Darrell Hammond, a cast member on Saturday Night Live between 1995 and 2009, will return to the show to take over for Don Pardo, the magnificent long-time announcer who passed away over the summer. Hammond already has some experience in the matter, having filled in for Pardo in the past.
However, Hammond will not — as he did before — announce with a Don Pardo impression. Hammond will come up with his own take. “”I just knew it wouldn’t be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him,” Lorne Michaels said of the hiring. “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.”
Hammond was on the show for so long that, even when he re-appeared after he left the show to do spot impressions, many hadn’t realized he’d even left. He already feels like an SNL institution, and I’m sure that — given Hammond’s ability with impressions — he’ll also continue to make spot appearance on the show.
SNL returns for its 40th season next week with Chris Pratt as host. Sarah Silverman and Bill Hader will serve as the second and third hosts of the season.