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The death of "Saturday Night Live" announcer Don Pardo last month left a gaping hole in the show's lineup -- one that has finally been filled.

Producer Lorne Michaels announced Thursday that "SNL" vet Darrell Hammond would be the new voice of the program, following Pardo's 39-season tenure. Hammond, himself a longtime fixture at "SNL" following 14 seasons -- the most for any cast member in the show's history -- will make his second "Saturday Night Live" debut when the show returns for its 40th season later this month.

Hammond had actually filled in for Pardo several times over the years when the announcer was sick with laryngitis (including one memorable episode with James Van Der Beek, which we've embedded below). But Michaels was quick to say that Hammond wouldn't simply be doing a Pardo impression this time around.

"I just knew it wouldn't be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him," Michaels said in an interview with USA Today. "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."

As for Hammond, he told USA Today that he was honored to follow in Pardo's footsteps, and excited to return to his former home at Studio 8H.

"He was a lovely person," Hammond said of Pardo. "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."

The 40th season of "Saturday Night Live" kicks off on September 27 with host Chris Pratt.

via: USA Today, h/t Vulture

Photo credit: Getty Images

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