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The second and final new addition to Saturday Night Live for Season 40 should be a familiar one.
It’s Darrell Hammond, who is headed back to Studio 8H after leaving the show back in 2009 following a record-breaking 14-season run. This time, however, Hammond will be mostly off-camera, as he’s stepping in for legendary announcer Don Pardo, who died in August at 96.
In this 2006 interview to commemorate his induction into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, Pardo recalls a Saturday in 1999 when he was hit with a case of laryngitis and Hammond, a gifted impressionist, saved the day.
In the show’s opening monologue, host James Van Der Beek endured shameless flirtations from Pardo. “I love you Dawson,” Hammond says in his best Pardo voice before prompting the Dawson’s Creek star to open a gift — a pair of white briefs.
“He did such a job,” Pardo recalls, “that my sister-in-law in Newport, R.I., called up the following Sunday morning … and said, ‘You were going back to your acting days! You sounded terrific!'”
“I said, ‘Really? Well how do I sound now?'” Pardo asked, his voice completely hoarse. His relative could hardly believe the sound-alike she’d heard the night before wasn’t him.
Hammond later told Pardo, mimicking the announcer’s trademark boom, “You’re difficult to do!”
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