Don Pardo, the Saturday Night Live announcer whose career spanned the history of television and who made memorable appearances in skits and music videos that played the booming cadence of his voice for laughs, died Monday at his home in Tucson, Arizona. He was 96.
Pardo’s daughter, Dona Pardo, confirmed the death to Associated Press but did not report the cause.
Pardo spent much of his career at NBC, transitioning from radio and then to TV over 60 years, and was one of the most recognizable voices of American television.
He helped enliven countless news reports, commercials, game shows and soap operas before winning his most high-profile assignment on Saturday Night Live, where he worked largely uninterrupted from 1975 to 2009 and even through more recent seasons; after formally retiring in 2004, he often recorded his SNL assignments in Tucson. In 2010, he became the only announcer ever inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.
As one of NBC’s leading game-show announcers, he worked on The Price Is Right from 1956 until the program moved to ABC in 1963 and then on Jeopardy! from 1964 to 1975.
Pardo subsequently joined the new comedy variety show Saturday Night Live, where he introduced the ever-changing cast and guest stars with the dramatic enthusiasm of a circus announcer.
Pardo’s voice was also among the first to shock America with the news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, from WNBC-TV in New York.
Pardo occasionally worked in film, including Woody Allen’s Radio Days (1987) and Honeymoon in Vegas (1992).