TV and radio announcer Don Pardo — best known as the iconic voice behind “Saturday Night Live” — has died at the age of 96.
PARDO: “It’s Saturday Night Live." (Video via NBC)
Pardo's resonant voice got him a job working for NBC in 1944.
PARDO: “Live at 5 is a presentation of WNBC in New York. I’m Don Pardo.”
Throughout his long career with the network, Pardo lent his voice to game shows, including “Jeopardy,” "Wheel of Fortune," and “The Price is Right.”
In 1963, he was one of the first on television to tell the nation that President John F. Kennedy was shot.
“President Kennedy and Governor John Connally of Texas have been cut down by bullets in downtown Dallas.”
Pardo had done voice work for some 30 years before Lorne Michaels hired him in 1975 to work for “SNL,” known then as “NBC's Saturday Night.” The gig easily made him one of the most recognizable voices in television history.
PARDO: “The last line was always “This is Don Pardo saying … This is Don Pardo speaking…I loved that." (Video via Archive of American Television)
It wasn't long before his booming voice became synonymous with the show. Michaels told The New York Times: “Every year the new cast couldn’t wait to hear their name said by him.”
After four decades with the show, he retired from full-time announcing duties in 2004. Saturday Night Live has continued using his intro, with Pardo occasionally doing recordings from his home.
In 2010, he became the first TV announcer to be inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
His daughter told reporters, Pardo died peacefully in his sleep Monday evening at his home Tucson, Arizona. He is survived by his five children.
This video contains images from Getty Images and "The Dallas Morning News" / Walt Cisco.