Matt Villines, one half of “Saturday Night Live’s” directing duo Matt & Oz died of cancer Saturday at the age of 39. “SNL” star Mike O’Brien shared the news Sunday via an Instagram post.
“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,” O’Brien wrote. “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.”
Villines joined “SNL” in 2012 with his partner Oz Rodriguez and the pair directed numerous sketches including “Sad Mouse,” “Monster Pals” and “Back Home Ballers.”
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Matt Villines. His talent, grace, and unerring comedic intelligence will be irreplaceable. Everything he touched, he made better; everyone he worked with, he made happier,” a rep for “Saturday Night Live” said.
The duo teamed up after meeting in film school and began shooting videos for an early version of SuperDeluxe.com. They later shot videos for “Funny Or Die.” Projects from their “Funny or Die” days ranged from “The Wire: The Musical” “Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipe,” to “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.”
Villines’ work also includes the shorts “Prom Queen,” “Uber for Jen and “The Jay Z Story.” “Brother in Laws” which the duo directed “SNL” cast member Taran Killam in, is currently in post-production.