Don Pardo

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Don Pardo
Born Dominick George Pardo
(1918-02-22) February 22, 1918 (age 96)
Westfield, Massachusetts, US
Other names Dom Pardo
Occupation Voice actor, announcer
Years active 1938—
Known for Announcer for Saturday Night Live
Awards Television Hall of Fame (member since 2010)

Dominick George "Don" Pardo (born February 22, 1918) is an American radio and television announcer, who is best known for his work on the long-running late night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.[1] He has been the announcer of Saturday Night Live for all but one of its seasons. He continues to provide voiceover services during the program's opening montage, several years after his retirement from NBC.

A member of the Television Hall of Fame, Pardo is noted for his long association with NBC, working as the announcer for early incarnations of such notable shows as The Price Is Right, Jeopardy!, and NBC Nightly News.[2]

Early life[edit]

Pardo was born in Westfield, Massachusetts. He spent his childhood in Norwich, Connecticut, and Providence, Rhode Island.

Career[edit]

Radio[edit]

Pardo was hired for his first radio position at WJAR-AM in Providence in 1938.

He joined NBC as an in-house announcer in 1944, remaining on the network staff for 60 years. Among the radio programs he worked on as an announcer were Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator,[3] the sci-fi shows X Minus One[4] and Dimension X[5] among others.

During World War II, Pardo worked as a war reporter for NBC Radio.[6][7]

Television[edit]

In the early 1950s, he served as announcer for many of RCA's and NBC's closed-circuit color television demonstrations.[citation needed]

Pardo made his mark on game shows for NBC as the voice of the original The Price Is Right from 1956 until it moved to ABC in 1963. Pardo's next show was Jeopardy!, which he announced from 1964 until the original version of the series ended in 1975.[8] Pardo reprised that role with a cameo voiceover in "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1984 song "I Lost on Jeopardy" (a parody of The Greg Kihn Band's 1983 hit song "Jeopardy"). He also announced New York–based NBC game shows such as Three on a Match, Winning Streak, and Jackpot!, all three of which were Bob Stewart productions.

Pardo squeezed in many other assignments at NBC, including the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (until 1999),[citation needed] WNBC-TV's Live at Five, and NBC Nightly News.

Pardo was the on-duty live booth announcer for WNBC-TV in New York and the NBC network on November 22, 1963, and he was first to announce to NBC viewers that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas.[9]

In January 1986,[citation needed] Pardo replaced Hal Simms as announcer on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, four years after it had moved from CBS to NBC. He was the announcer until the final episode, on December 26, 1986.

His best known announcing work is for the television series Saturday Night Live. His was the fourth voice heard on the show's premiere episode in 1975, after the first cold open sketch featuring Michael O'Donoghue, John Belushi, and Chevy Chase. Pardo has remained the program's announcer except for one season (1981–1982), when it was announced by Mel Brandt or Bill Hanrahan. After "Live, from New York...", which is cried out at the end of the cold open , Pardo announces the show's title, then names the cast members and musical guest(s) in a voice-over during the opening montage. According to Pardo,[citation needed] his SNL announcing booth in Studio 8-H, is almost exactly where Arturo Toscanini stood when conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra in Rockefeller Center from 1937 to 1950.

In December 1976 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 the Zappa in New York album (it was 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" (a business dispute between Zappa and his record company of the time led to "Punky's Whips" being removed from the 1978 album, but the song was reinstated on the 1993 CD).

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.

Retirement[edit]

Pardo retired from NBC in 2004, but he continued providing the introductions for SNL. In 2006, he began prerecording his announcements from a studio in his Arizona home.[citation needed] That arrangement lasted only a few episodes before producers insisted that they needed him in Studio 8H, and he resumed weekly flights to New York to do the show.[10] On Saturday, February 23, 2008, Pardo appeared at the closing of SNL to blow out the candles of his 90th birthday cake. Upon his induction into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame on May 14, 2009, Pardo suggested that the May 16, 2009, episode of Saturday Night Live would be his last.[11] However, he did subsequently return for the show's 35th season.

Starting with the 36th season, Pardo once again began pre-recording his parts from his home in Arizona instead of performing live in New York City.[10]

In 2010, Pardo was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[12]

Pardo missed two shows during 2013 due to a broken hip.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Saturday Night Live' returns with three new members in its 38th season". OUDaily.com. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  2. ^ "Don Pardo". TV.com. 2010-08-15. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  3. ^ Goldin, J. David (April 24, 2014). "Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator". RadioGoldIndex.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  4. ^ "Radio history of X Minus 1 (x-1) and Fred Collins". RadioHorrorHosts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  5. ^ "The Definitive X Minus One Radio Log with Ernest Kinoy". DigitalDeliftp.com. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  6. ^ "Don Pardo Live From New York Still". ArtsBeat (blog). The New York Times (subscription required). February 25, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Don Pardo". The New York Times. January 18, 2007. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  8. ^ "Jeopardy! - Television Tropes & Idioms". TVTropes.org. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 
  9. ^ "JFK Assassination Coverage". atvaudio.com. Collector's Choice Archival Television Audio. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  10. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (17 September 2010). "'SNL' retirement for announcing legend Don Pardo?". Variety. Variety.com. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  11. ^ "Blog Archive " Live, From Rhode Island!". NTS MediaOnline. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  12. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". 
  13. ^ "Don Pardo - Missed 'Saturday Night Live' Gig After Suffering Broken Hip". TMZ.com. 2013-03-03. Retrieved 2013-05-21. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Mel Brandt
Announcer on Saturday Night Live
1982–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
None
Announcer on Saturday Night Live
1975–1981
Succeeded by
Mel Brandt
Preceded by
None
Announcer on Jeopardy!
1964–1975
Succeeded by
John Harlan
Preceded by
None
Announcer on The Price Is Right (1956)
November 26, 1956 – September 6, 1963
Succeeded by
Johnny Gilbert