Don Pardo's retiring from SNL

kingchuck69

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Don Pardo says "It's Saturday Night Live" for the last time - TV Squad

Don Pardo says "It's Saturday Night Live" for the last time

Posted May 18th 2009 2:02PM by Danny Gallagher

SNL announcer Don Pardo may have lost Mad TV last Saturday, but Saturday Night Live lost something worth much, much more to the world of television than Mad TV. And no, I don't mean that the SNL writing staff lost their snack machine.

Announcer Don Pardo, 91, announced in his induction speech to the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame that last Saturday's show will be his last.

Pardo has been the voice of the show since it hit the airwaves in 1975, minus the 7th season in '81 and '82. He has also been an announcer in a number of game shows, movies, commercials and news shows, and holds the distinction of being the first person on television to announce the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

SNL didn't just lose an announcer. It lost their longest running cast member.

Now I know that Pardo wasn't technically a cast member (I can hear the angry fingers of the trivia Nazis now screaming "Don Pardo was not a cast member!"), but his voice brought a great deal of personality and grace to an otherwise silly show. Plus he's been with the show for so long (even though he retired in 2004) that the voice has become an iconic part of an already iconic show.

His voice didn't just grace the opening and closing credits of each show. His role on the show became its own character, a faceless booming voice that over-enunciated every syllable and treated every bit of copy with the bravado and energy of a classically trained actor announcing the end of the world. The authority his faceless presence exuded became the perfect foil for a lot of great sketches. He even did a sketch on camera, which was brilliant because you never saw him on camera.

"I'm on TV!" should have been a catchphrase, dammit.
 

limegrass69

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He's been with NBC forever, going back to the radio days. I think he was more or less the last "staff announcer" they had. He also did a lot of voice work on our local NBC station (WNBC). Very distinctive and classy voice and delivery. There aren't that many big voices like that anymore. Most of the guys these days are snarky, nasal types.
 

flap_jackson

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Who'll replace him? Will they totally redo the opening credits? Will it be another 'Animation Domination' scenario where Don LaFontaigne was replaced with some lame/weak voice?
 

kingchuck69

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Who'll replace him? Will they totally redo the opening credits? Will it be another 'Animation Domination' scenario where Don LaFontaigne was replaced with some lame/weak voice?

Already, they have SNL producer Steve Higgins doing some of the voiceovers for some of the sketches; he's also the announcer/sidekick of Jimmy Fallon.