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10 Greatest Running Gags In Movies

Because jokes repeated over and over again are obviously the best.

The running gag takes a simple premise - repeat the same joke throughout a film or series - and erm, runs with it. If a gag made you laugh the first time you heard it, then you'll still be laughing at the fourth, maybe fifth time, right? It creates a sense of familiarity (think of the celebrated cameos of Hitchcock, Stan Lee or Pixar's Pizza Planet truck), a sort of in-joke that an audience may anticipate but appreciate all the same. Of course, it doesn't always work. It's a poor joke that assumes anything can be funny provided you hear it enough times. Sometimes the original sheen of the gag is often dulled through repetition. And sometimes it's simply not funny in the first place. But then there are those films that have turned seeing/hearing the same punchline again and again into something of an art form. For example, have you ever noticed how all the photographs in Forrest Gump show him with his eyes closed? Or how, in Hot Shots, whenever anyone takes a seat, they always end up sitting on the same poor chihuahua? Here is a countdown of the 10 greatest running gags in film, ranging from the slapstick to the just plain surreal...
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Contributor

Yorkshireman (hence the surname). Often spotted sacrificing sleep and sanity for the annual Leeds International Film Festival. For a sample of (fairly) recent film reviews, please visit whatsnottoblog.wordpress.com.