CBS Radio News has confirmed that Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo passed away earlier today. He was 96 years old.
Pardo started with NBC during World War II and became known to millions via his work in commercials, game shows, and news programming. He worked for the peacock network for his entire professional career and had been with SNL for almost its entire 39 year run.
He tried to retire from his lifetime contract in 2004, supplying only the SNL introductions via pre-recording from his home in Arizona. Producers believed they needed him in-studio so he flew across the country for live tapings. He was eventually able to resume supplying pre-recorded openings. He missed two shows in 2013 — due to a broken hip.
According to the NY Times, Pardo is survived by his daughters Paula, Dona, and Katherine; sons David and Michael; as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
SNL creator Lorne Michaels said the show will do a tribute to Pardo next season. He said. “It was always exciting. Whatever montage we did to open the show, whatever pictures we used it didn’t really come alive till you heard him say it.”
What do you think? Will you miss Pardo’s introductions to SNL?