By: Zenab Saeed ~Staff Writer~
Comedian and actor Darrell Hammond is set to replace Don Pardo as the announcer on NBC’s
“Saturday Night Live” (SNL).
Pardo, a notable radio and television announcer who had a successful career for the past 70 years, died in his sleep at the age of 96 on Aug. 10. In his time, Pardo served as the announcer for many NBC shows including “The Price is Right,” “Jeopardy!” and “NBC Nightly News.” His most notable job, however, was his role at “SNL,” where, beginning with the show’s debut in 1975, he was the announcer for 39 seasons.
Pardo officially retired from NBC in 2004 but agreed to lend his voice to announce the show’s introduction, cast members, host and musical guest following the cold open sketch while Executive Producer Lorne Michaels searched for a permanent replacement.
A replacement, however, was never found. Hammond, who was known for his impressions, even impersonated Pardo by filling in for him during the few episodes that the announcer missed due to illness over the years. Though Hammond retired from “SNL’s” cast in 2009 following the conclusion of the 34th season, he is now returning to “SNL” as Pardo’s
Hammond was the show’s longest-tenured player and was on the cast for 14 consecutive years from 1995 to 2009, holding the record for most episode appearances by any cast member at 280. During his time on “SNL,” Hammond also set the record for the most celebrity impressions done by a cast member at 107.
Some of Hammond’s most notable impressions include President Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Travolta. Since his departure from “SNL,” Hammond has returned for various cameos on the show and has also appeared in many films and TV shows.
NBC officially announced the replacement on Sept. 17, and Hammond will begin as “SNL’s” announcer on Sept. 27 for the season premiere.