The voice of Saturday Night Live has died.
Dominick “Don” Pardo, longtime radio and TV announcer has left us. Pardo was best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live, reading off the names of the cast members at the top of the show on all but one season (season 7), Pardo was 96.
Amid rumors this was an internet hoax, Pardo’s daughter Paula confirmed the news to CBS Radio.
Pardo officially retired from NBC in 2004, but continued to provide the introductions for SNL through its most recent season. Upon first retiring, he pre-recorded intros for the show but that didn’t last long as SNL producers insisted he’d be present, so they flew him out to NYC for tapings. However, as he got older, Pardo went back to pre-record the intros from his home in Arizona. He missed only two announcements and that was during the 2013 season when he suffered a hip injury. Lorne Michaels (who hired Pardo for SNL in 1975) once stated, “Every year the new cast couldn’t wait to hear their name said by him.” Michaels also once stated, “I can’t imagine the show without Don… and as long as he’s there, I stay young.”
Pardo was a member of the Television Hall of Fame, and has worked for NBC since 1944, including announcing for early versions of shows like The Price Is Right, Jackpot, Jeopardy!, Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and NBC Nightly News. He was one of the first announcers to deliver the news to the world that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. He’s also one of two people that had lifelong contracts with the network, the other being Bob Hope.
Here’s a fun Pardo clip. When he turned 90, the cast of SNL brought Pardo on stage to give him birthday wishes.
Rest in peace Don, heaven has one hell of an announcer amongst its ranks.