Willner, who died Tuesday of complications related to the coronavirus, was responsible for the music in Saturday Night Live's sketches since 1980. A well-regarded record producer, Willner was also, as he explained in a 2017 interview, the show's link to the past, introducing current cast members to the comedy of Lord Buckley or Firesign Theater. Willner's final two tweets, on March 28 and 29, were about the coronavirus, including one in support of another coronavirus sufferer, John Prine. "Hal I love you," tweeted John Mulaney. "I liked you in my life so much. When I got horrible reviews you sent me a full email of Lou Reed quotes on how to view critics. It meant so much to me. You changed my way of thinking on how to make stuff. You made what you wanted w/ the people you loved. Bye Hal. P.S. You loved life completely and lived it intensely and I know you would find it funny that it took a global pandemic to take you away. I am going to miss you a lot." Seth Meyers tweeted that Willner was "as unique a person I ever had the fortune to cross paths with." Former SNL cast member Michael McKean added: "Hal Willner was one a kind. None there are none of that kind. RIP, Hal." Chris Kelly, SNL's co-head writer in the 2016-2017 season, also tweeted a tribute: "I loved Hal. I truly, truly loved that man," Kelly tweeted. "He was such a huge part of my time at SNL, and is such an enormous part of the show in general. (To say the VERY least.) He was kind, generous, insanely positive, and so, so talented. Im lucky I got to know him." Former SNL writer Paula Pell called Willner "the gentlest genius at SNL. He bemoaned artists abandoning weirdness and authenticity but never gave up searching for it. We love you forever. F*ck off this disease and especially its enablers."