Thursday, December 25, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

By
From page A7 | August 20, 2014 |

NEW YORK  — Don Pardo, the durable television and radio announcer whose booming baritone became as much a part of the cultural landscape as the shows and products he touted, including “Saturday Night Live,” died Monday in Arizona. He was 96.

Pardo died at his home in Tucson, where he moved after retiring from “SNL,” said his daughter, Dona Pardo. Executive producer Lorne Michaels asked him to continue with the show, so he flew back and forth to New York for many years. In recent years, he recorded his introductions from his Tucson home.

Few recognized the face of Pardo, a handsome man with a strong chin and confident smile. But Pardo’smajestic delivery, with its swoops in pitch and pregnant pauses, graced newscasts, game shows and TV programs for more than 60 years. During the original version of “Jeopardy!,” his answers to the question, “Tell ‘em what they’ve won, Don Pardo,” became a memorable part of the program.

And he was an integral part of “Saturday Night Live” for almost four decades in his role heralding the cast’s names to kick off each show, which led former cast member Jimmy Fallon to comment later, “Nothing is like the moment when Don Pardo says your name.” He continued at “SNL” through the end of last season, when he performed the introductions on the finale in May.

During his career, Pardo’s resonant voice-over style was widely imitated and became the standard in the field. His was no ordinary voice and he guarded it closely, with cough drops always at the ready.

“My voice is my Achilles’ heel,” Pardo said in a 1985 interview with The Associated Press. “When I get sick, it’s always my voice.”

Dominick George Pardo was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 22, 1918, and grew up in Norwich, Connecticut.

One of his first jobs was that of ticket-taker at a local movie theater; even then, his voice was commanding.

“I’d go out there with a cape and say: ‘Standing room only in the mezzanine. Immediate seating in the balcony.'”

His father, Dominick, owned a small bakery and had wanted his son to join the business. But Pardo followed his own dream and, after graduating from Boston’s Emerson College in 1942, began his vocal career at radio station WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island.

Two years later, he met a supervisor at NBC who hired the young Pardo immediately upon hearing his voice. He moved to NBC’s New York affiliate, and never left the network.

Pardo made his mark right away, reading news dispatches on the radio filed from the front lines during World War II. After the war, he became an announcer for such shows as the “Arthur Murray Party,” ”Colgate Comedy Hour” and “Your Show of Shows.”

In 1954, he was brought in to announce “Winner Takes All,” beginning a long run in game shows. His voice was heard on the “The Price is Right” in its early years, and he was the announcer on the original “Jeopardy!” (1964-75), hosted by Art Fleming.

Then in 1975, NBC launched “Saturday Night Live” with Pardo as its announcer, introducing him to a new generation of viewers with a voice as magnificent as ever — although, on opening night, he botched one of the credits. Instead of saying “The Not Ready for Prime Time Players,” Pardo introduced the show’s new comedy troupe as “The Not for Ready Prime Time Players.” But with a voice like his, any name sounded impressive.

Aside from Season 7, when he was displaced, Pardo remained the “SNL” announcer for decades.

He also introduced sportscaster Len Berman’s “Spanning the World” compilations of funny sports moments, a regular feature on the “Today” show. (“Tune in next time … if there IS a next time.”)

In between working on all these shows, Pardo often spent several hours a day in an NBC sound studio, letting viewers know before each break to a commercial that the last program was brought to them by a certain advertiser. As such, he was one of the last network “booth announcers” working a regular daily shift, a classic broadcasting duty that fell prey to the modern age of easily pre-recorded messages.

And every weekday afternoon for several years in the 1980s, Pardo would quickly clad himself in a tie and blazer to step on camera long enough to announce the local New York station’s “Live at Five” newscast — although Pardo’s vocal alchemy rendered it as “Liiiiiiive at Fiiiiiive!”

Pardo retired from NBC in 2004.

“But Lorne Michaels called me soon after and asked if I would continue for three more weeks, so I did,” Pardotold the AP in 2010. “Then he called and asked if I would do five more, and so on. I never really left.”

For several years, Pardo commuted from Tucson each week the show aired. He arrived to open the show in Rockefeller Center’s fabled Studio 8H, just as he had always done, then caught a returning flight. At the end of the show on Feb. 23, 2008, he was brought on camera to blow out the candles of a birthday cake in celebration of his 90th birthday.

In later years, he recorded his introductions from home.

During his career, Pardo appeared in several movies, mostly as himself or an announcer like himself, including “Radio Days,” Woody Allen’s celebration of the Golden Age of broadcasting, in which Pardo played a game show host. He also made a guest appearance on Frank Zappa’s 1978 album, “Zappa in New York,” and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1984 album, “In 3-D.”

In 2009, he made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom “30 Rock.”

And his services were also retained for commercials. In a mid-1990s spot for long-distance provider MCI, he played host of the “AT&T True-False Quiz.” Pardo posed the question whether “every AT&T customer gets true savings.” A buzzer went off. “False!” he boomed. “Forty million save nothing.”

In 2010, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

Pardo is survived by five children.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Thinking about holiday discards? Cities, Scouts ready to help

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Christmas Eve event features Bible, bikes

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

It’s easy to remember some Christmas memories

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

 
Man’s walk for peace enters Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
$3,500 nets Dixon man $9, he says

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Deadline nears for BookFest authors’ contest

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Suisun waterfront to host restaurant week

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Conservancy schedules next Quail Ridge hike

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield man wants $28,828 returned

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Fairfield police log: Dec. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Dec. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Governor issues 105 pardons, many for drug crimes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
10 years after tsunami, Indonesian family reborn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Storm expected to bring Christmas snow to Sierra

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Sony broadly releases ‘The Interview’ in reversal of plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Regulations would expand coastal California sanctuaries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Officer kills armed 18-year-old near Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Interrogation program mismanaged, Senate, CIA agree

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Denver shelters cite legal pot in homeless upswing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

After NYC deaths, a surge of support for police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
IS shoots down warplane in Syria, captures Jordanian pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Iraq: Suicide attack kills 24 people near Baghdad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Abe takes office for 3rd term as Japan’s leader

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Russia: NATO pushed Kiev to drop nonaligned status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Russia in offer to help firms with foreign debts

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A7

Grisly finds in Iraqi Yazidi village wrested from militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NKorea outage a case study in online uncertainties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Curfew in India state after rebels kill 63

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Cuba’s relations with Catholic Church hit high point

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sony tries to save face with ‘Interview’ flip-flop

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Who hacked Sony becomes Internet’s new mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

Letting go

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
Immunity and interrogators: a second look

By Walter Pincus | From Page: A11

 
My grandson wants what for Christmas?

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 25, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
A partridge in a pear tree will cost a bit more this year

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Court denies Polanski’s motion to dismiss 1977 sex case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Domestic violence at forefront of NFL in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Sharks forward John Scott suspended 4 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Alabama’s Sims proves critics wrong with big season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Associated Press Sports Story of the Year Winners

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Masters races to keep field under 100 players

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Typical NFL season: smiles for some, frowns for others

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NBA prepares for Christmas coming-out party

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B2

Titans lead Bucs for top pick in NFL draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tyler Summitt easing into head coaching career

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Elvis Stojko, Bourne bring skating to small stage

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B2

 
New-Look NBA: In Milwaukee, a new hope rises

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Unions make push to recruit protected immigrants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Honda recalls 1,252 Crosstours over side air bags

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Applications for US jobless aid fall to 7-week low

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Walmart tests gift card exchange

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9