Don Pardo, Voice of 'Saturday Night Live,' Dead at 96

By CNN News Wire

Published 08/19 2014 06:59AM

Updated 08/19 2014 07:00AM

Don Pardo - courtesy NBC
Don Pardo - courtesy NBC
(CNN) -- Don Pardo, the announcer whose baritone voice introduced "Saturday Night Live" hosts on NBC for decades, has died at age 96, the network announced.

In a tweet, "NBC Nightly News" described Pardo as legendary.

Though best known as the voice of the weekly sketch comedy program, Pardo previously had a role in a very serious story. "As the NBC staff announcer on Nov. 22, 1963, he was among the first to tell the nation about the assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mourning the loss Tuesday, NBC's Al Roker described Pardo on Twitter as "a classic."

Seth Myers, who spent years on "SNL" before recently beginning his own late-night talk program, wrote, "RIP Don Pardo. A voice that meant so much."

Ron Simon, curator of television and radio at the Paley Center for Media, said Pardo celebrated his 70th anniversary with NBC in June, having started in 1944 as an announcer.

(Josh Levs, CNN)

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