Don Pardo, the legendary NBC staff announcer, has been the Saturday Night Live voice for every season except one, since its debut in 1975.
So when Pardo, who turned 95 on February 22, is absent from the show, it’s news. He missed the February 16 broadcast, and the next live show, this past weekend.
TMZ reports that Pardo recently suffered a broken hip. The entertainment site says he’s recovering and “doing just fine.”
In an apparent attempt to keep Pardo’s injury hidden, his trademark opening credits were done by someone else in a poor version of a Pardo impression.
NBC has stayed quiet about Pardo’s condition and status with the show. FishbowlNY also attempted to reach Pardo directly.
Beginning two seasons ago, Pardo retired to Arizona, pre-recording the SNL work from his home studio.
Pardo started in radio in 1938. In 1944 he debuted on NBC, dating his association at the network almost as far back as David Sarnoff. In the decade before SNL, Pardo was announcer for the original Jeopardy on NBC’s daytime schedule. That game show role would ultimately springboard Pardo into pop culture, thanks to “Weird Al” Yankovic, and his 1984 parody I Lost on Jeopardy.
For New York viewers, Pardo had a major part on WNBC newscasts. Throughout the 1980s, he was the announcer, including on-camera cameos, on Live at Five with Sue Simmons and Jack Cafferty. Pardo also handled the voice-over intro and outro for Len Berman’s long running Spanning the World sports highlight segment.
[Photo credit: biography.com]