|Date of Birth:||February 22, 1918|
|Years on SNL:||1975-81, 1981-2014|
Dominick George "Don" Pardo (February 22, 1918 - August 18, 2014) was a legendary radio and television announcer. Since the 1940s, Pardo was been an in-house announcer for NBC. He was the last of the "lifetime" staff announcers at NBC to continue working, following the retirement of Howard Reig and the death of Fred Facey. His best known announcing work was for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC (which he gave up after the 1999 telecast) and Saturday Night Live; he was with the show its premier in 1975, except for one season. Pardo remained with SNL until his death in 2014 at age 96; his last episode was the last episode of season 39.
Saturday Night LiveEdit
On one memorable episode, Pardo participated in a musical performance by Frank Zappa, reciting a verse of the song "I'm The Slime". Pardo subsequently reprised this role on the live-recorded version of the song for Zappa in New York album (it was, however, not featured on the first release in 1978, but it appears on the 1993 CD re-release). He also provided narration for the songs "The Illinois Enema Bandit" and "Punky's Whips" (an ongoing business dispute between Zappa and his then-record company led to "Punky's Whips" being removed from the 1978 album, but the song was reinstated on the 1993 CD).
Pardo was fired from SNL after the end of season 6. The idea stemmed from Michael O'Donoghue- in a crazy idea typical of O'Donoghue, he suggested a sketch in which Pardo would be fired on-air. While producer Dick Ebersol did not follow through with that idea, he did force Pardo out as part of a larger scheme to reinvent the show (which also included eliminating the opening sketches and monologues). Pardo was replaced by Mel Brandt. For season 8, with the previously-removed opening sketches and monologues returning and O'Donoghue already fired, Pardo was asked to return. He has remained with SNL ever since. (Brandt also contributed voice-overs to sketches well into the 1990s.)
Prior to SNL, Pardo made his mark on game shows for NBC as the voice of The Price is Right from 1956 until it moved to ABC in 1963. He quickly moved over to Jeopardy!, which he announced from 1964, until the original version of the series ended in 1975. He reprised that role with a cameo appearance voice-over in "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1984 parody song, "I Lost on Jeopardy." He also announced numerous lesser-known New York-based NBC games such as Three on a Match, Winning Streak and Jackpot!.
In addition, Pardo has also been the announcer for WNBC's Live at Five news program, NBC Nightly News and Wheel of Fortune (during special on-location weeks, when the show originated in New York).
Pardo was the on-duty live booth announcer for WNBC in New York and the NBC network on November 22, 1963, and it was he who first announced to NBC's viewers that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas. (His first bulletin interrupted a local WNBC broadcast of Bachelor Father before the entire NBC network went live with the story.) Because NBC was slow to begin videotaping the assassination coverage, for decades it was believed that Pardo's historic bulletins were lost. However, almost 40 years later an audio tape of the bulletins was discovered in a private collection.
Pardo was the announcer of "Ten At Ten", a daily radio show on KFOG FM, San Francisco. His voice was also heard during the open and close of Len Berman's "Spanning the World" segments on WNBC and Today. His close went as follows: "Tune in next time for "Spanning the World"...if there is a next time."