Don Pardo, Longtime Saturday Night Live Announcer, Dead at 96

Don Pardo Dies

Veteran television and radio announcer Dominick “Don” Pardo, best known as the voice of Saturday Night Live, has died. He was 96.

Pardo passed away Monday evening, an NBC rep confirms to TVLine.

Pardo retired from NBC in 2004, but continued to provide the introductions for SNL — most recently, pre-recording them from his home in Arizona. He had only missed one season of SNL — the show’s seventh — giving him a longer tenure than even Lorne Michaels (who stepped away for five seasons).

“I can’t imagine the show without [Don],” Michaels once said, “and as long as he’s there, I stay young.”

Pardo — a 2010 Television Hall of Fame inductee — also lent his voice to game shows The Price Is Right, Jackpot and Jeopardy! He and iconic entertainer Bob Hope were the only two people to have lifetime contracts with NBC.

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28 Comments
  1. eddie says:

    i knew this day was coming……..and yet im still not ready for it……. rest in peace don pardo! snl will not be the same, for reals.

  2. Dee says:

    Wow….worked til the very end! I knew he was still doing them from his home…the intros won’t be the same anymore!

  3. Wendy says:

    Wow. The “voice” of SNL is now silent. Which is especially sad since he had done the intro since the beginning with Belushi, Aykroyd, etc. A true legend of voice, and Mr. Pardo will be missed. But he lived to see 96 years, and that’s what I call a life well lived. RIP, Mr. Pardo, and say hi to Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Chris Farley, and Phil Hartmen when you see them, okay?

  4. Eric says:

    Wow, what a shame. Glad he had a long life, but SNL won’t be the same without him. I’ve been watching since I was a preteen, and the thought of someone else introducing the guests is inconceivable.

    • JEREMY says:

      Actually,SNL hasn’t REALLY been that funny since Eddie Murphy left.

      Only their special episodes (politics),their musical guests,and their many guest hosts are what kept it going(one of MY favs: Sarah Michelle Gellar as guest host,w/Faith Hill as musical guest).

      I believe next season will be the 50th season of Saturday Night Live,and this should be
      the FINAL SEASON.

      Let’s face it,the show TOTALLY SUCKS now without Don Pardo.

      Does anybody out there remember when he was the announcer on the ORIGINAL JEOPARDY ,with Art Fleming (Alex Trebek was still in high school then)?

  5. TV Gord says:

    Often imitated, never duplicated. I think the only way to ring in the new season of SNL would to have someone completely different announce the show from here on in. Dare I say it? A woman?

  6. Noneed Tuno says:

    Not just SNL, but Jeopardy 1.0 (w/Art Fleming), WNBC-TV (NYC) local news (“Live At Five”), and so much else lost to time.
    A voice for the ages, now fades into eternity.

  7. Sara says:

    This makes me so sad!

  8. Tran says:

    RIP Don Pardo. You’ll always be the voice of SNL forever. With SNL’s 40th Anniversary Special coming February 15th, wonder if they’re going to do a Don Pardo Tribute in the works as well as next Monday’s Primetime Emmy telecast on NBC. Wonder who’s going to replace Mr. Pardo as SNL announcer when Season 40 debuts September 27th. NBC better end SNL after 40 years soon because they don’t have a choice whether it will go beyond 40-some seasons and the ratings will plummet if NBC does the right thing to cancel Saturday Night Live. Whether it’s daytime, primetime or late night like SNL, I still don’t like long running shows that will never going to end whether it’s soap operas, talk shows like The View, game shows like The Price is Right and even late night like SNL.

    • TV Gord says:

      That’s just silly. By your logic, SNL would have been cancelled after its disastrous season six. Think of all of the classic moments we would have missed from then on. Some shows are evergreen. You might as well wish for the cancellation of The Today Show or GMA or 60 Minutes. They all carry on with new, fresh blood. It’s true that SNL has been awful for a few years now, but their new renaissance may be just around the corner.

    • JEREMY says:

      Thanks for fixing my Math,Tran.

      It has INDEED been 40 years for SNL.

      It just SEEMS longer.

      A lot of marriages are like that.

  9. One can only hope they’re currently building The Don Pardo 9000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibjuinK96GM

  10. Lee says:

    I was working at a west coast NBC affiliate in 1970 when Don Pardo was introducing the Saturday night ‘Movie of the Week’ as the live east coast announcer for NBC. His voice became so recognizable to me as the voice of NBC for that time. Now almost 50 years later, I am pleased that he was able to continue it for so long.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don Pardo was the last of a very special trio (3) of men from the golden age of broadcast radio and television – each of whom received the only lifetime contracts ever issued by NBC (Milton Berle was the 1st, followed by both Bob Hope and Don Pardo). With Mr. Pardo’s passing, this is truly the end of a special era, one that will be sorely missed. I agree with the importance of this sites Comment Requirements instructing those posting to “don’t get your facts wrong” when commenting, as doing so reduces the integrity of the honor being bestowed upon each of these three (3) great men and their shared mutual achievement by association. This is especially important in tribute to Mr. Pardo at this moment in time – as this site removed him within their article from being properly associated with “both” of these other two (2) great men – thereby reducing further tribute and accolade due to Mr. Pardo and his amazing legacy. Too bad this site overlooked its own comment reporting requirement when researching this tribute article by miss stating the facts about how many people actually received lifetime contracts from NBC – as Mr. Pardo truly was running with a very elite group, and deserves to have his name stand proudly alongside each of them in tribute. But that’s ok. There are still those of us out there who really did love and respect the man for all of his associated achievements – so we’ll help them get it right for you Don. Many blessings to you old friend! Say hello to Uncle Miltie and Brother Bob from all of us! :)

  12. Amanda says:

    I hope this season’s opening skit is simply a tribute to him.

  13. Deena says:

    On the radio in NY this morning they said Darryl Hammond told them he had been doing the SNL intro the last few years as an impression of Don Pardo. Any truth to that?
    Growing up in NY his voice has been a part if my entire life. He’ll be missed.

    • I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but it HAS been made public that Hammond used to fill in as Pardo when Pardo was sick, and if you’ve seen and/or heard him break out into it in interviews, it’s true: he does a SPOT-ON Don Pardo.

  14. RickandMorty says:

    It’s Saturday Night Live!
    Starring:
    A piece of toast!
    Two guys with handlebar mustaches!
    A man painted silver who makes robot noises!
    Garmanarnar!
    Three…ah uh uh um I’ll get back to that one.
    A hole in the wall where the men can see it all.
    And returning for his 25th consecutive year, Bobby Moynihan!

  15. Joey Padron says:

    He had a good long life and career. Sad he’s gone. SNL intros won’t be same without him RIP.

  16. Znachki says:

    I first remember hearing Don Pardo’s voice on the original Jeopardy! and remember being a little bit upset that he was not going to be the announcer when it returned in its current incarnation.

    I enjoyed hearing his voice in the early years of SNL (when I watched), but he’ll always be the voice of Jeopardy! to me. Rest in peace sir.

  17. cltaylor says:

    Awh, we love Don Pardo. I’ve listened to his voice my entire life. RIP Sir, You are loved.

  18. Dylan says:

    RIP don pardo…but you can’t actually have whoever doing the intros. I can do Pardo and I can do it for cheap.

    • So can Darrell Hammond, but you don’t want someone impersonating a legend. That would be very tacky… and bordering on disrespectful. I think Hammond was the right choice, and he sounded great last night.

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