I represent the first generation who, when we were born, the television was now a permanent fixture in our homes. When I was born people had breakfast with Barbara Walters, dinner with Walter Cronkite, and slept with Johnny Carson.
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Monday, August 18, 2014
(February 22, 1918 – August 18, 2014)
Legendary Radio and Television announcer Don Pardo died today.
He was born Dominick George "Don" Pardo was an American radio and television announcer, who was best known for his work on the long-running late night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He was the announcer of Saturday Night Live for all but one of its seasons. He continued to provide voice over services during the program's opening montage, several years after his retirement from NBC.
Pardo was the on-duty live booth announcer for WNBC-TV in New York and the NBC network on November 22, 1963, and he was first to announce to NBC viewers that President John F. Kennedyhad been shot in Dallas, Texas.
In January 1986, Pardo replaced Hal Simms as announcer on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, four years after it had moved from CBS to NBC. He was the announcer until the final episode, on December 26, 1986.
In December 1976 Pardo participated in a musical performance by Frank Zappa, reciting a verse of the song "I'm the Slime". Pardo subsequently reprised this role on the live-recorded version of the song for the Zappa in New York album (it was not featured on the first release in 1978, but it appears on the 1993 CD re-release). He also provided narration for the songs "The Illinois Enema Bandit" and "Punky's Whips" (a business dispute between Zappa and his record company of the time led to "Punky's Whips" being removed from the 1978 album, but the song was reinstated on the 1993 CD).
Pardo also participated in the "Weird Al" Yankovic song "I Lost on Jeopardy," from his second album, "'Weird Al' Yankovic in 3-D," a parody of "Jeopardy" by the Greg Kihn Band, and its refrain "Our love's in jeopardy." The song became the fourth music video released by Yankovic, and featured a number of cameo appearances including Kihn, Fleming, Yankovic's mentor Dr. Demento, Pardo, and Yankovic's parents.
Pardo retired from NBC in 2004, but continued to provide the introductions for SNL. In 2006, he began prerecording his announcements from a studio in his Arizona home.That arrangement lasted only a few episodes before producers insisted that they needed him in Studio 8H, and he resumed weekly flights to New York. On Saturday, February 23, 2008, Pardo appeared at the closing of SNL to blow out the candles of his 90th birthday cake. Upon his induction into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame on May 14, 2009, Pardo suggested that the May 16, 2009, episode of Saturday Night Live would be his last. However, he did subsequently return for the show's 35th season.
Starting with the 36th season, Pardo once again began pre-recording his parts from his home in Arizona instead of performing live in New York City.