Leadership

Watch the SNL crew gracefully change sets in under 2 minutes

John Goodman as Rex Tillerson, Beck Bennett as Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump in the Saturday Night Live opening sketch on Dec. 17.
Photo courtesy NBC
John Goodman as Rex Tillerson, Beck Bennett as Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump in the Saturday Night Live opening sketch on Dec. 17.

The backstage crew at NBC's "Saturday Night Live" has under two minutes to do a complete breakdown of a complicated set between the show's cold open and its opening monologue.

Walls are removed. A fireplace disappears. Columns slip away. A carpet and floor are rolled up. Crew members step over, around and across each other quickly and silently.

The set changeover, embedded below, is seemingly narrated by production directors, who root for and celebrate with the crew in the background.

There is something beautifully satisfying about watching the dozen or so members of the crew, all clad in black, glide across the stage as if part of a choreographed and well-rehearsed waltz.

Some days, working in a team can make you want to bang your head against the wall. This set changeover is a reminder that when teams work well together, it's magic.