RIP: Don Pardo

By Richard Horgan Comment

For the New York Times obituary of Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo, who passed away Monday at age 96, Neil Genzlinger and Bill Carter do a good job of sourcing key portions of a 2006 interview Pardo recorded for the Archive of American Television. Here for example, via that conversation, is how Pardo says he came up with his slowed down and heavily enunciated signature announcing style:

Mr. Pardo said the way The Price is Right was shot led him to develop his peculiar elongated delivery. “The cameras are moving so slowly, and that’s the way I had to describe it: slowly,” he said of the merchandise on the show, which he would describe before contestants tried to guess its price. “Those cameras were large then. You want to make sure you describe what the camera is on.”

The NYT obituary also notes, per the Academy conversation, that Pardo flubbed a key bit of copy during his first SNL intro, inverting the Not Ready for Prime-Time Players as the “Not for Ready Prime-Time Players.” But of course, from June 15, 1944 on at NBC, Pardo was always ready – for the graveyard shift, prime time and, starting in 1975, Saturday nights. RIP.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Don Pardo Reportedly Sidelined from SNL Announcing with Broken Hip