Don Pardo, NBC’s legendary announcer for “Saturday Night Live” for nearly four decades, died at the age of 96 on Monday in Arizona, according to media reports. The cause of his death and details about funeral plans have not been revealed.
Pardo, who began his broadcasting career in the 1930s, died at his home in Tucson, his daughter, Dona Pardo confirmed, according to the New York Times. Pardo had been part of the “SNL” line-up since the show’s first episode aired in 1975, except for the seventh season of the show in 1981-1982. Pardo reportedly pre-recorded his weekly introductions for the show from his home after officially retiring from NBC in 2004.
"I can't imagine the show without [Don], and as long as he's there, I stay young,” Lorne Michaels, the creator of “SNL” once said about Pardo, according to reports.
Jimmy Fallon, a former cast member of “SNL,” previously said of Pardo: “There is nothing like the moment when Don Pardo says your name at the beginning of the show.
"Nothing like that thrill. You almost want to cry," Fallon, who currently hosts the “Tonight Show” had reportedly said.
Pardo appeared on SNL to celebrate his 90th birthday on Feb. 23, 2008, and also made an appearance on an episode of NBC’s “30 Rock” in 2009. He joined NBC in 1944 and has also been the voice of popular game shows such as "The Price Is Right," "Three on a Match," "Winning Streak," "Jackpot" and the original "Jeopardy!"
Pardo, who made it to the Television Hall of Fame, was born Dominick George Pardo on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Massachusetts. He had five children with his wife, Kay, who died in 1995.
"My voice is my Achilles' heel," Pardo said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1985. "When I get sick, it's always my voice."
Here are some tweets from stars remembering the iconic announcer.
Very sad to hear of the passing of my old friend Don Pardo - truly one the all-time greats. #RIPDonPardo
— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) August 19, 2014
RIP Don Pardo. A voice that meant so much. http://t.co/X4q9TeHVbO
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) August 19, 2014
On Sept 13th 2008 I heard Don Pardo say my name for the first time. I cried until the 16th. Thanks Don. I owe you a coffee.
— Bobby Moynihan (@bibbymoynihan) August 19, 2014
Don Pardo said my name only 3 times but I guarantee those will be some of the first things I brag to my son about one day. RIPDonPardo
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) August 19, 2014
— Jim O'Heir (@JimOHeir) August 19, 2014
Goodbye Don Pardo. You worked from World War II until this May. You were cool as hell. I'm very lucky I got to talk to you those few times.
— John Mulaney (@mulaney) August 19, 2014