Don Pardo, Voice of Saturday Night Live, Dead at 96

Don Pardo, SNL announcer, has died at 96
Don Pardo, SNL announcer, has died at 96 Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo passed away on Monday, Aug. 18, at the age of 96, his daughter Paula has confirmed to CBS Radio.

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Pardo, whose booming baritone voice became synonymous with the hit NBC comedy sketch show, had retired officially in 2004 but continued to provide the introductions for SNL, most recently pre-recording them from his Arizona home.

Viewers heard his distinctive voice at the beginning of each show, announcing the cast and guest stars in his unique style, elongating the words as he spoke them.

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"There is nothing like the moment when Don Pardo says your name," former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon said. “Nothing like that thrill. You almost want to cry.”

Pardo voiced every season of the popular television show bar one, giving him a remarkable 38-year tenure on the program.

As well as voicing the SNL introductions, Pardo lent his voice to radio, commercials, news and sports shows, and a host of other NBC favorites including The Price Is Right, Jackpot and Jeopardy! He and comedian Bob Hope were the only people to ever be given lifetime contracts with the network.

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Pardo, who was born Dominick George Pardo on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Mass., and his wife, Kay Pardo, had five children. Kay died in 1995.

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