Rest In Peace, Don Pardo, it’s time to sign off. Don Pardo, the longtime voice of Saturday Night Live, has passed away at the age of 96, reports Screen Crush. His daughter Dona made the announcement.
Pardo, who began announcing for NBC Radio in 1938, has had a few distinguished moments in his career. His voice was the first to announce that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. He also announced for game shows such as The Price Is Right and Jeopardy. Pardo also reported for NBC News during World War II. He called baseball games and worked on radio programs such as X Minus One and Dimension X.
Pardo was the announcer for Saturday Night Live since its inception in 1975 up until the season finale last season, except for the 1981-1982 season. This means he was with the show even longer than Lorne Michaels, who took five years away. Pardo did miss two shows in 2013 due to a broken hip, according to Deadline. He spent 38 years with the show overall and spent his entire career with NBC. Only he and fellow Television Academy Hall of Fame member Bob Hope ever received lifetime contracts by NBC.
Pardo had considered retirement in 2004 but was convinced to put a home studio in his house in Tucson, AZ. Pardo would record his spots at home until the end of last season. Ever since news of his death became known, celebrities, past Saturday Night Live stars and guest hosts have taken to social media to announce their grief.
Rachel Dratch, show regular from 1999 to 2011, tweeted:
“Any SNL actor will tell u:the ultimate moment of your career was hearing Don Pardo say your name. Each week he represented a dream come true.”
Seth Meyers, former Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live, tweeted:
“RIP Don Pardo. A voice that meant so much.”
Even Weird Al Yankovic, who used Pardo’s voice in the parody video I Lost On Jeopardy, tweeted:
“Very sad to hear of the passing of my old friend Don Pardo – truly one the all-time greats. #RIPDonPardo”
Pardo understood one salient point; his voice was his gold. “My voice is my Achilles’ heel,” Pardo said in a 1985 interview with The Associated Press. “When I get sick, it’s always my voice.” It’s a voice that will truly be missed.
Born Dominic George Pardo on February 22, 1918, he was given the middle name George because he was born on George Washington’s birthday. There is talk that during the Saturday Night Live’40th season, there will be a memorial dedicated to Pardo. Funeral services are still pending.
Rest In Peace Don Pardo. Thank You for a lifetime of memories.