Saturday Night Live was left with a huge hole to fill back in August, when the only announcer the show had ever known – Don Pardo – died at the age of 96. Pardo was a fixture at SNL for it’s entire 39 year history. Season 40 opens on September 27th, and there will be a new, yet familiar face behind the announcer’s mic as Darrell Hammond will return to Studio 8H as the announcer for SNL.
It seems only fitting that Hammond, one of the longest tenured performers on SNL, would step in. Hammond is best known for his impressions, including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Donald Trump, and my personal favorite, Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy. On several occasions when Pardo was ill Hammond would fill-in, oftentimes with a spot-on imitation of Pardo. USA Today spoke with Hammond, who had the following to say about Pardo, and stepping into the role of announcer:
“I sat in for Don when he had laryngitis several times over the years,” Hammond says. “He was a lovely person. When he passed, they wanted me; it felt right for me to be the one to replace him. It’s been a very improbable life; I didn’t expect something like this, but it feels real good.”
SNL creator Lorne Michaels has said that they do not plan on simply impersonating Pardo moving forward. Pardo was obviously a legend, but as the series moves into it’s 40th year they’ll look to respect the history of the show and Pardo’s contributions, but not replicate them entirely.
“I just knew it wouldn’t be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him,” Michaels says. “It can’t be what it was, but it could sort of be in the same tradition. And it will be nice to have Darrell around. He understands the show and will probably be helpful in ways we haven’t yet figured out.”
Saturday Night Live returns for it’s 40th season starting on September 27th. MOARGeek favorite Chris Pratt will host the first episode of the season.Source: USA Today