You can never underestimate the power of a good voice. It can turn homeless men into media sensations and it can turn radio announcers into legends. For Dominick Pardo, born in Westfield, Massachussetts on February 22, 1918, it turned a high school actor into one of the most famous voices to ever come out of a microphone. Don Pardo was famous well before he got the job as the announcer on Saturday Night Live, acting as Lorne Michaels’ voice of authority, but the SNL role turned him into an icon. The legendary Don Pardo has passed away at age 96, leaving behind a lifetime of great announcing work and one of the most incredible voices ever heard.
“He was fantastic in the warm-up,” said Bob Stewart, the creator of The Price Is Right, one of many famous shows Pardo worked on. “The audience came in, and he would talk to them and get them pumped up. Then, when the magic moment came for the show to start, he would put his hands up and the crowd would go totally silent. I was walking by one day and saw this and said, ‘The sound they’re making is so exciting, let’s not cut them off.’ So the trademark of the show became that when we came on the air, there was crowd noise. That was because of Don.”
Born near the end of World War I, Pardo got his job at NBC in 1944, and he earned one of the rarest privileges of any NBC personality: a lifetime contract. Even when he retired, or tried to retire, Lorne Michaels kept bringing him back time and time again. It just won’t be the same without him announcing all the new cast members on next season’s SNL.
Tags: obituaries, voice-over actors, announcers, don pardo, saturday night live, nbc, don pardo dead at 96, famous voices, snl, don pardo dead, celebrities, the price is right, jeopardy, lorne michaels, bob stewart, Dominick Pardo, Westfield, Massachusetts