Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Chubby Checker

Muhammad Ali Is a Legend

... Because of ME!

10/5/2011 4:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Chubby Checker"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" ... "I am the greatest" ... "Joe Frazier is a gorilla" -- Chubby Checker says he's the inspiration behind Muhammad Ali's historic trash talk ... and without him, Ali would be a nobody.

Chubby was celebrating his 70th birthday at his good friend Zsa Zsa Gabor's house in L.A. on Monday -- telling us, back when Muhammad Ali was Cassius Clay, the young boxer asked Chubby how to get people to notice him.

At that moment, Chubby says he gave Clay what would become the secret to the boxer's fame -- a big mouth.

According to Chubby, he instructed Clay to get as loud and cocky as possible whenever he could -- both inside and outside the ring -- and before long, Clay became known for his trademark hubris.

Talk about a butterfly effect. Chubby says Ali still hasn't thanked him.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

No Avatar


Anyone who knows Ali's history knows that he patterned his antics after Gorgeous George, the wrestler. Ali has admitted it himself on numerous occasions. Sorry Chubby. Your revisionist history won't fly.

1116 days ago

There's a problem here    

Chub, my man. You had a blazing hot single that pretty much created a worldwide phase and pretty much helped usher in the modern day dance clubs back in the day. I'll give you, you are a good performer at oldies venue concerts. I'll give you maybe 5% credit for reinforcing Cassius Clay/Mohammad Ali and his huge, well earned ego but in Mr Ali's own words "I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."

1116 days ago

terry j vey    

What an azz trying to latch onto Ali's fame!Chubby mad a good career out of a few hits.He is far from a megastar.So in order to make himself feel important he has to spout out garbage like this.Ali wasn't only knowen for his words he was knowen to back them up.Had he lost to Liston we would have not heard from Ali again.Nobody would have promoted a bigmouth that can't back it up.Geez they can find homeless people that do that.Winning two out of 3 over Norton and Frazier had nothing to do with Chubby!Really Chubby you should have a checkup to see how much of your brain has been rotted over the years.

1116 days ago


He just lost all of my respect with his big ego.....

1116 days ago


Saw Chubby Checker at a show last year - he still had the moves and the 70 year old white haired ladies were his groupies - grabbing at him and all - it was a very fun show!

1116 days ago


Sounds like a desperate attempt for attention. Sad to see this from Chubby.

1116 days ago


My fav Ali quote: "I'm so bad, I make medicine sick". Effin classic.

1116 days ago


@bubblesthechimp: I am sitting here SCREAMING at your comment! I am STILL laughing! You ain't lying, don't that big HELMET look fake as h*ll? And from the side it looks like a freakin' BREAD LOAF it's so long! Poor Chubs. I guess at seventy you have earned the right to be delusional.

1116 days ago


So let me get this straight...
A washed up, has been singer is talking about a washed up, has been fighter, not wanting money, only wanting recognition for something that may have mattered 40 years ago, but does not matter now.

And TMZ is actually reporting this?

1116 days ago


Ali always said he saw another boxer (or I think it was a wrestler) doing it -- big mouth, all of the talk. And he thought he'd adopt that approach. Never heard Ali speak of CC.

1116 days ago


True Chubby Checker story: in the late 1980s I went to see him at the Bachannal in San Diego. That was a great but really small club. I think I probably saw many dozens of shows there. Anyway, he was getting ready to pound out The Twist on the piano and invited people up on stage with him to dance. No one would. Maybe there were 50 people there? So I got up on stage, danced The Twist to the full song, just me and Chubby up there. Then I sat down. A really fun memory. Screw you the other 49 bores. Rock on Chubby.

1116 days ago


So Chubby isresponsible for the grace and skill Ali showed in the ring too? "Trash talk", is nothing compared to the way this man changed the sport of boxing on many other levels. Showmanship aside, he was an amazing and gifted athlete. It's seems incredibly lame for Chubby Checker to try and attach himself to Ali's success in any way.

1116 days ago


Chubby Checker needs to get over himself!

1116 days ago


Unless you are from Philly, you would not understand. God Bless Chubby!

1116 days ago


chubby you one hit wonder, why are you bringing this up now?
are you trying to get another fifteen minutes or what?

1116 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web