Matt Villines of ‘SNL’s Matt & Oz Passes Away at 39
Saturday Night Live lost one of its brightest talents over the weekend. According to Mike O’Brien, Matt Villines — one half of directing duo “Matt & Oz” with Oz Rodriguez — died Saturday night after a long battle with cancer. Alongside Rodriguez, Villines served as the behind-the-scenes force behind SNL’s most hilarious and memorable pre-taped sketches since he joined the show in 2013 including “Sad Mouse,” “Back Home Ballers,” “The Jay Z Story,” “Grow-A-Guy,” and “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” among many others. Prior to SNL, Villines taught at Los Angeles Film School and made videos for Super Deluxe and Funny or Die. If you’d like to check out all the sketches Villines worked on, you can watch them over at the Matt & Oz Vimeo page. NBC has confirmed Villines was 39 years old.
Here’s just some of what his friends and colleagues have said since his passing:
Last night my good friend Matt Villines passed away. He was kind, passionate & fearless and I miss him already. pic.twitter.com/DZfQOOec42
— Mike O'Brien (@MikeOBrienXOXO) July 10, 2016
1st time I got to work w/ Matt & Oz. Matt's super calm was needed in a Times Sq shoot. I miss him so much already. https://t.co/FH18iV2ZKo
— Mike O'Brien (@MikeOBrienXOXO) July 11, 2016
— Bryan Tucker (@BTuckertime) July 11, 2016
Was lucky enough to get to work with Matt Villines at SNL and I am going to miss him deeply. Wonderful guy.
— Bobby Moynihan (@bibbymoynihan) July 11, 2016
— Aidy Bryant (@aidybryant) July 11, 2016
Matt Villines was a WONDERFUL man. Im so lucky I got to work with him. He was funny, kind and incredibly talented. https://t.co/PX3uhyZpTf
— Chris Kelly (@imchriskelly) July 11, 2016
On our left there is my good friend Matt Villines (of "directed by Matt & Oz") lining up a shot for the Snl short, Monster Pals. I'm extremely sad to say he passed away last night. He was one of my favorite people. He taught me a ton about filmmaking and even more about being kind even when you're stressed or frustrated or sick. I'm going to post a handful of photos of him this week and I hope those of you who knew him will do the same.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) July 11, 2016
Mike O’Brien will be posting photos of Villines on Instagram all week, so keep an eye out there for more tributes in the coming days. In the meantime, take a few minutes to watch one of his most unique SNL contributions ever — the very bittersweet “Sad Mouse” starring Bruno Mars:
RIP Matt Villines, an incredible talent whose work at SNL will be sorely missed next season.
UPDATE: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Matt Villines,” Saturday Night Live said in a statement last night. “His talent, grace, and unerring comedic intelligence will be irreplaceable. Everything he touched, he made better; everyone he worked with, he made happier. We will miss you, Matt.”