Ernie, Meet Irv
"Is This the Best Ad Ever Written?" asks a 1990s self-promotional ad for Singapore's Ball Partnership ad agency. A small torn-out classified ad reads:
MEN WANTED for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. -- Earnest Shackleton.
Knowing of Milton Berle’s reputation as joke-pilferer, he placed an ad in Variety, reading, in part: “Positively Berle-proof gags. So bad not even Milton will steal them.”Perhaps Brecher was more self-deprecating than honest, but, like Shackleton, he seemed to instinctively realize that how it wasn't hyperbole that would attract the people he wanted, but candor.
Berle himself hired him.