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Don Pardo, The Voice of SNL, Dies at 96

 
Don Pardo, The Voice of SNL, Dies at 96

(New York Times) - Don Pardo, who literally introduced television viewers to some of America’s biggest stars and soon-to-be-stars as the longtime announcer for “Saturday Night Live,” died Monday in Tucson. He was 96.

Mr. Pardo’s death was confirmed by his daughter, Dona Pardo.

Mr. Pardo, whose career began in radio in 1944, continued through the end of the last season of “S.N.L.” in May, when he performed the introductions on the finale, hosted by Andy Samberg.

Mr. Pardo was with “S.N.L.” from the show’s first episode in October 1975, and performed the introductions for 38 seasons, missing only Season 7. For many viewers, the names of scores of stars — from Chevy Chase to Eddie Murphy to Tina Fey — were first heard in his sonorous baritone, which announced the cast each week at the end of the opening skit.

“Every year the new cast couldn’t wait to hear their name said by him,” said Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator, who hired Mr. Pardo in 1975.

But for an older generation, Mr. Pardo was familiar long before Mr. Michaels started “Saturday Night Live.” He was the announcer for an assortment of widely watched game shows, including two of the most popular television has ever seen, “The Price Is Right” and “Jeopardy!”

While not many people knew his face, practically every American for a span of more than half a century knew his voice. And for the long line of budding stars who came out of “S.N.L.,” that voice was validation. As Maya Rudolph told Mr. Pardo in a video tribute when he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010, “The moment you said my name was the height of my career.”

Read the entire story on Pardo's passing HERE.


Here's Pardo way back in 1964 announcing 'Jeopardy!'

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