Many of us watch Saturday Night Live without giving much thought to how much work goes on behind the scenes during the show. Well, now we've finally gotten a look at exactly how smooth of a transition there usually is when breaking sets down while the show is going on. Take a look.
Man, how cool is that? I must admit that I'd never given much thought to the crazy amount of work that the crew of Saturday Night Live goes through every week. Now that I've seen how they scramble to get the set for the show's cold open broken down so that they can have a spot for the host to do his monologue, though, I gotta give the men and women their props. As much as the cast and guest host for the week work their asses off, it's pretty clear that these folks do the same, and that, without them, the show would be far less enjoyable.
I mean, really, would you have even guessed that they would dare to completely cover the main stage for the monologue during the opening of the show? It would seem to be a tricky thing, which is why the cast had to get the hell outta there as soon as they were done yelling "It's Saturday Night!" John Goodman, Beck Bennett and Alec Baldwin are barely off the set before the crew comes along and starts taking away set pieces. Flower pots, fake pillars and rugs are the first to go as the crew winds their way through the waiting audience with their arms filled with stuff. We can hear, and see on the TV monitors around the stage, the opening of the show as the band plays behind the set that's being broken down, while a voiceover counts down to how much time is left before Casey Affleck's monologue needs to begin on a cleared stage.
Did you try counting the number of crew members it took for all this awesomeness to happen so fast? I did, and I couldn't keep up. There were just too many people coming and going too fast in the sometimes poorly lit sections of the studio for me to make that happen. But, it's clear that SNL has a large team of people who know how to break down fake walls and carry them away quickly. At one point they have one minute to get that main wall down, and it seems to be taking a bit longer than it should. I can just imagine the stage manager starting to sweat a little when that wall didn't come down immediately as the countdown is pounding in his ears. There are probably a lot of little moments like that every week; things we never see that cause a crew person to get kind of jittery for a second or two.
With less than 10 seconds to go until the monologue, you can hear that they're about to take a wide shot of the stage for Affleck's monologue, and the crew gets a compliment of "That's what I said, they're the best," from one of the men behind the scenes. This is going on as two crew members are tidying the flowers on the set to make sure everything is perfect. And, they just manage to get out of the way as he comes out to start his monologue. Phew! I cannot imagine that all those crew members don't get all their exercise for the week done at work, can you?
You can look on in awe at all the set changes on Saturday Night Live when the show returns on January 14 with host Felicity Jones.