Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pardo Calls It Quits

The legendary Don Pardo has retired at the age of 91. Pardo announced his last episode of Saturday Night Live over the weekend.

Pardo officially retired from NBC in 2004 and moved to Tucson. However, the producers of SNL convinced him to continue providing the introductions for their show. In 2006, he decided to begin prerecording his announcements from a home studio in Arizona. That lasted only a few episodes before producers insisted they needed him present in Studio 8H, and he resumed flying to The Big Apple on a weekly basis to do the show.

Pardo was the on-duty live booth announcer for NBC on November 22, 1963. He was first to announce to NBC viewers that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

Pardo made his mark on game shows for NBC as the booming voice of the original The Price Is Right, hosted by Bill Cullen, from 1956 until it moved to ABC in 1963. The next year, he moved over to Jeopardy!, hosted by Art Fleming, which he announced from 1964 until the original version of the series ended in 1975. Pardo reprised that role with a cameo in Weird Al's 1984 tune I Lost on Jeopardy, a parody of the Greg Kihn Band's hit song Jeopardy from the previous year. Besides Pardo and Fleming, Greg Kihn and Dr. Demento also appeared in Weird Al's video.