Michael Buffer

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Michael Buffer
Michael Buffer Fight For Children Washington DC Nov 2007.JPG
Michael Buffer in Washington, D.C. at Fight For Children's "Fight Night 2007"
Born (1944-11-02) November 2, 1944 (age 73)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Ring announcer, actor
Years active 1982–present
Known for "Let's Get Ready To Rumble!" catchphrase
Website www.letsrumble.com

Michael Buffer (born November 2, 1944) is an American ring announcer for boxing and professional wrestling matches. He is known for his trademarked catchphrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!" and for pioneering a distinct announcing style in which he rolls certain letters and adds other inflections to a fighter's name. His half-brother is UFC announcer Bruce Buffer.

Early life[edit]

Buffer was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to an enlisted man in the United States Navy and his wife during World War II.[1] His parents divorced when he was 11 months of age, and Buffer was then raised by foster parents, a school bus driver and housewife, in the Philadelphia suburb of Roslyn.[2] He enlisted in the United States Army during the Vietnam War at age 20 and served until age 23. He held various jobs including a car salesman, then began a modeling career at age 32 before becoming a ring announcer at age 38.[1]

Career[edit]

Boxing[edit]

In 1982, Buffer began his career as a ring announcer. By 1983, he was announcing all boxing matches promoted by Bob Arum's Top Rank on ESPN, which gave him a national identity at a time when ring announcers were strictly locally hired talent.[3] By 1984, Buffer developed the catchphrase "Let's get ready to rumble" in his announcing, which gained enormous popularity. He began the process of obtaining a federal trademark for the phrase in the 1980s, acquiring it in 1992. Consequently, Buffer has earned in excess of $400 million with the license for his trademark.[4]

By the late 1980s, Buffer was the exclusive ring announcer for all bouts in Donald Trump-owned casinos. Trump said of Buffer, "He's great, he's the choice, he has a unique ability...I told my people, 'We got to have him.'" [2] Buffer's work was also admired by many boxing greats. Sugar Ray Leonard once said, "When [Buffer] introduces a fighter, it makes him want to fight." [5]

Buffer's fame has reunited him with long-lost family members. In 1989, Buffer was contacted by his birth-father, who introduced Buffer to his half-brothers after seeing him on television.[6] In the mid-1990s, Buffer brought along one of his half-brothers, Bruce Buffer, as his agent/manager. This grew into a business partnership to increase licensing productivity of the trademark.

Michael Buffer is currently the announcer for all HBO and RTL (Germany) boxing matches, along with Versus matches promoted by Top Rank.[7] He has also been the ring announcer for a number of boxing events shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom

Wrestling[edit]

Buffer was formerly the exclusive ring announcer for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) main events featuring Hulk Hogan or other top WCW talent until 2001, when the organization folded.[7] WCW's former parent company Time Warner owned through their pay-per-view subscription division HBO, which broadcast many matches from promoter Top Rank, of which Buffer is the lead ring announcer. The exclusivity of his contract with WCW prevented Buffer from announcing for other wrestling-type organizations, forcing him to stop announcing for the UFC (his only UFC cards were UFC 6 and UFC 7). However, when WCW ceased to exist, and Time Warner had no more affiliation with professional wrestling, Buffer was enabled to announce in other wrestling promotions. During the Monday Night Wars, while Buffer was on WCW Monday Nitro, WWF wrestler Triple H created the phrase "Let's get ready to suck it!" to mock him, as part of his D-Generation X act.

On the August 18, 2007 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, for the first time in more than six years, Buffer returned to pro-wrestling ring announcing duties at Madison Square Garden in a boxing match between pro boxer Evander Holyfield (who was substituting for Montel Vontavious Porter) and pro wrestler Matt Hardy. Buffer appears in the Royal Rumble 2008 commercial, in which he begins to say "Let's get ready to rumble!" only to be superkicked by Shawn Michaels, causing him to fall over. As well as being in the commercial for the event, he was the guest ring announcer during the Royal Rumble match itself.

Other sports[edit]

During his career, Buffer has announced the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, the Volunteer 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and NFL playoff games. He was a guest announcer at the 1999 Indianapolis 500 and the 2017 United States Grand Prix.

Buffer, like his brother Bruce, announced early UFC fights, starting at UFC 6 in 1995. He was the host of Versus' boxing retro show Legends of the Ring, produced by Top Rank, Inc., where he was ring announcer for most of their top matches.

On July 19, 2008, he announced the Affliction: Banned mixed martial arts show. On November 10, 2008, Buffer started the heads-up action at the 2008 World Series of Poker final table with a modified version of his trademark statement, "Let's get ready to shuffle up and deal".

Buffer appeared at the University of Kentucky's men's basketball teams' legendary "Big Blue Madness" on October 14, 2016. Instead of his traditional "Let's get ready to rumble!" Buffer announced the beginning of the event with "Let's get ready to roundball!".

He kept up this tradition on Saturday, January 28 when he announced his new rendition again at the perennial Blue Blood rivalry between the men's basketball teams of the University of Kentucky and the University of Kansas.

Other appearances[edit]

Buffer has appeared on various talk shows hosted by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Arsenio Hall, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel. He has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, Mad TV and The Howard Stern Show.[8]

He appeared on NBC's Deal or No Deal on December 10, 2007, and opened the finale of the seventh season of American Idol, a production of RTL. In 2011 he made an appearance on the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars to announce Sugar Ray Leonard week 3 dance. Buffer has also served as ringside announcer for the syndicated television game show The Grudge Match, hosted by Steve Albert and Jesse Ventura.

He has played himself in various films including Ready to Rumble and Rocky Balboa, and in 2008 Buffer appeared as Walbridge, the main villain in the comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan.[7]

Buffer has been animated in The Simpsons, South Park, and Celebrity Deathmatch. Buffer also appears in the animated TV series Phineas and Ferb in the episode "Raging Bully", as the voice of the announcer for the big thumb-wrestling match with Phineas and Buford.[citation needed] Buffer appeared in the extended version of the Muppets webisode "Food Fight", where he is seen announcing the cooking competition between Gordon Ramsay and the Swedish Chef.

Buffer appears as featuring artist on "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" and "Go for It All!" by German eurodance group the K.O.'s and his voice was sampled in the Ant & Dec song "Let's Get Ready to Rhumble".[citation needed] He recorded the introduction track for country artist Josh Turner's 2012 album, Punching Bag.

In 2013, Buffer appeared in Progressive Insurance commercials, promoting their program of combining different coverages into one policy, with a parody of his famous phrase - "Let's get ready to bundle!"[citation needed]

Buffer has been reproduced as an action figure in both Toy Biz's WCW line and Jakks Pacific's Rocky line.

Trademark[edit]

Buffer began using the phrase "Let's get ready to rumble!" in 1984. By 1992, he acquired a federal trademark for the phrase. Buffer uses his famous phrase in various licensing deals including the platinum selling album Jock Jams by Tommy Boy Records, the video games Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2 for the PlayStation 2, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and Game Boy Advance and Greatest Heavyweights of the Ring for the Sega Genesis and numerous other products. In addition, he has used variations of the phrase in advertisements, including the popular commercial for Mega Millions in which he says "Let's get ready to Win Big!" and the Kraft Cheese commercial in which he says "Let's get ready to Crumble!" and most recently for Progressive Insurance in which he says "Let's get ready to bundle!" The phrase, "Are you ready to rumble?" is spoken in the 1957 television show Maverick, titled "Stage West" (episode 6, season one). by the stage coach driver to the passengers as he prepares to leave in the stage coach. As of 2009, the catchphrase has generated $400 million in revenue from licensing the trademark.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Buffer first wed at age 21 but the marriage ended in divorce after seven years. He has two sons from his first marriage. More than 25 years passed before he remarried in 1999. He and his second wife divorced in 2003.[3]

On September 13, 2007, while making an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he proposed to his current (third) wife, Christine. Buffer currently resides in Southern California. His half-brother Bruce Buffer is the announcer for leading mixed martial arts promotion, Ultimate Fighting Championship. Both Michael and Bruce are grandsons of late boxer Johnny Buff.[10]

In 2008 Buffer was treated for throat cancer.[11]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1988 Homeboy Ring announcer
1989 Harlem Nights Ring announcer
1990 Rocky V Himself/Ring announcer
1995 Virtuosity Emcee
1999 Play It to the Bone Himself/Ring announcer
2000 The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave Himself/Sports commentator Direct-to-video
Ready to Rumble Himself/Ring announcer
2003 More Than Famous Himself
Game Over Himself/Ring announcer
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Himself
2004 Fade to Black Himself
Against the Ropes Himself/Ring announcer
2005 The L.A. Riot Spectacular Himself
2006 Rocky Balboa Himself/Ring announcer
BoxinBuddies: Knockout Juvenile Diabetes Mik O' Tux Animated short
2008 Cornered: A Life Caught in the Ring Himself
You Don't Mess with the Zohan Grant Walbridge
2009 2012 Himself/Ring announcer
2010 Love and Other Drugs Pfizer Convention MC
The Fighter Fight announcer
2011 The Green Card Tour: Live from The O2 Arena Himself/Announcer Russell Peters direct-to-video comedy special
2012 Vanilla Ice Archive Himself
2013 Maravilla, la película Himself
Grudge Match Himself/Ring announcer
2015 Creed Himself/Ring announcer
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1988-2017 HBO Boxing Himself/Ring announcer 57 episodes
1989 Showtime Championship Boxing Himself/Ring announcer Episode dated November 4, 1989
1991-1992 The Grudge Match Himself/Ring announcer
1991-2017 Sky Sports World Championship Boxing Himself/Master of Ceremonies
1992 Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe Himself
1993 Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson Himself
1994 Evander Holyfield vs. Michael Moorer Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself Season 20 episode 9: "George Foreman/Hole"
Uncredited
1996 Weird Science Himself Season 4 episode 2: "Men in Tights"
The Simpsons Himself/Ring announcer Season 8 episode 3: "The Homer They Fall"
1998-2000 Celebrity Deathmatch Himself Pilot: "Deathbowl '98"
Season 2 episode 1: "Deathbowl '99"
Season 3 episode 1: "Deathbowl 2000"
1998 Monday Nitro Himself 3 episodes
South Park Himself Season 1 episode 10: "Damien"
1999-2012 ESPN Friday Night Fights Himself/Ring announcer
1999 Mad About You Announcer #2 Season 7 episode 17: "Separate Beds"
2000 Clerks Himself Season 1 episode 4: "A Dissertation on the American Justice System by People Who Have Never Been Inside a Courtroom, Let Alone Know Anything About the Law, But Have Seen Way Too Many Legal Thrillers"
2002-2013 Promi-Boxen Himself/Ring announcer
2002 Celebrity Boxing Himself/Ring announcer
Inside Schwartz Himself Episode: "It's All in the Footwork"
No official date for the episode as it went unaired
2003 Man vs. Beast Himself
Maximum Surge Himself/Ring announcer TV film
2004 Open Access Himself Season 1 episode 4: "Miami"
Jeopardy! Himself/Video clue presenter Season 20 episode 170: aired April 30, 2004
Las Vegas Himself/Contest announcer Season 1 episode 11: "Blood and Sand"
Season 1 episode 20: "The Strange Life of Bob"
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Himself Season 2 episode 10: "The Broadbent Family"
2005 50 Hottest Vegas Moments Himself
Entourage Himself Season 2 episode 6: "Chinatown"
2006 Legends of the Ring Himself/Host Unknown episodes
2007 Polizeistund' ade - Das Abschiedskonzert von Klaus & Klaus Himself
The World Awaits: De La Hoya vs. Mayweather Himself
Saturday Night's Main Event Himself Season 2 episode 2: August 18, 2007
BET Awards Himself
Janice & Abbey Himself Season 1 episode 5: "Success?"
Deal or No Deal Himself Season 3 episode 20: aired December 10, 2007
2008 Phineas and Ferb Event announcer Season 1 episode 6: "Raging Bully"
RAW Himself Season 16 episode 10
American Idol Himself Season 7 episode 41: The Final Two Perform
2009 Pacquiao vs. Hatton: The Battle of East and West Himself
The Great Debate Himself/Host/Emcee
2010 The Bold and the Beautiful Himself Episodes #5965 and #5966
2011 Lucian Bute: L'Homme, L'Athlète Himself
2012 America's Next Top Model Himself Cycle 18 episode 1: Kelly Osbourne
NBC Sports Network Fight Night Himself/Ring announcer
2013 Legendary Nights Himself Season 2 episode 1: "The Tale of Gatti-Ward"
2014 Who Is... Himself 1 episode
2015 30 for 30 Himself Episode: "Chasing Tyson"
2017 Mano a Mano: The Battle for Mexico Himself
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Prize Fighter Himself/Announcer
1997 ClayFighter 63⅓ Announcer
1999 Ready 2 Rumble Boxing Himself

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Article Two – December 1998". Boxing Monthly. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b O'Brien, Richard (June 1992). "Let's Get Ready to…". Sports Illustrated. 76: 72–78. 
  3. ^ a b "Boxing - Columns - Thomas Hauser". Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. 
  4. ^ O'Reilly, Terry (5 January 2017). "The Crazy World of Trademarks". Under the Influence. CBC Radio. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Michael Buffer – iSB Keynote Speakers and Entertainment". Internationalspeakers.com. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood Reporter". [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c "Michael Buffer". IMDb. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Stern Show News". MarksFriggin.com. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  9. ^ John Berman and Michael Milberger (November 9, 2009). "'Let's Get Ready to Rumble' Worth $400M". ABC News. Retrieved November 9, 2009. 
  10. ^ "The voice of the octagon Boxing @ Yahoo! Sports". 
  11. ^ "Michael Buffer Battles Cancer". 

External links[edit]