A familiar face – former cast member Darrell Hammond – is taking over for a familiar voice at "Saturday Night Live."
The show announced Thursday that Hammond, who acted on the long-running comedy show from 1995 to 2009, will replace announcer Don Pardo for the Sept. 27 season opener.
For all but one year of the NBC show's 40-year history, it was Pardo's voice that would announce the host, musical guest, and cast members every week, and he continued the job even after he retired to Arizona. Pardo died at age 96 on Aug. 18.
Hammond, known best for his impersonations of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on the show, could also approximate Pardo's voice and had the chance to do it.
A handful of times while he was on the show, Pardo wasn't available and Hammond filled in for him. NBC never announced the change, and although a few bloggers may have noticed something different, it wasn't widely known.
Another change at “Saturday Night Live” was recently announced – Michael Che, who previously wrote for the program, will co-anchor the “Weekend Update” segment with head writer Colin Jost, replacing cast member Cecily Strong.
“Saturday Night Live” kicks off its fortieth season on Sept. 27 with “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor Chris Pratt hosting and singer Ariana Grande performing. Sarah Silverman will host the next episode on Oct. 4 and Maroon 5 will be the musical guest, while Bill Hader will host on Oct. 11 with Hozier as the musical guest.
In addition, the show will honor its fortieth year with a three-hour special that will air on Feb. 15, according to the New York Times. Will former cast member Bill Murray host the show sometime this season, something he hasn't done since 1999? Sharp-eyed NBC readers noticed that several NBC affiliates posted on their websites that Murray would host along with Pratt and Silverman, according to MTV and the websites Cinema Blend and Splitsider. However, the stations then amended the original stories and mentioned only Pratt and Silverman in the new versions.