Television announcer known for his work over the years on such NBC shows as Saturday Night Live and The Price Is Right Don Pardo died on August 18, 2014 at the age of 96 in his sleep.
Born Dominick George Pardo on February 22, 1918, in Westfield, Massachusetts, Don Pardo is one of the most well-known announcers in television history.
With his smooth-sounding voice, he has worked on news programs and many popular television shows, including Saturday Night Live. In addition to his announcing duties, he joined musical guest Frank Zappa to recite part of the song “I’m the Slime” in 1976.
This led to further collaboration between Pardo and Zappa with Pardo providing the narration to two other Zappa songs. Despite his distinguished career as a broadcaster, Pardo has not been poking fun at himself, providing the voiceover for numerous commercial and game shows spoofs and other skits.
Pardo also participated in the “Weird Al” Yankovic song “I Lost on Jeopardy”, from his second album, “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D, a parody of “Jeopardy” by The Greg Kihn Band, and its refrain “Our love’s in jeopardy.”
The song became the fourth music video released by Yankovic, and featured a number of cameo appearances including Kihn, Fleming, Yankovic’s mentor Dr. Demento, Pardo and Yankovic’s parents.
He moved to Arizona in 2006 where he pre-recorded many of his announcements for the show.
He semi-retired in 2004 (he could never fully retire, since he had the last remaining NBC lifetime contract), and moved to Tucson, Arizona. But, Saturday Night Live (1975) (SNL) producers convinced him to continue announcing for the show.
Thereafter, for every new SNL episode, Pardo was flown from his Tucson home to New York City. In the time since 2004, for a few episodes, SNL producers allowed him to tape announcements from his home.
But the producers had a strongly expressed preference to have him in the SNL studio to warm-up the audience and insisted he come to the SNL studio for each new live SNL to announce.
On the February 23, 2008 broadcast of Saturday Night Live (SNL), Pardo was brought on camera at the end of the show, which was actually the morning of Sunday, February 24, 2008, he was honoured in celebration of his 90th birthday, and blew out the candles on his 90th birthday cake.
In 2009, Pardo was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. He announced in his speech at the induction ceremony that he would be retiring from Saturday Night Live. But he eventually changed his mind.
That same year, Pardo received another special award. He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame—becoming of one of few announcers to ever be inducted into the hall. Pardo married Catherine Lyons (d. 1995) in 1938. The couple had five children.