Willner died Tuesday of an illness, according to a representative. No cause of death has been determined, though Willner’s symptoms were consistent with Covid-19.
Willner served as the sketch music producer for “SNL” for nearly two decades, first joining the NBC program in 1981. His Twitter bio poked fun at how long he’d been with the show, describing him as “so-called Music Producer & Saturday Night Live sketch music guy since Raging Bull debuted, Another One Bites the Dust a hit & Kim Kardashian was born. Oy Vey.”
Willner also served as the music coordinator on Lorne Michaels’ short-lived “Sunday Night” musical variety program on NBC. The music-centric program, hosted by Jools Holland and David Sanborn, ran for two