The voice of Saturday Night Live, Don Pardo, passed away on Monday at the age of 96, his daughter Paula has confirmed to CBS Radio.
Dominick George “Don” Pardo, better known as Don Pardo, had a legendary and very distinctive voice that was synonymous with the late-night comedy sketch show (cast members of SNL are pictured above). Pardo did the voice-overs for the show since its launch and remained as the voice for all but one of its 38 seasons.
Pardo was NBC’s staff announcer for more than 60 years. He began as a war reporter during World War II and stayed with the network his entire life. In fact, he and comedian Bob Hope were the only people ever to be given lifetime contracts with the network.
Although Pardo officially retired 10 years ago, the announcer continued from his Arizona home, providing the introductions for SNL and delivering the famous line, “It’s Saturday Night Live!”, up until the last season’s finale.
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“There is nothing like the moment when Don Pardo says your name,” former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon said. “Nothing like that thrill. You almost want to cry.”
However, it was not just SNL that Pardo lent his voice to; he also did radio, TV, commercials, game shows, news and sports. Some of his credits include The Price Is Right, Jackpot!, Jeopardy! and Three on a Match.
Pardo and his late wife, Kay Pardo, had five children together. Our thoughts are with Pardo’s friends and family during this sad time.