Don Pardo, The longest serving network announcer for NBC, died last night. He was 96.
Pardo’s body of work is heard far and wide, from the premiere seasons of The Price is Right with Bill Cullen to Jeopardy with Art Fleming.
His most notable news work was on November 22, 1963, as he broke the first two bulletins for the NBC Television Network after President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.
After Pardo’s first two bulletins, the NBC News team of Frank McGhee, Chet Huntley, and others joined in and anchored the coverage from there. Pardo was the first on the NBC Network to air the news in the announce booth.
Pardo’s voice was legendary on Saturday Night Live, which had been NBC’s Saturday Night to start with. The Not Ready for Primetime Players couldn’t wait to hear their names announced by Pardo, whose voice was legendary on NBC, having served since 1944. By the late 70’s, Pardo was announcing WNBC News 4 New York’s Live at Five with Jack Cafferty, Sue Simmons, and Al Roker with the weather.
Pardo will be missed, and he was the last of the staff announcers to retire, but continued on a freelance basis with NBC on Saturday Night Live.