Igor, who was also listed in the staff box as the
classified editor (he replaced someone only known as “The Shadow”),
always held a big cigar and mouthed his in-vogue catch phrase “Can ya
dig it?,” as his leering mug often accompanied other house ads that
focused on the paper’s burgeoning circulation numbers (“Syracuse New Times keeps on trucking.”) and enticing subscription offers.
Igor’s reign as the paper’s mascot even extended to a silhouette of his
cocked head that was used to end each article, much in the way that
bunny ears are employed in Playboy. As iconic images go, Igor lingered
right through the Feb. 23, 1975, issue, when a redesign of the staff
box finally ended the smiling, let’s-party-baby visage that welcomed
readers. His catch phrase, however, gained new resonance in the 1979
film The Warriors, when Manhattan gang leader Cyrus delivered his
manifesto: “Can you dig it? One gang could run this city. We could tax
the crime syndicates, the police, because we got the streets, suckers.
Can you dig it?” Let’s book, jive turkeys.