"RIP HAL WILLNER. An incredible person who so many of us will miss," Sandler said in a Twitter post. "Love you, pal."
One of the most amazing, hilarious, bizarre, creative men I have ever met, Mr. Hal Willner passed today from the virus. He was a great friend and such an inspiring person. He will be missed something awful by all who knew him. #SNL #Hal pic.twitter.com/YdEXoJe7Pj— Jorma Taccone (@jormataccone) April 7, 2020
"Hal, I love you. I liked you in my life so much<" Comedian and SNL writer John Mulaney said. "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 with the people you loved."
RIP HAL WILLNER. An incredible person who so many of us will miss. Love u pal. pic.twitter.com/SB1G45x0dp— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) April 7, 2020
"Absolutely devastated to get this news about my weird and lovely pal, Hal," actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweeted. "We are heartbroken.""Hal was a part of so much of the music and pop culture comedy we have all enjoyed for years. He was kind and extremely cool," actor Ben Stiller said over Twitter. "So sorry to hear this. Sending love to his family."In an episode of The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to Willner."I think at this point everyone either knows someone who knows someone who has COVID-19, or knows someone who has had it and beat it. Or knows someone who's had it and passed away," Fallon said. "Sadly, today was my first passing."Calling him a creative genius, Fallon, who was on SNL for eight years, said "I loved him so much. Everyone loved him. We will miss him so much. My thoughts go to his family."Everyone just take care of each other and stay safe. We're gonna get through this together. Let's talk and help each other out whenever we can."Taking to Facebook, musician Elvis Costello posted a heartfelt tribute to Willner's passing."Words are a very poor carriage for the way I am feeling today at the sudden passing of my dear friend, Hal Willner," he said."Nobody could put themselves to the front of a line of Hal’s many friends but Diana and I are only comforted by the thought that his wife, Sheila Rogers and their son, Arlo must know of the depth and breadth of love that people have for Hal."In the post, Costello recounted some of his memories of Willner and took the time to praise his skills as a record producer."Listeners are sometimes confused by the role of a record producer, as many of the most successful or infamous producers apply their own vision to the music like a veneer or lens through which the original intentions may be only dimly perceived," he said."Hal’s approach better resembled the beautiful chaos of a childhood chemistry set, in which all of the substances and elements were mixed with joyous but determined abandon to render colored smoke, a delightful explosion or something of unlikely and uncommon beauty."'Condolences' seems a word of insufficient depth for the way many of us feel today but we must not be selfish or feel alone but rather look to the light and imagination with which we will perhaps emerge from this dark and melancholy hour. I send my love and that of my wife, Diana with a wish for every possible strength to Sheila and Arlo," he concluded, adding a link to a song recorded in 1995 for one of Willner's tribute albums.
Hal I love you. 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 pic.twitter.com/wGeaWvEILS— John Mulaney (@mulaney) April 7, 2020