‘SNL’ honors Hal Willner, who died of complications related to COVID-19 | Instant News


New York was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cast and crew of “Saturday Night Live,” who calls the city home, feeling sick personally after the beloved music producer Hal Willner died last week due to coronavirus-related complications.

“SNL” all past and present stars, including Kate McKinnon, Adam Sandler, Bill Hader, Kenan Thompson, Pete Davidson, and Fred Armisen, offer personal thoughts about Willner during the sweet award at the end Unusual remote episodes on Saturdays, the iconic comedy show for the first time since coronavirus forced a halt to production after the March 7 episode.

Their words are complemented by Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” sweet appearance by those who have the “SNL” talent, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, and Molly Shannon.

Willner, who is 64 years old, joined “SNL” in 1980, choosing music for sketches for 40 years. He is working on the latest episode, guided by Daniel Craig, before the production hiatus last month. He also is a record producer who works with Marianne Faithfull and Laurie Anderson.

The perfect “Perfect Day” choice: Reed is a close friend of Willner, who also produces the music. (Representative Willner Blake Zidell told USA TODAY that he has “symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” even though he was not officially diagnosed.)

McKinnon, who filmed at home like all “SNL” castles and host Tom Hanks, introduced this segment, explaining the importance of musical choices in sketches designed to have more cinematic qualities.

More: Hal Willner, the old music producer of ‘Saturday Night Live’, died after showing symptoms of COVID-19

“They need to be judged more like movies so they make sense and make jokes,” McKinnon said, as a clip with host J.K. Simmons in the “Casablanca” sketch from the previous episode is shown. “Music becomes an integral part of the sketch so you don’t pay attention to it, but without it, it doesn’t make sense. At ‘SNL,’ the person who scores is only a few hours away. The man’s name is Hal Willner and we lost him this week.”

What followed was a rolling segment of the fast-hit long-distance attribute, with the words of one player leading to another’s warning.

“We will miss you a lot,” Sandler said. “You’re just a great man, a great person.”

Comedian John Mulaney, who hosted the program and wrote for “SNL,” called Willner “an extraordinary friend to me, to so many people who work on ‘Saturday Night Live.'”

More: ‘SNL’ Recap: The remote edition looks strange, but the host Tom Hanks offers the comfort we need

The others talked about Willner’s deep knowledge and love of music.

“When I was on ‘SNL,’ he used to come to my dressing room and share music with me,” said Fred Armisen, who now leads the band on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Hader remembered Willner sharing musical recommendations: “‘This is Frank Zappa from the late 60s.’ … We just like many of the same things. “

At one point, Fey, Poehler & Co. appeared on the screen in eight squares similar to Zoom, singing “Perfect Day.” All sing from a distance but they sound very similar.

Mulaney was amazed that “someone who had been friends with Miles Davis had a heart big enough to involve me in his life.”

Pete Davidson gave the most emotional testimony: “I have been through a lot of things over the past six years, especially being part of the show. And Hal always treats me with open arms, a warm smile and always being the funniest guy. I just want to say you will be missed very much. and we all think of you and we love you very much. “

More: ‘SNL’ Recap: (Not really) Live From New York (and other places), but happy to get it back

Hader said he and Willner talked about being a father; Armisen said music producers also like dolls.

Thompson, sitting with his two daughters in pajamas on the stairs, shared the group’s sentiments. “Hal, we miss you and we love you,” he said, as his younger daughter stretched. “Is that right, Boo-boo?”

This segment features Willner’s photos and videos, which call his work “SNL” “an extraordinary show.”

The immediate nature of the show “is what really interests me,” he said. “I’m somewhat out of danger, (as in) ‘Hey, this is really (bleep).’ Or, ‘This will be very magical.’ “


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