Don Pardo, whose voice was heard on game shows, soap operas, news shows, “Saturday Night Live” and a famous recording by “Weird Al” Yankovic, has died at age 96, reported the Hollywood Reporter Monday. No details of his death were available.
Dominick George Pardo was born on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Massachusetts. He began his career in the late 1930s at a small Rhode Island radio station. He began his career with NBC in 1944 at a radio station affiliated with the network.
He moved to television in the 1950s as announcer on game shows such as “Concentration,” “Judge For Yourself,” “Choose Up Sides,” “Charge Account,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “The Colgate Comedy Hour,” “Winner Take All,” “The Price Is Right,” “Remember This Date” and the original “Jeopardy!” with host Art Fleming. He joined “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 and participated in some sketches, including a song with Frank Zappa called “I'm the Slime.” According to biography.com, he was given a lifetime contract from NBC.
During the run of "The Price Is Right" with host Bill Cullen, he made occasional on-air appearances. And in a 1998 interview, he talked about being one of the first to announce the assassination of President Kennedy on the air.
In 1984, he had the main role as the announcer on the “Weird Al” Yankovic song “I Lost on Jeopardy!,” a parody of a Greg Kihn tune. The song debuted on the Billboard charts on June 30, 1984 and peaked at #81 in a three-week stint on the charts.
He introduced the "contestants," but his speech to Yankovic later in the song that parodied the many prize announcements he made on “Jeopardy!” through the years was hilarious. “That's right Al, you lost. And let me tell you what you didn't win: a 20-volume set volume of the Encyclopedia International, a case of Turtle Wax, and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat. But that's not all, you also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people. You brought shame and disgrace to your family name for generations to come. You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You're a complete loser!”
In recent years, he had roles in “Radio Days” and “The Simpsons.” He has been inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame and later the Television Academy Hall of Fame, one of the few announcers to be so honored.