Five Words Worth $400 Million

Stacy Conradt

You might not know Michael Buffer by name, but trust me, you know his work:

Buffer came up with the catchphrase "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" thanks to a little inspiration from Muhammad Ali, who used to say, “Rumble, young man, rumble.” Buffer also credits Sal Marchiano, another announcer with similar catchphrase: “Well, we’re ready to rumble.” In the early days, Buffer just worked the phrase in subtly as a part of the sentence he was saying. “I was almost afraid that I shouldn’t be too dramatic with it, like I didn’t want to bring attention to myself,” he told Good Morning America. Of course, he ended up giving it his own flair, and that’s when he started hearing it on commercials for car dealerships and fire sales. He claimed the line as intellectual property in 1992; it has since made him a millionaire 400 times over.

Buffer found out he had throat cancer in 2008 and thought his career was over. When he woke up from surgery and had to test his voice for the first time post-op, Buffer said the first thing that came to mind: “Ladies and Gentlemen...”

By the way, you know what's not as exciting as "Let's Get Ready to Rumbbbblllllllllle?" This: