Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Don Pardo (1918-2014)

He was, unofficially, the last original cast member of Saturday Night Live still associated with the series as it wrapped its 39th season. One would suspect that executive producer Lorne Michaels will open the show's 40th season by paying tribute to Don Pardo, who passed away Monday at his home in Arizona at 96.

Pardo was SNL's announcer for 38 out of 39 seasons, and also had announced on several NBC game shows, including Three On A Match, Winning Streak (both hosted by Bill Cullen), the original Jeopardy!, and the children's show, Choose Up Sides, which may have been Pardo's only gig for Goodson-Todman. He also was the announcer for NBC's coverage of Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade until 1999, although, as memory serves, he alternated with Bill Wendell for a few of those years. Before all that, Pardo was a war correspondent for NBC Radio News during World War II.

Pardo, who rarely appeared on camera, did so in a cameo appearance in "Weird" Al Yankovic's video for "I Lost on Jeopardy!" in 1985, along with that series' original MC, Art Fleming. His last on-camera appearance of note was in 2008, when the cast of Saturday Night Live honored him on his 90th birthday.

Rest in peace, Don. We'll miss you.

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