Don Pardo, Voice of SNL for 38 Seasons, Dead at 96

Don Pardo - SNL
Legendary TV announcer Don Pardo, the iconic voice of NBC‘s long-running Saturday Night Live, has died at age 96.

Born in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1918, Pardo started working for NBC in 1944, lending his voice talents to such shows as The Price is Right and Jeopardy. Although he left the network to more or less retire in 2004, he continued to announce SNL right up through this last season.

Pardo started on SNL at the show’s launch in 1975, and worked for the program each year thereafter, with the exception of the legendarily disastrous 1981-82 season. In 2013 a broken hip forced him to miss two shows, but he returned in September.

“Every year the new cast couldn’t wait to hear their name said by him,” Lorne Michaels — SNL‘s creator — has said.

The New York Times offers a more thorough obituary here, and you can use PeekYou to further explore both Pardo and SNL by clicking the appropriate highlighted names above.

This clip here is a bit profane, so do be warned, but it’s Don guesting on stage in NYC with Frank Zappa in the late-70s, lending his considerable vocal gift to Frank’s “Punky’s Whips.”