Darrell Hammond Rejoins ‘Saturday Night Live’ As Announcer

Darrell Hammond show La Jolla Playhouse
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

The new “voice” of “Saturday Night Live” is going to have a familiar tone.

Darrell Hammond, the versatile impressionist who held forth on the program between 1995 and 2009 – the longest tenure of any cast member on the show – will return to the venerable program as its announcer, NBC said Thursday morning. He will replace Don Pardo, the program’s longtime announcer who passed away in August.

News of the hire was reported previously by USA Today and The New York Times.

Hammond has some familiarity with his new duties. He has at times quietly substituted for Pardo when he had voice problems, according to the two outlets’ reports.

“SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels told USA Today that Hammond would not replicate Pardo’s voice, but would come up with his own take on the role. “I just knew it wouldn’t be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him,” Michaels told the media outlet. “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 has over the years portrayed everyone from Regis Philbin and Sean Connery to Al Gore and Donald Trump. NBC is expected to confirm the news later Thursday.

Hammond it not the first former cast member to be brought back on to the show in permanent fashion. Chris Parnell was let go from the show before its new season launched in 2001, then brought back to the program in the next season.

The move is the latest to come from Michaels as he makes his usual tweaks to the program before its new season commences. He has already put comic Michael Che in the co-anchor chair at the show’s “Weekend Update” and named young comedian Pete Davidson as a featured player.

“SNL” is entering its landmark 40th season on the air.

[Updated, 7:41 a.m. PT]

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  1. Amazing performance of the realities of abuse and resulting mental illness.
    I pray Darrell Hammond will find his project a public service and reach as many people as possible.
    Thank you for the experience.

  2. Debra Crum says:

    Congrats to Darrell Hammond. I think it’s cool that he’s going to be the oldest performer on the show, because deep down he is young at heart and up to the task at hand. “The PEN IS Mightier”!

  3. Ryan in L.A. says:

    no. Darrell Hammond had the longest run of any cast member, and he was the oldest. He’s almost 60 now. SNL is supposed to be a showcase of new talent. Hammond shall announce and nothing else.

  4. This is because he has true talent. Probably the top 5 most raw talent (for the show) of all the performers in SNL history. He will take the job as announcer and as emergency “dean of the cast members” and will “chip in” when a sketch needs “gravitas”. Trust me. You will see him a lot. Because I doubt the current group is particularly adept at impersonations. Or acting. Or…

  5. Rick says:

    If Hillary runs I don’t see how you don’t let him play Bill! And Shawn Connery will certainly make a return hopefully wit will Ferrell as Alex Trabeck!

  6. cadavra says:

    I hope that, all parties being willing, he may participate in a sketch occasionally, especially if he’s doing one of his wonderful impressions. Especially if Hillary runs–there’s nobody better as Bill.

  7. Jake says:

    Excellent, excellent choice. Darrell is the most talented SNL cast member of all time.

  8. Riley says:

    I wish Darrel would return as a normal cast member. He was great. But this is great too!

  9. Chuckles says:

    The last few years of Darrell Hammond’s 14 year run are online at Hulu Plus – http://www.vunify.com/watch/saturday-night-live/98349d66/season/30 – 2004 season

  10. zyggie says:

    Hammond is amazing. Glad to have him back on SNL, I will check it out.

  11. Edie S says:

    Hammond is an excellent choice! I love that he is returning to SNL to do this. Perfect.

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