Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images
Esther Zuckerman
September 18, 2014 at 01:33 PM EDT

Darrell Hammond, who holds the title of longest-tenured cast member in Saturday Night Live history, has a new gig at Studio 8H: Hammond is replacing legendary announcer Don Pardo as the show’s announcer. Pardo died in August at the age of 96

Hammond, a cast member from 1995 to 2009, was a natural choice for the job, having previously stepped in for Pardo when the announcer was out due to his health. “I sat in for Don when he had laryngitis several times over the years,” Hammond told USA Today. “He was a lovely person. When he passed, they wanted me; it felt right for me to be the one to replace him. It’s been a very improbable life; I didn’t expect something like this, but it feels real good.”

SNL creator Lorne Michaels told USA Today that in his new job Hammond will not simply impersonate Pardo as he has in the past. Instead, he’ll devise his own version of the announcements that will accompany a new title sequence. Pardo had been with SNL since its inception, only missing one season.

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