Don Pardo, the legendary announcer for “Saturday Night Live,” died Monday night. He was 96. Pardo was best known as the voice that announced cast members before each episode.
He started working for NBC in 1944.
Despite cementing his place in pop culture ubiquity as the voice of “SNL,” Pardo announced the original versions of “The Price is Right” and “Jeopardy!” before “SNL’s” 1975 debut. According to the Hollywood Reporter, in 2010 Pardo became the first announcer to enter the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
To many “SNL” cast members, hearing Pardo speak their name for the first time was proof of the fact that they were really on the show.
“Nothing is like the moment when Don Pardo says your name,” Jimmy Fallon once said. The New York Times wrote: “As Maya Rudolph told Mr. Pardo in a video tribute when he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010, ‘The moment you said my name was the height of my career.'”
As news of Pardo’s passing began to spread, celebrities began to share tributes to Pardo on social media.
— Jay Pharoah (@JayPharoah) August 19, 2014
rip to the most golden voice of all golden voices. SNL’s and your very own Don Pardo. — Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 19, 2014
Don Pardo thank you for saying my name twice. Dream come true. RIP LEGEND! — christina applegate (@1capplegate) August 19, 2014
RIP Don Pardo. A voice that meant so much. http://t.co/X4q9TeHVbO
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) August 19, 2014
one of the greatest joys of my life was hearing don pardo call my name for the first time. this is a great article: http://t.co/h2ity6YpyF
— Aidy Bryant (@aidybryant) 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
In this clip, Pardo demonstrates his impeccable diction:
Don Pardo in “The Price is Right”
Amy Poehler and Lorne Michaels welcome Don Pardo into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2010.