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Don Pardo, Longtime ‘SNL’ Announcer, Passes Away at 96

NBC

Don Pardo, the man who introduced the ‘SNL‘ lineup every week since 1975, has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Pardo also lent his voice to radio, sports, game shows, and commercials over the course of his incredibly long-running career, but we’ll always remember him best for that wonderful phrase: “It’s ‘Saturday Night Live!’”

The news comes from CBS Radio News, which reported tonight on its broadcast that Pardo passed away at the age of 96. The story also fondly recapped Pardo’s long and legendary career, which began in radio in 1938, before transitioning to NBC as their in-house announcer in 1944.

While at NBC, Pardo worked as a war reporter during World War II, and as an announcer on the early incarnations of ‘The Price Is Right’ and ‘Jeopardy!’ He was also the first voice to announce to NBC viewers that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in 1963.

Of course, we’ll always remember Don Pardo best for his work at ‘SNL,’ where he was the fourth voice to be heard on the very first episode in 1975 when he made his debut as the show’s announcer following the first cold open sketch. Since then, Pardo has remained the announcer for every season of ‘SNL,’ except for the 1981-1982 season.

In 2004, Pardo officially retired from NBC, but continued his announcing duties on ‘SNL’ every week during the season, pre-taping his segments from his home studio in Arizona.

It’s hard to imagine an episode of ‘SNL’ without Pardo’s sonorous voice announcing the cast members and each week’s host and musical guest. Although the cast lineup has changed over the years, Pardo — along with creator Lorne Michaels — has always been a constant presence. The show may change, but that voice always remained the same.

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