Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Saturday Night Live’s Don Pardo passes away at age 96
First Published Aug 19 2014 07:32 pm • Last Updated Aug 19 2014 07:32 pm

New York • Don Pardo was a timeless classic, and in selecting him as the announcer for the brand-new "Saturday Night Live," Lorne Michaels must have known it.

"When they gave me a list of NBC staff announcers and I saw his name, there was no hesitation," Michaels, who remains "SNL" executive producer, recalled on Tuesday.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On Monday, Pardo died at age 96, having served as an "SNL" mainstay and through-line from its debut in October 1975 up through the close of its 39th season in May (apart from a year in the early 1980s when the show, under short-lived different management, rudely sidelined him).

Michaels, just 30 when "SNL" premiered, masterminded a brash, counter-culture brand of comedy show. But he had grown up hearing Pardo’s rich baritone on such 1950s game shows as the original "The Price Is Right." The voice still resonated.

"He became our link to the beginnings of television on NBC," said Michaels. "And radio. He joined NBC in June of 1944 — I’m not born yet!" No, not for another six months.

So Michaels, however much the trail-blazer, chose to underpin his break-from-the-past new enterprise with a seasoned, old-school broadcaster.

"In an emotional, intuitive sense he just sounded right to me," said Michaels. "He was a really, really wonderful man, and, I suppose on some level, a paternal presence for each new cast."

Generation after generation, "SNL" players have come and gone, replaced by the next wave. Pardo, certifying each of them by declaring their names on the air, stayed put.

But now, with the 40th season bearing down in September, Pardo has left a void. Who could ever replace him?

"It’s a question I’ve asked myself for maybe the last 10 years," Michaels said. "I don’t have an answer. I’m still kind of dealing with this. Fortunately, I have a month."

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.