Bimbo Banter

“No Shots, No School. It’s the law!” Muhammad Ali and Me

  • Wildcard
  • June 6, 2016
  • by Spaeth Communications


Muhammad Ali wasn’t just an international star. He was accessible.  In 1977, Carol Bellamy was the President of the New York City Council. One of her projects was to make sure that all children, particularly minority and low income children, got vaccinations before school started. Previous educational campaigns had proved ineffective. We came up with the idea of asking Muhammad Ali to do TV PSAs. The script called for him to throw a few punches, look intimidating, point his finger at the camera and say, “No shots. No school. It’s the law!” But would he do it? He would.

Producer Margy Simkin, now a famous casting director in Hollywood, produced them and TV stations loved them. In addition, Ali allowed the use of his image in the mobile vans touring the city to provide medical services. People got the idea that Ali was in the vans, and they streamed out of apartment buildings when the vans were spotted. As we celebrate his life, I can’t help but notice how the TV coverage harks back to the famous fights and famous people, which is why I wanted to share this example of what kind of heart he had.

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