Saturday Night Live stars including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Adam Sandler joined forces this weekend to pay a touching tribute to the show’s late music producer Hal Willner.
The Pennsylvania native passed away on 7 April (20), after reportedly suffering from symptoms consistent with the coro*****, and during Saturday’s (11Apr20) remotely-filmed show, comedy castmembers past and present came together virtually to honor his memory.
Kate McKinnon opened the segment by telling viewers, “The music becomes such an integral part of the sketch that you kind of don’t notice it, but without it, it wouldn’t make any sense.
“On SNL, the guy who scores it only has a few hours. The guy’s name is Hal Willner and we lost him this week.”
Sandler then appeared onscreen from his home, saying, “We are going to miss you so damn much,” while Kenan Thompson added, “We’re going to miss his presence and passing him in the hallways.”
Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Mulaney, and Pete Davidson also shared their fond memories of Willner, who joined the SNL crew in 1980, before the likes of Fey, Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, and Molly Shannon joined the tribute to deliver a group rendition of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.
The SNL special, the first new episode to air since the sketch comedy series suspended production in March amid the C****** pa****ic, also featured cor***** survivor Tom Hanks as the surprise guest host, along with surprise cameos from Larry David and Alec Baldwin, who reprised their respective roles as former U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and incumbent leader Dona*d Tru*p.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin served as the musical guest, performing a cover of Bob Dylan classic, Shelter From the Storm.