Beloved as the baritone voice of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Don Pardo read the cast roll at the start of that late night comedy juggernaut for several decades, right from its inception in 19...
Westfield, Massachusetts, USA
|Winning Streak||1974 1972 - 1974||Actor||Announcer||19747|
|SNL Christmas 2012||2012 2011 - 2012||Voice||Announcer||20126|
|SNL Presents: Sports All-Stars||2009 2008 - 2009||Narrator||Announcer||1|
|Jackpot||1974 1972 - 1974||Actor||Announcer||19747|
|Steve Martin's Best Show Ever||1981 1980 - 1981||Actor||Announcer||19817|
|Jeopardy!||1974 1962 - 1974||Actor||Announcer||19747|
|Three on a Match||Actor||Announcer||7|
|Those Wonderful TV Game Shows||1983 1982 - 1983||Actor||Announcer||19837|
|Saturday Night Live||2013 1974 - 2013||Actor||Announcer||20137|
|ALF Takes Over the Network||1989 1988 - 1989||Actor||n/a||19897|
|The Simpsons||2014 1988 - 2014||Voice||n/a||20146|
|Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special||1999 1998 - 1999||Actor||Announcer||19997|
|Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008||2008 2007 - 2008||Actor||Announcer||20087|
|30 Rock||2012 2005 - 2012||Actor||Sid||20127|
|The Women of SNL||2010 2009 - 2010||Actor||Announcer||20107|
|Saturday Night Live: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse||2005 2004 - 2005||Narrator||Announcer||1|
|Oz||2002 1996 - 2002||Actor||n/a||20027|
|Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Interviewee||20047|
|Radio Days||1987||Actor||"Guess That Tune" Host||19877|
|Served as announcer for popular game show "The Price Is Right" (NBC, ABC, Syndicated)|
|Made cameo on NBC sitcom "30 Rock," created by "SNL" alum Tina Fey|
|Landed roles as announcer in comedy features "Honeymoon in Vegas" and "Stay Tuned"|
|Cast as a game show host in Woody Allen's "Radio Days"|
|First reported news of President John F. Kennedy's assassination on NBC|
|Worked as announcer on "Jeopardy!" (NBC, Syndicated); only missed one show out of more than 2,700|
|Made TV acting debut on "NBC Presents" episode "Anything But Love"|
|Began providing commentary for baseball games that aired on NBC's experimental television broadcasts|
|Appeared on Gene Rayburn children's game show "Choose up Sides" (NBC)|
|Made radio debut on Providence, RI station WJAR-AM as member of 20th Century Players acting group|
|Began longtime career as announcer for "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)|
|Announced retirement; continued providing intros for "SNL"|
|Joined NBC Radio as staff announcer|
Dominick George Pardo was born in Westfield, MA on Feb. 22, 1918. The desire to perform hit Pardo around the time that he appeared in a high school staging of "A Christmas Carol" as Bob Cratchit. After winning a public speaking prize during his final year at Norwich Free Academy, Pardo had to make a choice. His father wanted him to take over the family baking business someday, but Pardo was eager to become either a dentist or a lawyer. However, his high school guidance counselor heartily recommended that Pardo take advantage of his great voice and enviable communication talent. Pardo took the advice to heart and further enhanced those gifts with speech classes. He had his first radio exposure in 1938 on the Providence, RI station WJAR-AM as part of the 20th Century Players acting group. Impressed by Pardo's ability to read long copy in a correct and dynamic fashion, the manager offered him an announcing position. That same year, Pardo married Catherine Lyons, a union that would produce three children and last almost six decades until her passing in 1995.
Although he initially went by the name Dom, he grew tired of having to correct people and finally just accepted being Don Pardo. His duties mainly involved acting as a "hitchhike announcer" who would provide the "Tune in tomorrow " teaser at the end of various programs. Following several years in that position, Pardo was offered a job at NBC in 1944 when the military draft left it short of vocal talent. As was common for newcomers, he started on the late shift, but was eventually instructed to do commentary for three baseball games that aired on the network's experimental television broadcasts of 1946. Although he found it much less satisfying than radio, NBC was happy with his performance and assigned him more TV duties, including a pair of soap operas and programs starring Fred Allen and Perry Como. He also began to appear on camera, reading commercials and acting on the Gene Rayburn children's game show "Choose up Sides" (NBC, 1953) as Mr. Mischief.
Pardo was soon chosen to be the regular announcer on the initial NBC incarnation of game show mainstay "The Price is Right" (NBC/ABC/CBS, 1955- ). At the conclusion of season eight, the program was moved over to ABC and producer Mark Goodson offered to take him along to the new production headquarters in California. A sizeable raise was also included as part of the enticement. However, Pardo decided that he liked the stability of working in New York and was wary of freelancing. Continuing on with his former duties, Pardo was later involved in a very unfortunate bit of history. At 1:45PM on Nov. 22, 1963, he broke into the regular NBC broadcast to report that President John F. Kennedy had been shot. It was the first time this grim news was presented on the network, which would devote more than 70 hours coverage over the next three days to the assassination. The following year, NBC tapped Pardo for "Jeopardy!" (NBC/syndication, 1964- ), which also turned into an enduring classic and provided him with a regular gig for 11 seasons. He boasted a sterling attendance record, missing only one single show out of more than 2,700.
As with "The Price is Right," Pardo remained on "Jeopardy!" until it left the network in 1975. In the fall of that year, the veteran voiceover man began the assignment for which he would be best remembered. A new venture in late night broadcasting, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) was an attempt to attract the youth and counter-culture audience using the classic television format of sketch comedy and the long-abandoned concept of doing it all live without a net. Created by Lorne Michaels and centered around a once-in-a-lifetime collection of talented young comics, including John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Dan Aykroyd, the hiring of Pardo as the show's announcer was a further contrast/tie-in to the early days of the medium. Although he legendarily botched the opening of the very first episode of "SNL," Pardo's voiceovers became an important part of the show that viewers looked forward to each week. When Jean Doumanian took over from Michaels as showrunner in November of 1980, there was a talent shake-up and Pardo was let go in favor of Mel Brandt. However, the experiment failed mightily and both Michaels and Pardo were back in their old roles the next season as if nothing had happened.
In between his continuing obligations at NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Pardo occasionally capitalized on his celebrity as America's favorite announcer by appearing in other projects. He memorably contributed to the humorous 1984 music video for "I Lost on Jeopardy," comedian Weird Al Yankovic's send-up of that program and the Greg Kihn Band hit song "Jeopardy," and performed as the host of "Guess That Tune" in Woody Allen's "Radio Days" (1987), an affectionate homage to the early days of that medium. Pardo's vocal talents were also heard in movie theatres as game show announcers in the comedies "Honeymoon in Vegas" (1992) and "Stay Tuned" (1992). Aside from Bob Hope, Pardo was the only NBC employee with a lifetime contract. He finally decided to finally retire in 2004, but was convinced by Michaels to continue providing his intros recorded in advance from his new home in Arizona. However, following a few weeks of that arrangement, Pardo agreed to periodically fly back to New York City to resume his duties in person and also guest starred in an episode of the well-respected sitcom "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006-2013). Unfortunately, less than a month after his 95th birthday, Pardo broke his hip. Former cast member Darrell Hammond stepped in to perform Pardo's duties on the March 2, 2013 episode of "SNL," but the much-loved voiceover man was trouper enough to step back behind his microphone in time for the following week's broadcast.
By John Charles
|Catherine Lyons||Wife||Married 1938 until her death July 8, 1995|
|Pardo was one of two people to have a lifetime contract with NBC. The other was Bob Hope.|
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