One of THE voices of at least three generations, Don Pardo simply was the voice of Saturday Night live. May he rest in peace and SNL heaven.
A constant, continuity of professionalism and a keen understanding of the role SNL plays worldwide - but mainly it's the best we have got with politics, laughter, music and Don Pardo.
The New York Times reported on the loss this morning.
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!”
Mr. Pardo’s decision to stay at NBC when “The Price Is Right” departed was fortuitous because that left him available to announce a new NBC show that made its debut in 1964, “Jeopardy!” A trivia show in which contestants tried to provide the questions after seeing the answers, it was hosted by Art Fleming, who made a point of thanking Mr. Pardo by name in each episode, helping to elevate him further out of the announcer anonymity of radio.
The original “Jeopardy!” ran until 1975, again a serendipitous endpoint because “Saturday Night Live” began the next year. The show’s creator, Mr. Michaels, was born the year that Mr. Pardo started at NBC. He has said he liked Mr. Pardo for the job as a sort of counterpoint to the wackiness of the show.
“It couldn’t have been a more different culture,” Mr. Michaels said. “But it was perfect for us.”
An earlier carnation, vintage Pardo at its best.
By 1975, NBC needed an announcer for a late-night sketch comedy show, “NBC’s Saturday Night,” later known as “Saturday Night Live.” Pardo was selected, and he served in that role for all but one of the show’s seasons, introducing generations of the show’s cast and guests – from Chevy Chase and John Belushi to Gilda Radner and Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey and Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig.
And each week: “It’s Saturday Night Live!”
Pardo retired from NBC in 2004 but continued with “SNL,” which first aired in 1975, only missing a few weeks because of health problems such as a broken hip last year.
We lost a truly great man, who dedicated his life to making us laugh … a life well lived, and condolences to Don's family, friends and SNL family. Thank you for the bright moments since 1975, Mr. Pardo.
So many to treasure.