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St. Louis Native Jon Hamm Calls Civil Unrest in Ferguson ‘Rough to Watch’

St. Louis Native Jon Hamm Calls Civil Unrest in Ferguson Rough to Watch

Demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown

Joe Raedle/Getty. Inset:Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Jon Hamm, a St. Louis native and proud hometown booster, says the images coming out of suburban Ferguson, Missouri, near where he grew up and where relatives still live, have been painful to see.

As a kid in neighboring Normandy, “I used to ride my bike to Ferguson. I know people from Ferguson,” the Mad Men Emmy nominee, 43, told PEOPLE Monday at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals were hosting Jon Hamm Bobblehead Night.

Two sisters and an aunt still make their homes in north St. Louis County, now defined outside the region by conflict – some of it violent – in the wake of the Aug. 9 police shooting in Ferguson of an unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown.

Hamm told reporters that the situation in Ferguson is “rough to watch,” and added: “It’s a bad situation all around. There’s no positive spin to it. When all the facts come out, and hopefully all the light is shone on all sides of it, hopefully justice will be carried out.

“But it’s hard. It’s really hard,” he said. “That’s my neighborhood, and I know there’s a lot more good people in those neighborhoods than there are bad people.”

“St. Louis has had a rough couple of decades now. It’d be nice to turn it around a little bit. People in St. Louis, in my experience, are great people. If anybody can do it, we can, and I hope everybody pulls together for the sake of the community. ‘Cause, you know, that’s all you’ve got at the end of the day.”

The Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 in 10 innings on Monday. And Hamm – who recently starred in Million Dollar Arm as a sports agent – had a hand in steering a portion of proceeds from special game tickets to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Noting that he lost his mother to cancer and his father to diabetes, the actor said of St. Jude: “It’s just an organization unlike any other. I couldn’t be more sincere when I say that they’re some of the greatest people on the planet. They provide free health care for kids who can’t afford it, and they cure diseases, and their research department is second to none.”

Of the bobblehead giveaway itself, he said it has its small burdens.

“I’ve got aunts and uncles and cousins and friends of all stripes saying, ‘I’m gonna need one!’ ” said the lifelong Cardinal fan. “I probably need about 40 of them, if anybody’s listening.”

Does that include requests from celebrity friends?

Paul Rudd,” he said, citing his buddy who grew up across the state and just over the Missouri border in Overland Park, Kansas. “He’s a Kansas City Royals guy, so maybe I’ll get him one and write something terrible on the bottom.”

St. Louis Native Jon Hamm Calls Civil Unrest in Ferguson Rough to Watch

Jon Hamm throwing out the first pitch

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

St. Louis Native Jon Hamm Calls Civil Unrest in Ferguson Rough to Watch
Source: St. Louis Native Jon Hamm Calls Civil Unrest in Ferguson ‘Rough to Watch’

Don Pardo, Longtime Voice of Saturday Night Live, Dies at 96

Don Pardo, the durable television and radio announcer whose booming baritone became as much a part of the cultural landscape as the shows and products he touted, including Saturday Night Live, died Monday in Arizona. He was 96.

Pardo died at his home in Tucson, where he moved after retiring from SNL said his daughter, Dona Pardo. Executive producer Lorne Michaels asked him to continue with the show, so he flew back and forth to New York for many years. In recent years, he recorded his introductions from his Tucson home.

Few recognized the face of Pardo, a handsome man with a strong chin and confident smile. But his majestic delivery, with its swoops in pitch and pregnant pauses, graced newscasts, game shows and TV programs for more than 60 years. During the original version of Jeopardy!, his answers to the question, “Tell ‘em what they’ve won, Don Pardo,” became a memorable part of the program.

And he was an integral part of Saturday Night Live for almost four decades in his role heralding the cast’s names to kick off each show, which led former cast member Jimmy Fallon to comment later, “Nothing is like the moment when Don Pardo says your name.” Pardo continued at SNL through the end of last season, when he performed the introductions on the finale in May.

During his career, Pardo’s resonant voiceover style was widely imitated and became the standard in the field. His was no ordinary voice, and he guarded it closely, with cough drops always at the ready.

“My voice is my Achilles’ heel,” he said in a 1985 interview with the Associated Press. “When I get sick, it’s always my voice.”

Quick Path to NBC

Dominick George Pardo was born in Westfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 22, 1918, and grew up in Norwich, Connecticut.

One of his first jobs was that of ticket-taker at a local movie theater; even then, his voice was commanding.

“I’d go out there with a cape and say: ‘Standing room only in the mezzanine. Immediate seating in the balcony.’ “

His father, also Dominick, owned a small bakery and had wanted his son to join the business. But Pardo followed his own dream and, after graduating from Boston’s Emerson College in 1942, began his vocal career at radio station WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island.

Two years later, he met a supervisor at NBC who hired the young Pardo immediately upon hearing his voice. He moved to NBC’s New York affiliate, and never left the network.

Pardo made his mark right away, reading news dispatches on the radio filed from the front lines during World War II. After the war, he became an announcer for such shows as the Arthur Murray Party, Colgate Comedy Hour and Your Show of Shows.

In 1954, he was brought in to announce Winner Takes All, beginning a long run in game shows. His voice was heard on the The Price is Right in its early years, and he was the announcer on the original Jeopardy! (1964-75), hosted by Art Fleming.

The Voice of SNL

Then in 1975, NBC launched Saturday Night Live with Pardo as its announcer, introducing him to a new generation of viewers with a voice as magnificent as ever – although, on opening night, he botched one of the credits. Instead of saying “The Not Ready for Prime Time Players,” Pardo introduced the show’s new comedy troupe as “The Not for Ready Prime Time Players.” But with a voice like his, any name sounded impressive.

Aside from Season 7, when he was displaced, Pardo remained the SNL announcer for decades.

He also introduced sportscaster Len Berman’s “Spanning the World” compilations of funny sports moments, a regular feature on the Today show. (“Tune in next time … if there IS a next time.”)

In between working on all these shows, Pardo often spent several hours a day in an NBC sound studio, letting viewers know before each break to a commercial that the last program was brought to them by a certain advertiser. As such, he was one of the last network “booth announcers” working a regular daily shift, a classic broadcasting duty that fell prey to the modern age of easily pre-recorded messages.

And every weekday afternoon for several years in the 1980s, Pardo would quickly clad himself in a tie and blazer to step on camera long enough to announce the local New York station’s “Live at Five” newscast – although Pardo’s vocal alchemy rendered it as “Liiiiiiive at Fiiiiiive!”

Pardo retired from NBC in 2004.

“But Lorne Michaels called me soon after and asked if I would continue for three more weeks, so I did,” Pardo told the AP in 2010. “Then he called and asked if I would do five more, and so on. I never really left.”

For several years, Pardo commuted from Tucson each week the show aired. He arrived to open the show in Rockefeller Center’s fabled Studio 8H, just as he had always done, then caught a returning flight. At the end of the show on Feb. 23, 2008, he was brought on camera to blow out the candles of a birthday cake in celebration of his 90th birthday.

In later years, he recorded his introductions from home.

During his career, Pardo appeared in several movies, mostly as himself or an announcer like himself, including Radio Days, Woody Allen’s celebration of the Golden Age of broadcasting, in which Pardo played a game show host. He also made a guest appearance on Frank Zappa’s 1978 album Zappa in New York and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1984 album In 3-D.

In 2009, he made a guest appearance on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock.

And his services were also retained for commercials. In a mid-1990s spot for long-distance provider MCI, he played host of the “AT&T True-False Quiz.” Pardo posed the question whether “every AT&T customer gets true savings.” A buzzer went off. “False!” he boomed. “Forty million save nothing.”

In 2010, he was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

Pardo is survived by five children.

Don Pardo, Longtime Voice of Saturday Night Live, Dies at 96
Source: Don Pardo, Longtime Voice of Saturday Night Live, Dies at 96

True Blood’s Jim Parrack Admits It: He Drinks Real Blood

True Bloods Jim Parrack Admits It: He Drinks Real Blood

Leven Rambin and Jim Parrack

Araya Diaz/Getty

08/18/2014 04:00PM

Too much time around vampires? That may be the case for True Blood actor Jim Parrack, who recently admitted he like to indulge in drinking a bit of real blood.

After mentioning this at the opening last March of Broadway’s Of Mice and Men, Parrack confirmed he wasn’t kidding when he reiterated his taste for blood in a recent interview with Vulture.

“I was being literal. I like the real deal,” the actor said, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s quenching his thirst every day.

“Maybe a couple times a year? It’s more like on an impulse,” he said. “When you make me spell it out like this, it sounds strange, but I just want to be clear – that night, I was being literal. There was something about that night where I had that impulse. I guess the best way to put it is, sometimes I just like the way it tastes.”

While he may drink human blood, the actor, who recently split from his wife of six years and is now engaged to Hunger Games actress Leven Rambin, is choosy about whose Type A he will throw back.

“I’m absolutely particular,” he says. “It’s not like it’s just anybody’s! That particular night, it was my girl. Yeah.”

And the reason behind his blood-drinking habit? It’s simple.

“I guess for the same reason some people want alcohol? Or, for the same reason some people want, I don’t know … milk? Or Kool-Aid,” he says.

Still, Parrack keeps it in small doses.

As he insists, “I don’t mean copious amounts of blood. I’m not getting a glass of it or something. But if you drink it, it does something to you emotionally. It’s hard to describe. It’s like you’re in the moment, and the impulse comes, and … I like it.”

True Bloods Jim Parrack Admits It: He Drinks Real Blood
Source: True Blood’s Jim Parrack Admits It: He Drinks Real Blood

Nick Jonas & Olivia Culpo Enjoy Sun-Soaked Weekend in Las Vegas, Joe Jonas Celebrates 25th…

Nick Jonas & Olivia Culpo Enjoy Sun Soaked Weekend in Las Vegas, Joe Jonas Celebrates 25th...

Nick Jonas and Olivia Culpo

Ethan Miller/Getty

Nick Jonas vs. Joe Jonas: Who had the best weekend ever? Between a romantic romp and a milestone birthday, we’re going to have to call it a tie.

Sunning and sparring – that pretty much sums up Nick and Olivia Culpo’s weekend (but it’s not what you may think).

Despite rumors to the contrary, Jonas and his one-time queen of the universe are still as together as ever. The 21-year-old singer and his 2012 Miss Universe girlfriend were spotted in Las Vegas over the weekend celebrating the 25th birthday of Nick’s older brother, Joe.

And it was a happy birthday, indeed – at least judging by the photo of Joe receiving a very, uh, special dance from Little Spinner, billed as the world’s smallest stripper, and a Miley Cyrus performer at the ever-lively Beacher’s Madhouse show on Friday.

Nick Jonas & Olivia Culpo Enjoy Sun Soaked Weekend in Las Vegas, Joe Jonas Celebrates 25th...

Joe Jonas

Bryan Steffy / Wireimage

The festivities continued into the weekend with a party at MGM Grand’s Crush restaurant, where Joe and 17 of his closest friends basked in the sun at Encore Beach Club on Saturday.

“Nick and Olivia walked into the pool hand-in-hand, and from the way they acted, it seemed like they were as comfortable as ever,” a source tells PEOPLE. “They weren’t overly showy, but they definitely seemed happy.”

The couple of more than a year hung out inside their upper level VIP bungalow, coming together several times to catch some rays. Toward the end of the day, Magic Mike star Alex Pettyfer showed up. The younger Jonas, the source says, introduced Culpo as his girlfriend.

“Nick was smoking a cigar and drinking a Coors Light while he rested his hand on her leg,” the source says. “They gave each other a few pecks throughout the day, too.”

Following the day at the pool, the cute couple opted for something more combative: the debut of Big Knockout Boxing at Mandalay Bay. Sitting near Adrian Grenier and Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson, Jonas and Culpo stole a few kisses while watching men hurl wild punches at each other in a small, circular pit.

Jonas knows a thing or two about getting hit: He stars in the upcoming DirecTV drama Kingdom, playing a young, talented martial arts fighter.

Later in the night night, the group hit up XS Nightclub, where the birthday boy was presented with a four-tier cake and champagne.

“Nick was the life of the party,” says an onlooker, “dancing on the couch and making sure his brother was having a great time before breaking away to demonstrate his affection for Olivia, sneaking kisses and sweet exchanges in between photo ops with friends.”

Nick Jonas & Olivia Culpo Enjoy Sun Soaked Weekend in Las Vegas, Joe Jonas Celebrates 25th...
Source: Nick Jonas & Olivia Culpo Enjoy Sun-Soaked Weekend in Las Vegas, Joe Jonas Celebrates 25th…


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