Saturday Night Live Archives - The Laugh Button

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  • Don Pardo, longtime “Saturday Night Live” Announcer, dead at 96

    Don PardoThe 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.

    SNL’s Vanessa Bayer roasts the band United Nations on stage

    Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer showed up at NY’s St. Vitus club for the album release party of the band, United Nations. Since she’s been offering so many bands on her Above Average web series, Sound Advice why not do it for her brother’s band right? Bayer didn’t offer any advice but rather took the opportunity to roast the band a bit. Fun fact time – former Thursday frontman Geoff Rickley fronts United Nations and Vanessa’s previously mentioned brother Jonah is an accomplished journalist who contributed to this very website for a brief period of time.

    Paula Pell shares her favorite SNL memory, pranks with Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri

    Long time Saturday Night Live writer, Paula Pell, stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to reunite with her former colleague. In this web exclusive, Pell shares her favorite memory from writing night at SNL. Thanks to some fine artwork by Pell, Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, and herself would prank people with a pretty inappropriate drawing.

    John Mulaney and Nasim Pedrad talk their departure from “Saturday Night Live” for “Mulaney” sitcom

    MulaneyThis weekend was the Television Critics Association there was a panel about John Mulaney’s upcoming sitcom (set to premiere Oct 5th). While there were many questions asked and talked about, two of the best takeaways from the Mulaney panel were critics are already comparing the show to another stand-up sitcom, Seinfeld.

    Mulaney exec producer/director Andy Ackerman, has directed nearly 90 episodes of Seinfeld and was asked to discuss the similarities. After turning to Mulaney and murmuring, “You’re no Jerry Seinfeld,” he then turned to the critics and said, “This is a cast I’m really excited about… I had the privilege to work with that great cast, and I see so many similarities in terms of the chemistry. And we have an opportunity to take John’s voice, and what he’s doing I’m really excited about… and if I have any small percent of that success I’d be thrilled.” Mulaney also stated “The biggest revelation to me was seeing the strength of the ensemble,” he later stated that things really start to come together by episode 6. “This is a very potent weapon.”

    Also discussed was the official confirmation that Nasim Pedrad was no longer on SNL. While she heavily alluded to this news a while back, it was confirmed this weekend. “Obviously there’s nothing like that show and I was lucky to be there for five years,” Pedrad stated, adding, “At some point you have to leave, and I can’t think of a better reason to leave than for this particular show and this particular cast.” When asked is she would’ve stayed at SNL if Mulaney hadn’t come along, “Yeah, had it not been for this show. Look, at the end of the day, these are two shows filming at the same time on opposite coasts. It wouldn’t have been practical to stay there,” she said. “I don’t think it’s that common to get this kind of group together, and having experienced working with John at SNL, I couldn’t be more confident in his ability to write and star in a sitcom like this, truly.”

    Brooks Wheelan is not returning to “Saturday Night Live”

    Brooks WheelanWell, we knew this was coming. Lorne Michaels stated there would be shakeups.

    Last month, Saturday Night Live mastermind Lorne Michaels stated there’d be some changes made for season 40 of the iconic sketch comedy show. It’s constantly reinventing itself, and with the cast swelling to 18 members in season 39, the idea of trimming those numbers down isn’t surprising. Usher in some new folks, maybe try to help some of the old heads out and on their way.

    The first casualty of the season 40 slimdown is featured player Brooks Wheelan who will not return for his sophomore year. The comedian made the announcement via Twitter Monday night. Read More

    Dana Carvey performed an orchestral version of “Choppin’ Broccoli” on “The Tonight Show”

    On last night’s episode of The Tonight Show, the guest Dana Carvey performed his classic song “The Lady I Know” which, to most people is known as the Choppin’ Broccoli song. Carvey first debuted the song during his days of SNL and he they decided to give last night’s rendition the orchestral treatment. Read More

    Emmy Nominations are in, and they continue to come around on great comedy

    Silicon ValleyIt’s time for our yearly chat about The Emmys and what they did right and what they got wrong. This morning, the nominees for the 66th Emmy Awards were announced and it’s your typical mix of great selections and others that make you go hmmmmm. It’s awesome to see more than the entire cast of Modern Family get nominated an actually throwing in some other names for actors and actresses like Fred Armisen, Kate McKinnon, and Louie C.K. While some other surprises came in the series noms like picks for the excellent Silicon Valley and Veep to the surprise hit Orange is the New Black.

    But as we said before and we’ll say again. We’re still planning on rioting because there’s been no respect given to Nick Offerman and the creation of one of the greatest fictional comedy characters of the last decade in Parks and Rec’s Ron Swanson. Read More

    Lorne Michaels confirms there will be changes on season 40 of “Saturday Night Live”

    Lorne MichaelsLorne Michaels was interviewed by Deadline about his history in comedy and launch of new late night shows, but perhaps the most interesting part was when the questions came to the forthcoming 40th season of Saturday Night Live.

    As season 39 was a rebuilding year, with the addition to 7 new featured players and departure of 5 of its male vets. Michaels stated “We’re still in the middle of rebuilding. So, there will be changes this year.” In addition to the confirmed-but-not departure of Nasim Perdrad, we should expect more cast changes happening in the next couple of weeks. Read More