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Matt Villines (June 5, 1977 – July 9, 2016) was an American film and television director, known for his work in comedy as one half of the comedic directing team Matt & Oz, with professional partner, Osmany Rodriguez.[1]


Early life and educationEdit

Villines was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 5, 1977.[2] He graduated from Bishop Kelley High School in 1995 and received his bachelor's degree in 2000 from the University of Oklahoma.[3] Villines then moved to Los Angeles, where he enrolled at the Los Angeles Film School.[1]


Villines met his directing partner, Osmany "Oz" Rodriguez, while both were students at the Los Angeles Film School.[1][3][2] The duo soon collaborated to create comedic video shorts, first for an early incarnation of before joining Funny Or Die.[3] Known professionally as Matt & Oz, their Funny Or Die short digital films included "Charlie Sheen's Winning Recipes," "The Wire: The Musical" (2012), and "The New Guy on New Girl with Zooey Deschanel," as well as a parody of parody of the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet, "Peace on Earth."[1][4]

Villines and Rodriguez were hired by Saturday Night Live in 2012 to direct pre-taped digital shorts.[1] Villines shorts at SNL included "(Home for the Holidays) Twin Bed," which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2014.[3] The directing duo's other SNL Digital Shorts included "Darrell's House," "Sad Mouse," "Monster Pals," "Back Home Ballers," and "Jay Z Story."[1] Their memorable 2015 short, "A Thanksgiving Miracle," features family's Thanksgiving arguments interrupted by Adele's "Hello."[4]

Villines and Rodriguez directed Taran Killam in the film, Brother Nature, which was produced by Lorne Michaels.[1] The film, which finished production in 2014, was released on-demand in September 2016.[5]


Villines was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer in 2014.[1] He died on July 9, 2016, at the age of 39. He was survived by his wife, Linda, whom he married shortly before his diagnosis; his parents, Maggie and Elton Villines, and his sisters.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Fox, Jesse David (2016-07-11). "Saturday Night Live Director Matt Villines Has Died at 39". Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  2. ^ a b Diaz, Ann-Christine (2016-07-12). "Farewell Matt Villines: Mad Ave, Hollywood Lose One of Their Brightest Funnymen". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  3. ^ a b c d e Smith, Michael (2016-07-13). "Tulsa filmmaker known for 'SNL' projects dies of cancer at 39". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  4. ^ a b Agard, Chancellor (2016-07-11). "Saturday Night Live director Matt Villines dies at 39". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  5. ^ Calvario, Liz (August 4, 2016). "'Brother Nature' Trailer: Taran Killam Faces Humiliation From Bobby Moynihan In New Comedy". Retrieved August 4, 2016.

External linksEdit