Everyone knows his voice — the booming baritone behind the SNL opening sequence, announcing to fans, “It’s Saturday Night Live!!”
This week, the man who embodied that voice passed away at the age of 96. Don Pardo was the SNL announcer for nearly 40 years, but when he took the assignment on the first episode in the 70’s, he was already a veteran staff announcer for NBC.
With Pardo’s passing, it’s a reminder that the job of staff announcer has largely passed on, too. Today, most voice work is done by freelancers, so an individual voice isn’t tied to a network in the way it once was.
Fusion spoke to Joe Cipriano, a freelance voice artist who’s been the widely-heard voice behind promotions on FOX, CBS and countless other outlets. He speaks about his admiration for voice legends like Pardo, and shows us how the next generation of great announcers gets to work from him.