A month ago, the world lost longtime NBC veteran Don Pardo, a man who did the voice work on shows like The Price Is Right and Jeopardy over the years, but who is probably most well-known for his contributions to Saturday Night Live. Despite 30 Rock and the audiences’ sadness over Pardo’s passing, the show must go on, and on Thursday, NBC announced that a former SNL cast member will be returning to the series to pick up where Pardo left off. That former Not Ready For Primetime Player is none other than Darrell Hammond.
Hammond only has a few days to settle into the new gig. Saturday Night Live’s 40th season will hit the schedule on September 27 and NBC’s announcement this morning noted that Hammond will be a part of Season 40 from day one. He’ll announce host Chris Pratt and musical guest Ariana Grande that first week, and will be responsible for announcing Sarah Silverman, Bill Hader, Hozier and Maroon 5 in the weeks following.
The other big duty of the SNL announcer is to introduce the cast of Not Ready For Primetime players, noting new cast members and jumps from featured player into the late night big leagues. Over the years, Pardo was a part of announcing the likes of Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Kristen Wiig and so many more legendary comedians. If Hammond sticks with the gig for long enough, no doubt he will be responsible for ushering some big names onto the stage, too.
The gig should be a great fit for Hammond. The man was a cast member on SNL for 14 seasons, and holds the record for number of appearances on the show. During his tenure, he was responsible for a vast number of celebrity impressions, including Al Gore, Senator John McCain, Donald Trump and more. Humorously enough, the man also has a wicked Don Pardo impression, and even filled in for Pardo on occasion in the past. Hammond’s impression of Pardo is so good, it has even fooled Pardo’s family. But don’t take it from me, you can hear the whole story from the legend himself.
It’s hard to believe that anyone could ever truly replace Don Pardo. He’s an NBC icon and was the voice at the network for more than seventy years. But I also don’t think NBC could do better than Hammond moving forward. We’ll find out when SNL returns to the schedule on Saturday, September 27 at 11:35 p.m. ET.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.