Ash and Burn?

Among Bob Wolff's duties as the voice of Madison Square Garden was ad-libbing live cigar ads. "One time I was supposed to talk about the ash and the burning process of the Robert Burns Cigarillo," Wolff once recalled. "I held up the cigar, looked into the camera and smiled, 'Just look at the ash on this one!'"

["The cameraman howled," Wolff recalled. "I did change the wording for the next live spot, but what's done was done; it was live and there were no second takes." ("The reason I got the job," Wolff once recalled, "is that the cigar sponsor and others said to the Garden, 'You got to hire this guy; he can sell anything--not well, but he tries.'")]

[Between 1956 and 1961, Wolff announced more World Series games than anyone but the "Voice of the Yankees," Mel Allen. Paraphrasing the immortal words of Grantland Rice, Wolff once said: "When the sponsor writes against your name, what he wants to hear is not who won or lost the game but how you sold the beer."]

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