05/29/2015 04:27 pm ET Updated May 29, 2015

How Darrell Hammond Keeps The Spirit Of Don Pardo Alive As 'SNL' Announcer

Darrell Hammond's new gig playing Colonel Sanders in ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken is just one thing keeping him busy these days. The "Saturday Night Live" alum returned to the iconic sketch show this past season as the series' new announcer after the 2014 death of 96-year-old Don Pardo, who occupied the position for nearly 40 years.

During a conversation with HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri on Friday, Hammond said he was initially hesitant about taking the job.

"First of all, I've never been an announcer, and I wouldn't know how to do anything like that. And [the 'SNL' team] said, 'Well, we're going to create a sound,'" Hammond said. "And I was like, 'How? What kind of sound do you want to create?' And they said -- and this sounds weird -- 'It's going to be Pardo but not Pardo.' I was like, 'I'm down. I'll try it.'"

Hammond and the producers spent a week working in a sound booth to arrive at the voice viewers hear at the start of each show, which is a mix of the new and the old.

"What we ended up doing was decided to put Pardo in four or five different vowels. So when you hear the montage, there are four or five vowels that I'm clearly doing Don Pardo. But it's just the vowels," he said.

Ultimately, Hammond is pleased that he gets to pay tribute each Saturday to Pardo, who he called "one of the classiest dudes I ever knew."

"So basically, he's not forgotten. We know that he's gone, but he's not forgotten. That's how we designed it," Hammond said.

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Darrell Hammond here.



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