the film Ali.