Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo dies at 96

Los Angeles: `Saturday Night Live` announcer Don Pardo has passed away at the age of 96.

Pardo, whose booming baritone voice became synonymous with the hit NBC comedy show, died on Monday August 18, his daughter Paula said, reported a magazine.

Pardo had retired officially in 2004 but continued to provide the introductions for `SNL`, most recently pre-recording them from his Arizona home.

Viewers heard his distinctive voice at the beginning of each show, announcing the cast and guest stars in his unique style, elongating the words as he spoke them.

"There is nothing like the moment when Don Pardo says your name. Nothing like that thrill. You almost want to cry," former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon said.

The radio and television announcer voiced every season of the popular television show, giving him a remarkable 38-year tenure on the programme.

Pardo lent his voice to radio, commercials, news and sports shows, and a host of other shows including, `The Price is Right`, `Jackpot and Jeopardy!`

He and comedian Bob Hope were the only people to ever be given lifetime contracts with the NBC network.

Pardo, who was born Dominick George Pardo on 22 February 1918, in Massachusetts, and his wife, Kay Pardo, had five children. Kay died in 1995.

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