Don Pardo, longtime Saturday Night Live announcer, is dead at 96


Don Pardo, whose role as the announcer for Saturday Night Live made his voice familiar to millions of people, passed away in his sleep at home in Arizona. He was 96.

Pardo announced every season of Saturday Night Live from the show’s first season in 1975. The only exception was the 1981-82 season, which featured a general overhaul of cast and crew. Pardo returned to his booth the following year.

In addition to announcing SNL, Pardo had a long and varied career doing other voice-over work. Perhaps his best-known appearance beyond the show is as an NBC broadcaster in the 1960s. He was the first person to announce the shooting of President Kennedy:



Later in life, as his voice became better-known and his fame grew, he appeared briefly in the Weird Al song “I Lost On Jeopardy”:



Pardo “retired” from SNL several times over the course of his decades-long career.

The first came in 2004, when he told NBC he would record voice-over announcements from his home in Arizona. The network allowed this for a time, but eventually insisted that Pardo needed to bring his golden pipes back into the studio.

He also announced his retirement in 2009, following his induction into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.

But neither lasted. And he continued to do voice work for Saturday Night Live–again from his home–even after breaking a hip in 2013, when he missed only two shows.

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