‘SNL’ Season 40: Darrell Hammond to Replace Don Pardo as Announcer
Of the many changes in store for the 40th season of 'SNL,' none would prove so heartbreaking as the loss of beloved announcer Don Pardo, who passed away earlier this year. No one could ever replace Pardo's distinct intonation announcing every 'SNL' installment, though the new voice of the sketch comedy series will at least be a familiar one, as distinguished alum Darrell Hammond takes the mic.
The 58-year-old Hammond had established his own 'SNL' legend from 1995-2009, with such notable impressions as Bill Clinton, or fan-favorite Sean Connery during the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketches. Hammond had even stepped in for Pardo on the rare occasion over 39 years in which the announcer had to sit out an episode. Said Hammond of the honor to USA Today:
I sat in for Don when he had laryngitis several times over the years. 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.
Added series creator Lorne Michaels, noting that Hammond's announcing style will prove distinct from Pardo:
I just knew it wouldn't be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him. 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.
Most recently adding comedian Pete Davidson as a featured player, 'SNL''s 40th anniversary season will see season 39 addition Mike O'Brien returning to the writer's room, complimenting the departures of fellow freshmen Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells and John Milhiser. 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star Chris Pratt will host the September 27 premiere accompanied by Ariana Grande, followed by Sarah Silverman/Maroon 5, and alumni Bill Hader/Hozier on October 11.
'SNL' season 40 will take some adjustment all the same, but what do you think? Will Darrell Hammond live up to the legendary Don Pardo as announcer?