A voice known to so many, yet a name unfortunately unfamiliar to the majority
Radio presenters have something of a reputation for being glamorous, old school workaholics, continuing to perform way past the age of retirement until they shake off this mortal coil as their own manner of quitting. On this note, legendary Don Pardo, the unseen announcer of Saturday Night Live, died on Monday (18th) evening, at the age of 96.
Don Pardo was on of the best voiceover men working in the industry
Pardo voiced the Saturday Night Live line-up every week since the show's conception in 1975 with the exception of two weeks in 2013 due to a broken hip.
Pardo appeared on an episode on the 23rd February, 2008, to blow out the candles on his 90th birthday cake. The following year, Don Pardo was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame. He stated that he would be retiring from SNL the following episode, but returned in the next season anyway.
For Saturday Night Live's 36th season, Pardo began pre-recording the announcements in his native Arizona. Until this point, he had flown to New York City each week to read the announcements live on the show. In 2010, Don Pardo was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
During World War Two, Pardo worked for NBC as a war reporter for NBC Radio. He began working for television with voice-over work for The Price Is Right from 1956 until 1963, when the show moved to ABC.
As he happened to be the on-duty announcer at the time, Pardo was tasked with announcing to NBC viewers that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas, on the 22nd November, 1963.
He became best known for his catchphrase "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" He was the fourth voice to be heard on the very first episode of Saturday Night Live, and since then has been the most heard, due to his recurring announcements.
After serving the show for just shy of forty years, Pardo became a true legend in his own, unseen right. It may be time to start paying attention to the men behind the curtain.