Born In: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Michael Buffer is an American ring announcer, primarily for professional wrestling and boxing matches. Born to a U.S. Navy veteran, Michael was raised by foster parents after his biological parents got divorced when he was 11 months old. He joined the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War following his high school graduation and later worked as a car salesman. In his early 30s, he began working as a model and at the age of 38, he earned his first gig as a ring announcer for boxing matches. He rose to fame quickly at the beginning of his career and appeared announcing matches for ESPN and the ones organized in the casinos owned by Donald Trump. He has announced for WWF, WWE, WCW, NFL and NBA tournaments among other sporting events. In addition, he has also appeared in films such as ‘Rocky Balboa’, ‘2012’, ‘The Fighter’ and ‘Creed’. His television credits include fiction and nonfiction shows such as ‘Entourage’, ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘South Park’ etc. He is best known for the catchphrase, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, which he got copyrighted in the early 1990s.
Spouse/Ex-: Christine Buffer
father: Joseph Buffer
siblings: Bruce Buffer
children: Matthew, Michael
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: Pennsylvania
Michael Buffer was born on November 2, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to middle-class parents. His father Joseph Buffer was an enlisted man in the United States Navy. However, when Michael was 11 months old, his parents divorced.
Michael Buffer was raised by his mother for some time before he was sent to live with foster parents. His new parents gave him the surname Huber. Michael completed his high school graduation from a local high school named Abington High School and in the mid-1960s, as the Vietnam War had begun, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. He was 20 years old when he enlisted into the army and served until he was 23 years old.
While in the army, Michael Buffer presented his birth certificate, which had his last name as ‘Buffer’. It led Michael to retain his original last name. This name change also resulted in him meeting his younger half brother Bruce Buffer, his half-brother from his father’s second marriage.
After getting discharged from the army, Michael tried different professions in his 20s. Initially, he did odd jobs, such as a car salesman, which did not work out well for him. In his mid 20s he began working on his appearance, eyeing a modelling career.
Michael Buffer began modelling at the age of 32 and appeared in many print advertisements. He also appeared in underwear advertisements.
By the early 1980s, Michael Buffer was bored of modelling and was looking for a different line of work. He heard of the big boom in the gambling industry in Atlantic City. Many fights were being held and millionaires were involved in organizing the fights. Hoping to become a part of the flourishing scene, Michael created a fake portfolio and sent it. He created a James Bond image, which helped him bag his first gig as a ring announcer.
In 1982, he began his ring announcing career and by the next year, he had earned a good reputation. In that time, ring announcing was not considered a glamorous profession and only local people were hired to be the announcers.
However, by 1983, Michael Buffer began appearing on ESPN, announcing professional boxing matches on the channel for the show titled ‘Top Rank’. His popularity soared, mostly after he coined the term ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, which he used before every fight. The catchphrase became extremely popular.
Michael saw the catchphrase getting featured in advertisements and radio spots. One of his friends suggested monetizing it. Michael then sat down with a lawyer and filed for its registration. The copyright was given to him in 1992. By 2020, Michael has earned $400 million through the catchphrase.
His good looks and competence as a ring announcer had him getting known as one of the most in-demand ring announcers in the country. By the late 1980s, he was announcing all the fights in the boxing casinos owned by Donald Trump. Donald was in awe of his talents and openly praised him and insisted his team to ensure Michael was onboard for every fight.
Michael Buffer eventually began announcing wrestling matches, beginning with World Championship Wrestling. Throughout the 1990s, he was one of the most frequent ring announcers in the biggest WCW matches. However, he was bounded with a contract to WCW and its parent company Times Warner. Before he signed the contract with Time Warner, he had briefly worked as a ring announcer for UFC in the mid 1990s. His stint with UFC stopped upon signing the contract.
However, in 2001, WCW stopped operating and this led Michael to be freed from the contract. Thus, Michael was now free to announce the fights in other wrestling promotions. He announced the fights for Monday Night Wars, Nitro and other promotions. He also inspired popular WWE wrestler Triple H to come up with his own catchphrase, ‘Get ready to suck it!’.
He returned to pro-wrestling ring announcement with Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXV that was presented by the World Wrestling Federation. The boxing match was organized at the Madison Square Garden, New York City, in the late 2000s.
For WWE’s Royal Rumble 2008, Michael appeared in the television commercial, where he said his popular catchphrase ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ and got kicked by the popular wrestler Shawn Michaels. He appeared in the WWE special eventually, performing the ring announcement duties during the final ‘Royal Rumble’ event.
His association with sports was not only limited to the combat sports. He has also announced football, basketball, ice hockey games etc. His major gigs as announcer for other sports include the MLB World Series, NBA Finals, and the NFL playoff games.
In 2008, Michael Buffer featured on the mixed martial arts show titled ‘Affliction: Banned’. Later that year, he also announced the heads-up action game between Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate at the World Series of Poker final. Before the game, he used the modified version of his trademark statement, and announced ‘Let’s get ready to shuffle up and deal’.
His success as a ring announcer had him getting invited on television talk shows hosted by popular personalities such as Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel etc. In addition, he has also appeared, mostly playing himself, on the sketch comedy shows such as ‘Mad TV’, ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘The Howard Stern Show’.
In the late 2000s, he appeared on television game shows such as ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘The Grudge Match’ and reality TV series’ such as ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
Over the years, he has also appeared in Hollywood feature films, appearing mostly as himself in films such as ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’, ‘Read to Rumble’ and ‘Rocky Balboa’.
He has appeared as an animated character in animated television series’ such as ‘The Simpsons’, ‘South Park’ and ‘Phineas and Ferb’.
In 2013, he appeared in the advertisements for the Progressive Insurance company commercials. He used a slightly different version of his catchphrase, and said the words- ‘Let’s get ready to bundle’.
In 2018, he further announced the boxing match between YouTubers KSI and Logan Paul.
He has also been used as a model for action figures based on him.
After he has trademarked his statement, he has won million of dollars just from the copyrights. The phrase has been used as video game titles and in advertisements for brands such as KFC Cheese and Mega Millions.
In addition, he has appeared playing guest roles/himself in many films, such as ‘2012’, ‘The Fighter’, ‘Love and Other Drugs’, ‘Creed’ and ‘Game Over’.
Michael Buffer married at the age of 21 while he was enlisted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The couple divorced seven years later and had two children together. He married Alina Buffer in 1999 and again got divorced in 2003.
He began dating Christine Prado in the mid 2000s, and proposed his girlfriend for marriage on television, during his appearance on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ in 2007. They got married in 2008.
He has suffered from throat cancer and had surgery for the same in 2008. He has since recovered.
His half-brother, Bruce Buffer, with whom he reunited many years later, also happens to be a ring announcer.
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