Don Pardo -- the man who famously announced "It's Saturday Night Live!" starting from the very first episode of "SNL" in 1975 -- passed away Monday night at the age of 96 ... NBC officials confirm.
Pardo reportedly died in his sleep in Tucson, AZ.
The man with the booming voice was hand-picked for the "SNL" job by creator Lorne Michaels -- and was featured on 38 of the 39 seasons (he missed season 7). He also missed 2 eps in 2013 after suffering a broken hip.
But like the champ he was ... Pardo got back to work after healing up and continued to serve as "SNL" announcer when the show resumed in September 2013. He worked all the way up until the "SNL" season finale back in May.
Pardo had been working with NBC since 1944 ... and provided voice work on everything from baseball games to newscasts and even gameshows -- spending 7 years on "The Price is Right" starting in 1956.
After that gig, Pardo spent 11 seasons on "Jeopardy" ... back when Art Fleming hosted the show.
Long story short ... the guy was a pioneer in almost every facet of television.
Former "SNL" writer John Mulaney tweeted moments ago ... saying, "Goodbye Don Pardo. You worked from World War II until this May. You were cool as hell. I'm very lucky I got to talk to you those few times."
Dane Cook also posted a message about Pardo -- saying, "I always wanted to host SNL and it was a lifelong mission. When I got it and got to NYC I had 1 must. Get a photo with the great Don Pardo. His voice set the tone of the show and hearing him usher in each host with his booming hijinx-y role call was in my dreams but saying my name finally. My dream came true. Thank you sir for spending time chatting and introducing me to America on that special Saturday night."
My Wife Gave Birth
What's Up With That?
6/22/2014 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Lindsey Buckingham better beeline it to Babies R Us and buy a gift ... because Kenan Thompson's wife just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Georgia Marie Thompson was born Friday morning around 10:30 AM in New York -- weighing in at 6 lbs - the new parents are exhausted/ecstatic.
Kenan, hasn't slept a wink since the baby was born.
Welcome to parenthood ... and hey, Kenan, while you're at it, check out the Brandi Glanville post on TMZ. Our baby advice -- no matter what she does, don't call her an a-hole!
for Fashion Awards Show
6/3/2014 6:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Triggered by Spider
5/18/2014 7:19 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The catalyst for the Solange/Jay Z elevator fight has been a mystery ... until now. "Saturday Night Live" spilled the beans ... an errant spider.
It's pretty funny ... especially Maya Rudolph who plays an epic Beyonce.
The way they explain the kicks is especially hilarious.
Slavery Puts Her On SNL Map
... For Better or Worse
5/6/2014 12:02 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
'Saturday Night Live' Actress
BLASTED BY EBONY HONCHO
'You're An Embarrassment'
5/5/2014 5:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
A "Saturday Night Live" actress is under attack by the senior editor of Ebony.com -- who claims a bit she performed on the show where she joked about being a "Number 1 slave draft pick" is an "embarrassment."
The woman in the crosshairs is Leslie Jones -- who performed the bit during the Weekend Update of SNL ... and essentially said in slave days, she would have been the most popular woman on the plantation for forced slave breeding.
"See, I’m single right now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single. I’m six feet tall and I’m strong, Colin. Strong! I mean, look at me, I’m a mandingo ... I’m just saying that back in the slave days, my love life would have been way better. Massah would have hooked me up with the best brotha on the plantation … I would be the No. 1 slave draft pick."
But after the sketch, the backlash began -- with Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux tweeting, "This Leslie Jones person is an embarrassment @msmarypryor. I'm so appalled right now."
Jones fired back on Sunday -- writing, "If anybody should be offended is white folks cause it’s what they did.”
"Y’all so busy trying to be self righteous you miss what the joke really is. Very sad I have to defend myself to black people. Now I’m betting if Chris Rock or Dave [Chappelle] did that joke or jay z or Kanye put in a rap they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do this type of material. Just cause it came from a strong black woman who ain’t afraid to be real y’all mad."
"So here is my announcement black folks, you won’t stop me and Im gonna go even harder and deeper now. Cause it’s a shame that we kill each other instead of support each other. This exactly why black people are where we are now cause we too f***** sensitive and instead of make lemonade out of lemons we just suck the sour juice from the lemons. Wake up."
Kenan Kinda Dissed Me, But ...
I'll Give Him Another Chance
4/1/2014 12:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell came thiiiiiis close to squashing their longstanding beef at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards -- Kel totally thought it was happening ... and then it didn't.
We caught up with Kel in Sherman Oaks Monday, and he told our camera guy he was under the impression during their segment Sunday night ... Kenan would give him a shout out.
For everyone above the age of 12 who missed it -- Nickelodeon gave one of the executive producers of "Kenan & Kel" a Lifetime Achievement award, and Thompson sent in a recorded speech where he never acknowledged working with Kel.
Sources close to Kenan say it wasn't meant to be a diss ... producers didn't tell him to mention Kel until after the piece had been filmed and he was too busy for a re-shoot.
Kel says he's not mad -- and even offers one final plea to Kenan in regard to a reunion.
Watch ... it has nothing to do with orange soda.
'Half Baked' Star
My Ex-Neighbor Mailed Condoms
To My Underage Daughters
3/12/2014 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Half Baked" star Jim Breuer's ex-neighbor is now facing felony stalking charges -- after allegedly mailing a box of condoms to the actor's Jersey house ... in a perverted joke involving Jim's underage daughters.
Sources close to Jim tell TMZ, the actor's been having problems with Giuseppe Ionfrida for a couple years ... but it got particularly twisted back in December.
We're told Ionfrida allegedly left extremely creepy comments on a YouTube video about Jim, such as ... "How's your three pretty daughters doing ;)" Days later, Jim claims Ionfrida shipped him a box of condoms.
We're told Jim called police in early January, and Ionfrida was arrested on felony stalking charges.
We spoke to Ionfrida who told us he denies leaving the YouTube comments about Jim and his daughters. He did say he doesn't like his kids hanging around Jim -- which is an issue since their kids are friends.
We reached out to Breuer ... he had no comment.
Ionfrida has a hearing Wednesday on the stalking charges... and is prohibited from contacting Jim and his family as a condition of bail.
I'm Not Guilty
So Why Do I Have to Go To AA?
3/3/2014 11:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Kattan just pled not guilty to DUI ... and in an unusual move, the judge ordered him to attend AA meetings.
TMZ broke the story ... Chris crashed his Mercedes into a parked car on the freeway last month after allegedly admitting he had taken Rx drugs. Earlier that day he was totally out of it on an airplane.
Chris entered his not guilty plea Monday morning and the judge ordered him to attend 2 AA meetings per week -- as a condition to bail. It's odd ... because everything we've found about AA focuses on alcohol ... not prescription meds. And alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
It's also curious ... the judge didn't order Chris to abstain from meds or booze.
I'm Not a Drug Addict
... I Just Have a Bad Back
3/3/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Kattan is not on a prescription pill-induced downward spiral ... he's just got a bad back.
Kattan blew out of LA Friday before the Oscars hit town ... and chalked up his bizarre behavior on a plane -- and his subsequent DUI arrest last month -- to Rx meds after back surgery.
Kattan doesn't tell us when he underwent surgery ... but assures our photog he's doing just fine.
We also asked about DUI charges filed this week, but he's totally in the dark.
Might wanna look into that.
Charged With Driving While High
2/28/2014 9:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Kattan was high on drugs when he crashed his Mercedes into a truck on the 101 Freeway earlier this month ... according to the LA. City Attorney, who just nailed the comedian with a DUI charge.
A rep for the City Attorney's office tells TMZ, prosecutors filed one count of Driving under the Influence of Drugs, which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense.
As we reported, Chris' car was seen weaving on the freeway early on Feb. 10 ... before careening into a coned area and slamming into a parked Dept. of Transportation truck, destroying his car in the process.
According to sources, Kattan -- who was not injured -- appeared out of it and told cops he had taken Rx pills before the crash. He was arrested on the scene.
Kattan will be in court for arraignment March 3.
Back In the Saddle
After DUI Arrest
2/22/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Kattan was back in action Friday night with a brand new ride after totaling his old whip and getting busted for DUI.
Chris was leaving Craig's in West Hollywood in a very nice Mercedes ... and clearly did not want to talk about the wild ride in the old Mercedes that ended up in the junk heap.
TMZ broke the story ... Chris was arrested last week after crashing into a parked vehicle inside a coned area on the 101 Freeway. Cops say he admitted to being under the influence of drugs, not alcohol. He appeared totally out of it when he flunked his field sobriety test.
Earlier in the day ... Chris was so whacked out on a flight from Canada to L.A. ... paramedics were there when the plane pulled up to the gate and they treated the former "Saturday Night Live" star.
Goes Lights Out on TV Cooking Show
2/15/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Chris Kattan could barely keep his eyes open filming a recent Food Network show ... and his celebrity co-stars were worried the ex-SNL star was in the throes of a major struggle with addiction.
Kattan was on "Rachael Ray vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" ... and after nodding off during a meal-planning segment he was booted in the second episode -- which aired last month.
Our on-set sources say Kattan claimed he had been drinking with old "Saturday Night Live" friends the night before and just couldn't stay awake -- but the cast didn't buy it.
Kattan was arrested for DUI this week ... after crashing into a parked car on the freeway. Cops say he admitted to them he had been taking Rx drugs. Hours earlier he was so out of it on an airplane ... paramedics intercepted him when the plane landed.
No word back from Kattan's rep.