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Overly Long Gag / Live-Action TV

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Overly Long Gags in live-action TV.

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  • Whether Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office, and Extras are using this or a lot of Leave the Camera Running is up to the individual troper.
  • Lying somewhere between Overly Long Gag and Leave the Camera Running: a sketch from an old Finnish sketch show (starring the Finnish actor/comedian legend Pertti "Spede" Pasanen) features a customer and a salesman in a hardware store. The customer asks for a certain product and the salesman picks it up from the shelf: the joke lies in that the salesman goes to the shelf, picks up the item and brings it to the customer veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly, easily taking a few minutes with the camera patiently watching the "action". And then this is repeated. Several times.
    • This trope is also subverted in that same sketch: at one point, the customer asks for 206 tacks. After finding the box of tacks, the salesman starts picking tacks from the box and placing them on the counter, one by one. However, after five tacks he gives up, picks up a handful of tacks and slams them on the counter. "Two hundred and six."
    • Tim Conway and Harvey Korman did a similar skit set in (naturally) a fast-food restaurant. "Lemme just put a 'rush' on that order..R...U...."

  • The Almost Live! sketch series "Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan" features, as a Signature Move, Billy performing an overly long jumping kick attack.
    Billy: HaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...!!
  • America's Next Top Model had one when Cycle 11 contestant Nikeysha was eliminated...and proceeded to talk continuously over the credits.
    • American Idol did something similar in season 5, with Kellie Pickler talking and talking straight through her elimination, until the show cut out, not even giving the show a chance to show her sing-out.
  • The third season of the British version of The Apprentice had a hilarious real life example, utterly unintended. It comes a bit later in this scene, after the simply bad demo.
  • In an episode of As Time Goes By, Stephen mentions to Lionel that he's given up reading newspapers on Sundays. He then says that he's thinking about giving them up on Saturdays as well, if not cut them out altogether, working his way back through the week. "Starting with Friday. Then Thursday. Then Wednesday. And onto Tuesday. Then Monday. And of course Sunday would be alright because I've cracked that already. Of course, I could do the whole thing the other way round and give them up on Monday to start with. Then Tuesday..." Lionel's attempts to tell him that he gets the gist of it are ignored.

  • In one episode of the educational show Behind The Scenes, Penn & Teller draw a line. A very long line. Past the paper. On the floor. Out the door. Onto the door. And so on!
  • The tenth season of The Big Bang Theory ends with one. While Amy's away at Princeton, Sheldon hires a female assistant who seemingly has a crush on him. Finally, they're alone in his office and she kisses him without his consent. He responds by saying he has something to do and walking out the door. We then see him walk out of the building, get into a taxi, ride to the airport, book a flight, take that flight, land in New Jersey, take another taxi to Princeton, walk into the building where Amy is staying, walk up to her room, give his signature knock, and propose to her.
  • Black Books:
    • "The Grapes of Wrath", in which Manny pretends a Shiatsu neck massager with a pair of robot breasts, but completely fails to capture Bernard's attention, resulting in a whole minute of variations on "Look, Bernard. Bernard, look. Bernard. Look, Bernard, look. Look. Bernard, look. Look. Look. Look, Bernard, Bernard, look. Bernard. Bernard, look..." Which just makes the punchline even funnier when Bernard finally snaps and asks him what he's doing: "I'm a prostitute robot from the future!"
    • When Manny has a new door lock installed, the installation guy tells him an infeasibly long code to unlock it, during which Manny becomes distracted by a Subbueto player in his hair.
  • Brass Eye: The "Sex" episode contains a notable overly long "End of part one" ident after the Peter Stringfellow interview 11 minutes in.

  • On The Carol Burnett Show, Tim Conway's old-man-shuffling routine got really old really fast.
  • ChuckleVision, that mulleted, mustachoid staple of any modern British childhood, is often prone to this. Screenwipe provides an example of when a two wheeled caravan acts like a seesaw. A large number of the gags involves Barry issuing Paul an order, Paul messing it up in a way that creates more work for Barry to clear up, which Paul then messes up again, which Barry then clears up, then Paul messes up then Barry clears up.
  • The Colbert Report:
    • When the show came back from the 2007/8 writers' strike, the excited Studio Audience gave Stephen a spontaneous standing ovation at the top of the first show which lasted for a minute and a half and resisted all attempts to stop it. It only ended when Stephen got up from his desk and physically forced the first row of the audience to sit down.
    • There's also the Pringles gag, where he went through dozens of flavors that were not recalled before finally reaching the two that were. And, in a sense, the entire show is this, since it's an endless satire of sensationalistic conservative talk shows.
    • For the 2012 US Election special, The Colbert Report opened with a full, excruciating minute of a cartoon elephant punching a cartoon donkey. At the end of which the donkey pulled a gun and shot the elephant.
  • Lampshaded in the Community episode Contemporary American Poultry, when Troy uses the name of his new monkey once too often:
    Troy: "He released Annie's Boobs! Annie's Boobs could be anywhere! Annie's Boobs could be on the side of the road —"
    Shirley: [Fed-up] "We get it! The monkey's name is 'Annie's Boobs'."
    • The Dean does one for real in the season four premiere, stretching out the word "to" as he leads a crowd of students through the school tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo the "the Hunger Deans!

  • The Day Today had a classic example featuring a dull pool security guard slowly explaining how relatively successful his career has been. "1981: No one died. 1982: No one died. 1983: No one died. etc."
    • A Running Gag throughout the series involves the show's animated programme idents, all of which run on that one bit too long...
  • Dispatches From Elsewhere: The first episode begins with the narrator sitting completely silent and staring placidly at the audience for almost thirty seconds before he announces: "And now that I have your attention, I'll begin."
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Sound of Drums": The Master has the Toclafane kill a reporter who was close to unmasking his cover. He closes the door on her screams. Several seconds later, he opens it and she's still screaming, so he winces and closes the door. After some more time, he opens the door again and she's still screaming...
    • "The Unicorn and the Wasp": While being questioned as to his whereabouts during Professor Peach's murder, Roger Curbishley spends a bit too long detailing just how utterly, completely alone he was while taking a walk on the lawn... over a flashback showing him holding hands with his footman.
  • The Australian sketch show Double Take kept coming back to a waiter describing the restaurant's special, over at least half a dozen sketches. By the end, the customers, bored out of their minds, just order it. He then reveals that they're actually fresh out of it, and starts on a new one which is thankfully cut off by the end of the episode.

  • At the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, Mr. Lordi (the persona of the lead singer of Finnish metal band Lordi, who infamously won in 2006) got the honour to present the results of the Finnish vote. He then proceeded to drag it out by declaring each of the top 3 performers "the hottest, cutest, prettiest, ______"; see for yourself!

  • Done as a sketch entitled 'The Long Big Punch Up' in 90s Britcom The Fast Show. This sketch occurs several times throughout the series, each time in a different location.
    • Also used in a Fast Show sketch where Unlucky Alf sees a hole in the ground in the distance, and remarks that he's probably going to fall into it. He does, but only after spending a full minute walking towards it.
    • Also in a sketch involving a behind the scenes look at a stop motion animator. "I move it just a little bit, and then I take a picture. And then I move it...just a...tiny bit..."
  • A frequent gag on Father Ted has Mrs. Doyle the housekeeper asking someone if they want tea and if they say no, going into a repetition of "Ah, go on. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on..." until they either give in or Ted sends her away.
    • A variation of this, in the episode when Fr. Jack was sent to an elderly priests' home and Ted received a replacement for him, had her produce a card with "Will you have a cup of tea?" on it, followed by what seemed like fifty with "Ah go on" written on them. (There was loud music which made it impossible to hear.)
    • Also frequently seen in Dougal's attempts to understand things.

  • The Goodies: The sound of Bill walking up the stairs in "Change of Life". It goes on so long that Tim and Graeme fall asleep in the middle of it.

  • Harry Hill's TV Burp has the "Cataracts" sketch when characters on Emmerdale repeated the word "Cataracts" which Harry Hill extended by getting everyone in ITV's studio repeating the word. He then did a similar sketch about "Ear Cataracts" later in the series.
  • In one episode of The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden is so paranoid about a rent increase that he tries to defy it for all he is worth, insisting that the landlord is only bluffing. Ultimately, he receives an eviction notice. He then allows himself and Alice to be put out in the street, still thinking that the landlord is bluffing. It takes a snowfall right then for Ralph to finally crack and come to his senses. But then he stalls for an incredibly long amount of time to come up with a reason to accept the rent increase that he finds good.
    Ralph: I want you to understand something, Alice. It's not because I want to do it. It's not because I'm afraid of the cold or that I'm hungry. Or that I'm embarrassed by being out here. Don't think it is that, Alice, 'cause it isn't! You wanna know what it is? I'll tell you what it is! (pause) And you know what it is as well... I know... what it is! You know what it is! I'll tell you what it is! (another pause) Oh, I'll tell you what it is! (one more, very long pause) YOU KNOW THAT I KNOW HOW EASY YOU GET VIRUS! (goes inside apartment building)
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • In the series 1 finale, "Come On", the protagonist is attempting to perform a rain dance to induce precipitation (long story). Trope is somewhat subverted in that one of the other characters actually commentates on its slump into overly longness. "Funny... still funny... still funny... still funny... [check watch]... and now it's sad."
    • In the season 2 finale, Ted and Robin are discussing whether they can finally tell people (that they've broken up). Barney overhears and asks "Tell people what?" They assure him that they'll tell him and the others later, and he says that's fine but a second later starts asking "Tell people what? Tell people what?" ad nauseum. He eventually ends up hijacking the microphone so he can broadcast it to the whole room, only stopping when someone asks him to mention a car whose lights were left on. Then he resumes asking "Tell people what?" finishing after the opening credits.
    • Speaking of Barney, at the end of Season Two he says "Legen- Wait for it! -" and the episode ends. Then the next season begins and he says "-Dary!" before commenting that it feels like he was saying something really long for some reason. In real life, that punchline came several months after the joke started.
    • In "Glitter", Barney tells Tedd that he has to cut his high school best friend Punchy loose, and then proceeds to quote Catchphrases from 19 reality shows, i.e. "You are the Weakest Link. Goodbye!"
    • The trope is defied in the Season 4 episode "Mosbius Designs": Barney, wanting to avoid an uncomfortable discussion, claims being in love with someone, but saying "wait for it" after every word. Marshall eventually interrupts and says, "I know that you're in love with Robin!".
    • The ducky tie that Barney has to wear for a whole year.

  • iCarly: The code to unlock the Bensons' front door. It's longer than the new UK Emergency Phone number from The IT Crowd.
    • Also in "iChristmas" when Sam is in juvie and Carly is trying to prove that she knows her, Sam keeps asking Carly unusual questions that she ends up knowing the answers to.
    • And there was also Sam whaling on the dinosaur Zeebo with a boom mike.
  • One episode of the second season of I'm Alan Partridge, in which Alan spots Dan from across a car park and shouts, in a vain attempt to attract his attention: "DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN!"...etc.
  • Inspector Rex with its goddamn ham rolls! (At least in the Austrian seasons.)
  • The UK's new emergency number, as introduced by The IT Crowd: 0118 999 881 999 119 7253.
    • Denholm seemed particularly fond of these in the first series ("Are you sure?! Are you sure?! Are you sure?! Are you sure?! Are you sure?! Are you sure?!").
      • And briefly in the second series, where he spends half a minute during the middle of his Video Will doing nothing but eating an apple.
      • Denholm's son does this as his second ever action on the show with his sudden slapfight with the priest. You can hear the audience laughter go up and down three times as they realise he's still going.
      • They did it in the very first episode, with the first line.
        Denholm: Hope it doesn't embarrass you, Jen, but I find it the best thing to do with the new employee is to size them up with a long, hard stare.
    • Roy gets his Establishing Character Moment in his first appearance when he ignores ringing telephone. He eats a muffin, licks his fingers, licks his other hand's fingers, then reaches for...the coffee cup right behind the phone and drinks. Only after that he answers the phone.
    • The second Fake-Out Make-Out in "Are We Not Men", which involves Moss kissing Roy as cover from what must be at least two dozen police cars that are swooping past them.

  • In what is probably one of the most famous scenes from Kenan & Kel, Kenan examines his friend during a lawsuit brought about him almost choking on a screw in a can of tuna. Kel ends up breaking down, confessing loudly to his friend that he dropped the screw in the tuna, over and over and over, while stumbling about the courtroom.

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert made a habit out of unnecessarily reading every single dot in an ellipsis—so "...." would be pronounced "dot dot dot dot," even though it would normally be silent—in Donald Trump's tweets whenever they come up in a monologue, to make fun of his tendency to put a seemingly-random number of periods at both ends of every two-part tweet. The result is something like "dot dot dot, dot dot (pause between tweets) dot dot dot, dot." Since this shows up in almost every episode, it's both an overly-long gag and a Running Gag.
  • Little Britain:
    • "Margaret? Margaret?".
    • "Anybody? No? Dust. Anybody? No? Dust."
  • In the middle of all the epic events in part 2 of Lost's season 1 finale comes Hurley's flashback to getting on the plane. Everyone else's was brief and to the point. His is the longest in the entire episode...and all it shows is the tons of mishaps he got into going to the airport.

  • One sketch on MADtv was nothing more than two people engaged in a Mexican Standoff and yelling at each other, "Drop the gun!" "No YOU drop the gun!" "I said drop the gun!" "No YOU drop the gun!" etc.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Lois sends the boys out so she can enjoy the hot tub she's been nagging Hal about for days. When they come back early, she ducks under the water to hide. Before heading back out, Hal stands around FOR HALF A MINUTE reading a film review. HALF A MINUTE.
  • Married... with Children: "And now, Jefferson will recite the minutes from last week's meeting." "8:00...8:01...8:02..."
  • In The Middleman, High Aldwin orders to release a special forces agent by executive decree twenty-four, five, seventeen, eight, ninety-three, fifty-five, two, thirty-nine...
  • In The Mighty Boosh episode "Journey to the Centre of the Punk", when Howard confronted the Spirit of Jazz, the Spirit initially claimed to be Howard's father (Howard realised that his father was a Geography teacher), his uncle (Howard spent time asking which uncle), and then went through a series offscreen 'guesses' before it confirmed that he was Howard's "second cousin, twice removed on your sister's side".
  • During one round of "Is This Is The Answer, What Is The Question?" in Mock the Week, the answer is "63 years". Milton Jones immediately answers, "Is it how long can I keep this up?" and begins clapping. He keeps this up for a good 20-30 seconds, with the audience laughing for the entire duration, until he finally asks Dara O'Briain to press hiss buzzer so he can stop. Sadly the scene was cut, but it was later shown in a highlights episode.
  • Monk:
    • Whenever the protagonist has to fill out a form or write his name on a blackboard, go ahead and make yourself a sandwich. Due to his perfectionism, he HAS to make certain none of letters are slanted or runs lines, so he takes a nearly 30 seconds to write down a single letter.
    • There's a memorable example of this trope in "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan", where Monk is trying to say a simple sentence but is continuously interrupted by the sound of a jackhammer every time he opens his mouth. It's a fairly standard gag, but it goes on for a good five minutes.
    • This happens in a LOT of Monk episodes. You can almost see where the episode ran short and they decided to waste some time. The length of it usually makes it cringe-worthy.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus
    • The "It's the Arts" sketch about the unknown German baroque composer Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-eine-nurnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mit-zweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm. The skit primarily focuses on an interview with his last surviving relative, Karl Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-eine-nurnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mit-zweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm, who recalls that the first time he met Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-eine-nurnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mit-zweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm was when he was with his wife, Serah Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-eine-nurnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mit-zweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm. However, Karl Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dangle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-eine-nurnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mit-zweimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shönedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm dies of old age before the interviewer can finish asking a question made very, very, very long simply by repetition of this Overly Long Name.
    • Also consider the sketch about the phenomenon of Déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before. Consider the sketch about the phenomenon of Déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before. Also consider...
    • Number one. The Larch. The Larch. And now...Number one. The Larch. The Larch. (repeat throughout episode, enough times that people cheer when they finally get to another tree.)
    • The curtains going up before the Vocational Guidance Counselor sketch.
    • The Hungarian phrasebook sketch, which spends over half a minute following a policeman running across town after hearing a fistfight break out. (In the TV version, that is; the movie And Now For Something Completely Different gets the policeman there much faster by having him steal a bicycle.)
    • Also consider the sketch about the phenomenon of Déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before. Consider the sketch about the phenomenon of Déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before. Also consider...
    • The Election Night sketch with a Very Silly Candidate that Crosses the Line Twice into funny:
      Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Umbrella Stand Jasper Wednesday * pops mouth twice* Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable * horse whinny* Arthur Norman Michael * squeaker* Featherstone Smith * blows whistle* Northgot Edwards Harris * fires pistol, then whoops* Mason * train sounds* Frampton Jones Fruitbat * laughs* * squeaker* Gilbert * sings* "We'll Keep a Welcome in the-" * shoots thrice* Williams If I Could Walk That Way Jenkin * squeaker* Tiger-drawers Pratt Thompson * sings* "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" Darcy Carter * horn* Pussycat * sings* "Don't Sleep In The Subway" Barton Mainwaring * hoot and whoop* Smith
    • One sketch has man giving an epic diatribe about vacationing. In the album version, a man is forced to listen to him and is driven insane. In the printed version, other text is layered over it to cover it up. "Yes, I quite agree, I mean what's the point of being treated like sheep? What's the point of going abroad if you're just another tourist carted around in buses surrounded by sweaty mindless oafs from Kettering and Coventry in their cloth caps and their cardigans and their transistor radios and their Sunday Mirrors, complaining about the tea - "Oh they don't make it properly here, do they, not like at home" - and stopping at Majorcan bodegas selling fish and chips and Watney's Red Barrel and calamares and two veg and sitting in their cotton frocks squirting Timothy White's suncream all over their puffy raw swollen purulent flesh 'cos they "overdid it on the first day" and being herded into endless Hotel Miramars and Bellvueses and Continentales with their modern international luxury roomettes and draught Red Barrel and swimming pools full of fat German businessmen pretending they're acrobats forming pyramids and frightening the children and barging into queues and if you're not at your table spot on seven you miss the bowl of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, the first item on the menu of International Cuisine, and every Thursday night the hotel has a bloody cabaret in the bar, featuring a tiny emaciated dago with nine-inch hips and some bloated fat tart with her hair brylcreemed down and a big arse presenting Flamenco for Foreigners and then some adenoidal typists from Birmingham with flabby white legs and diarrhoea trying to pick up hairy bandy-legged wop waiters called Manuel and once a week there's an excursion to the local Roman Remains to buy cherryade and melted ice cream and bleeding Watney's Red Barrel and one evening you visit the so called typical restaurant with local colour and atmosphere and you sit next to a party from Rhyl who keep singing "Torremolinos, Torremolinos" and complaining about the food - "It's so greasy isn't it?" - and you get cornered by some drunken greengrocer from Luton with an Instamatic camera and Dr. Scholl sandals and last Tuesday's Daily Express and he drones on and on about how Mr. Smith should be running this country and how many languages Enoch Powell can speak and then he throws up over the Cuba Libres and sending tinted postcards of places they don't realise they haven't even visited to "All at number 22, weather wonderful, our room is marked with an 'X'. Food very greasy but we've found a charming little local place hidden away in the back streets where they serve Watney's Red Barrel and cheese and onion crisps and the accordionist plays "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" and spending four days on the tarmac at Luton airport on a five-day package tour with nothing to eat but dried BEA-type sandwiches and you can't even get a drink of Watney's Red Barrel because you're still in England and the bloody bar closes every time you're thirsty and there's nowhere to sleep and the kids are crying and vomiting and breaking the plastic ash-trays and they keep telling you it'll only be another hour although your plane is still in Iceland and has to take some Swedes to Yugoslavia before it can load you up at 3 a.m. in the bloody morning and you sit on the tarmac till six because of "unforeseen difficulties", i.e. the permanent strike of Air Traffic Control in Paris - and nobody can go to the lavatory until you take off at 8, and when you get to Malaga airport everybody's swallowing Enterovioform and queuing for the toilets and queuing for the armed customs officers and queuing for the bloody bus that isn't there to take you to the hotel that hasn't yet been finished and when you finally get to the half-built Algerian ruin called the Hotel del Sol by paying half your holiday money to a licensed bandit in a taxi you find there's no water in the pool, there's no water in the taps, there's no water in the bog and there's only a bleeding lizard in the bidet and half the rooms are double booked and you can't sleep anyway because of the permanent twenty-four-hour drilling of the foundations of the hotel next door - and you're plagues by appalling apprentice chemists from Ealing pretending to be hippies, and middle-class stockbrokers' wives busily buying identical holiday villas in suburban development plots just like Esher, in case the Labour government gets in again, and fat American matrons with sloppy buttocks and Hawaiian-patterned ski pants looking for any mulatto male who can keep it up long enough when they finally let it all flop out and the Spanish Tourist Board promises you that the raging cholera epidemic is merely a case of mild Spanish tummy, like the previous outbreak of Spanish tummy in 1660 which killed half London and decimated Europe - and meanwhile the bloody Guardia are busy arresting sixteen-year-olds for kissing in the streets and shooting anyone under nineteen who doesn't like Franco and then on the last day in the airport lounge everyone's comparing sunburns, drinking Nasty Spumante, buying cartons of duty free "cigarillos" and using up their last pesetas on horrid dolls in Spanish National costume and awful straw donkeys and bullfight posters with your name on "Ordoney, El Cordobes and Brian Pules of Norwich" and 3-D pictures of the Pope and Kennedy and Franco, and everybody's talking about coming again next year and you swear you never will although there you are tumbling bleary-eyed out of a tourist-tight antique Iberian airplane..."
    • Then there's the menu of that one restaurant which included such deliciacies as egg and bacon; egg, sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg, bacon and spam; egg, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, bacon, sausage and spam; spam, egg, spam, spam, bacon and spam; spam, spam, spam, egg and spam; spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam, and spam; or lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce garnished with truffle pâté, brandy and a fried egg on top and spam.
    • Also consider the sketch about the phenomenon of Déjà vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before.
    • And subverted with The Man Who Contradicts People, which starts with a TV presenter interviewing a man who contradicts whatever is being said to him, when suddenly John Cleese interrupts it with a bored "and on and on".
    • The cheese shop sketch. Almost the entire 5-minute sketch revolves around one joke (the shop, in fact, has no cheese) and yet it still remains one of their best-known sketches.
  • Mr. Show is notorious for two of these.
    • "The Story of Everest" is a long sketch from the 4th season of the show in which a man comes home to tell his parents that he has completed a trek to the top of Mount Everest. Mistaking the tea service behind him for a stool, he sits down, knocking several shelves of thimbles all over the ground. The thimbles are reset, and he attempts to tell the story again, but continues knocking over the thimbles. Over, and Over, and Over. In the DVD commentary, the cast recalls how arduous it was to reset the thimbles each time, which the live audience had to sit through.
    • Another involves two friends exiting a bar and awkwardly saying goodbye to each other. They part, and only minutes later, they cross paths again, and awkwardly say goodbye. Minutes later, they meet again, and awkwardly say goodbye again. This happens over, and over, and over, and over, until finally one of the friends dies in a car accident. The following scene is of everyone mourning at his funeral. A young woman says "I never got to say goodbye.", and the man's friend replies, "I did. A lot actually."
  • My Name Is Earl episode "Inside Probe, Part 2". After seeing an interview with Darnell cut short by a commercial break just as he was about to say something important, Joy asks Darnell what he was about to say as the latter bites on a massive sandwich. Darnell starts chewing, does so for a very long time, the show itself goes into a commercial break, and when it returns, Darnell is still chewing, as Joy grows impatient. Darnell finally swallows and says he doesn't remember, then bites on his sandwich again.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • Some host skits use this trope:
      • The Creeping Terror music skit
      • Crow-as-Screaming-Skull skit.
      • Tom's nearly three-minute hysterical laughing/crying jag in one of the host segments for The Violent Years.
      • More than four minutes are spent after The Undead watching Professor Bobo make a sandwich.
      • One episode has Tom doing a walk-a-thon for "Helping Children Through Research and Development," which is actually an acronym for "Hi Everyone, Let's Pitch In 'N Get Cracking Here In Louisiana Doing Right, Eh? Now Then, Hateful Rich Overbearing Ugly Guys Hurt Royally Everytime Someone Eats A Radish, Carrot, Hors-d'ouvres, And Never Does Dishes. Eventually Victor Eats Lunch Over Peoria Mit Ein Nauesburger Tod." This is repeated in its entirety several times.
      • A Joke by Ingmar Bergman from "The Sword and the Dragon" takes four minutes to tell a simple joke by imitating an Ingmar Bergman film.
      • In a host segment for The Dead Talk Back, Crow, dressed as Jerry Garcia from The Grateful Dead, does an interminably long guitar solo. He doesn't even stop right away when it's time to go back to the movie. He also continues through the remaining host segments and the closing credits.
      • In Teenage Crimewave, the credits are repeatedly cut short by scenes of Frank getting sprayed with the Mace Mousse.
      • Daddy-O had the button that starts the credits break, so it kept going back to the Mads doing various things until Dr. F finally fixes the button.
      • Dr. F slapping Frank throughout the credits of The Beast of Yucca Flats.
    • Sometimes the gang make extended riffs, often to cover up for long periods of silence in the film:
      • Tom and Crow laughing creepily and Italianly over the credits to Devil Fish.
      • Tom's extended "20 Year Plan" speech in Manos: The Hands of Fate, to cover up one of the film's many extended driving sequences. This gag, at a whopping minute and ten seconds, is the longest continuous riff in the show's ten-year history.
      • While watching the film Laserblast, towards the end, an upbeat melody is playing on the radio of the car, prompting Servo to sing The South's Gonna Do It Again by the Charlie Daniels Band. Mike then asks Servo what exactly the South will do again, a question that Servo answers, but over the next few riffs, shows frustration at Mike's question. The trio continue to riff normally, but either Servo would bring up The subject again, or Mike would continue to ask about the South for the next five minutes. It ends with Servo angrily shouting at Mike "Oh look, just lay off! You'll see! When the South does rise again, I'll be laughing! Me! Me!!!"

  • There's an episode of Night Court in which our intrepid characters must clear all their cases by a specific time, or any remaining defendants will be set free. Their very last defendant is a slooooooooooooooow taaaaaaalkerrrrrrrr.

  • One episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse had Pee-wee give a dog a bowl of food. They focus on the dog eating his food for a full minute with no dialog and no reactions. Just a Leave the Camera Running close-up shot of a dog eating from a bowl.

  • The White Hole discussion in Red Dwarf. One of the best examples because the characters are aware of it and desperately try to break free of it, with no luck.
    Cat: So what is it?
    • "Everybody's Dead, Dave." "What, everybody?" "Yes, Dave. Everybody's dead, Dave." "Chen? Peterson?" "Yes, Dave. Everybody's dead, Dave." "What, even Shelby?" "Yes, Shelby! Everybody's dead, Dave!"
    • The "Captain reset" gag of Pete just avoids this.
    • Rimmer's salute. In the two-parter Pete he is repeatedly called up to the captain's office, and every time the salute is quite a bit longer and more complicated than last time. In the commentary, you find out it's just his way of being polite. People don't see it his way.
    • "FISH! Today's fish is trout a la creme, enjoy your meal. FISH! Today's fish is trout a la creme, enjoy your meal. FISH!" etc.
    • Rimmer's recounting of his favourite Risk victory probably counts as this.
  • Distracting Disambiguation and this trope make up about 90% of the jokes on Reno 911!. Most of the gags get cut down so they aren't too horrible, but some of the deleted scenes last for an eternity. Twenty minutes of clarifying exactly what is going on is a long, long time.

  • This happens with Saturday Night Live sketches quite a bit.
  • Scrubs has one of JD's fantasies run a particularly long time when Turk and Carla are discussing how good a father he'd make. JD happens to be nearby, hears the conversation and his mind launches into a fantasy in which Turk accidentally leaves his son at a pumpkin patch, having mistaken him for a pumpkin, and brings the pumpkin home to Carla, who pardons him for it (his son, meanwhile, is found by another couple in the pumpkin patch). She states that the pumpkin is "kinda cute" and there is a montage of them raising the pumpkin as their own child, covering common parental issues like bathing, the child being injured at a softball game (yes, the pumpkin plays sports), and college, ending with the two holding the pumpkin "21 years later", with the pumpkin wearing a graduation cap and a diploma resting on it, stating how proud of the pumpkin they are for qualifying as a valedictorian. Suddenly, they drop the pumpkin accidentally and while crying over the smashed remains they hear a startled cry of "Mom? Dad?!". They look up to see their real son, fully grown (and looking exactly like Turk), staring at them in disbelief and joy from across the street. He starts to cross the street toward his long-lost parents...only to be run over by a bus. Carla faints, Turk cries out in despair, and JD finally snaps out of his daydream to look up at Turk.
    Turk: Dude, you okay? You were gone for an awfully long time.
    JD: You're going to be a horrible father!
    Doctor: Dear God, when do they ever say ribs?
    Dr. Cox: Never. They never say ribs.
  • Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell: After commenting on Tony Abbott's repetitive, stuttering speech pattern, Shaun cuts to Alan Parsons, who argues that what you say is more important than how long it takes to say it - which takes him over two minutes to get out, thanks to him imitating Abbott's speech. "Mr. Parsons, thanks for our time."
  • Stargate:
    • Not nearly as drastic as some of these, but in the episode "Frozen" of Stargate SG-1 where the main characters are on some Arctic base meeting the scientists there. As Fraiser and Sam are introduced to them, there's a quite long conversation going on that consists of hand-shaking and "Doctor. Doctor. Doctor. Major. Doctor. Doctor. Major. Doctor..." before finally Jack just tells them to shut up.
    • This also happens in Stargate Atlantis in the episode "Be All My Sins Remembered", where Sam, Sheppard, Ellis, and Caldwell all greet each other. It goes like this.
      Caldwell: Colonel.
      Ellis: Colonel.
      Caldwell: [to Sam] Colonel.
      Sam: Colonels.
      Ellis: [to Sheppard] Colonel.
      Sheppard: Colonels.
      Rodney: What, seriously?
  • An episode of Supernatural calls for Dean to scream after a cat jumps out at him. The director told Jensen Ackles to ham it up and scream as loud and as long as he could. Although the version in the actual episode isn't too excessive, there is a take on the blooper reel for season 4 that combines this trope with Chewing the Scenery for ultimate hilarity (see 20 seconds in here).

  • The Tonight Show:
    • In a late 80s/early 90s episode, Johnny Carson introduces guest (then-governor) Bill Clinton with a two-minute introduction. What's better, after his first question to Bill, he pulls out an hourglass.
    • Jimmy Fallon set up one of these. He calls out a friend of his who claimed that Jimmy would never host The Tonight Show that he's due $100. Cue Robert de Niro walking on stage and slapping a $100 on the desk. Now enter a small cavalcade of celebrities each passing the bucks. And then, just to end the gag on a funny note, Stephen Colbert enters, dumps $100 worth of pennies all over, then takes a selfie with him and finally declares, "Welcome to 11:30...bitch!"
  • [adult swim]'s 80's sitcom spoof Too Many Cooks has a long series of slight variations on the same theme song, as well as a full twenty seconds of Miranda spinning in place to effect her superhero transformation.
  • Examples from Top Gear:
    • "Can I just spell this out? It's a D, o, p, p, e, l...k, u, p, p...l,u,n,g. S, g, e, t. R. I, e. B. ...E." (German for "double clutch gear")
    • When Jay Leno did the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car, he had to listen to Jeremy reading out a list of previous cars he owns. At least four times he stops, the audience laughs...and then it turns out he was just pausing for breath. Eventually he genuinely does stop listing them, and just says "Yeah, that's page one...there's a page two and three as well..."
    • When Top Gear covered Clarkson and Hammond's participation in the filming of a car chase sequence in the film The Sweeney, Clarkson insisted that the movie's dialogue should acknowledge the fact that in order to turn off traction control in the Jaguar used by some Fake Serbian baddies, a button must be pressed and held in for ten seconds. Their cut of the car chase sequence paused to include an uninterrupted shot of this action taking place.
  • In Twin Peaks, Dell Mibbler's one scene in the final episode is full of this due to his incredibly slow walking. First he walks very slowly across the room and back to get Audrey a glass of water. A moment later, he has to lead Pete and Andrew across a long hall, which means they also have to walk at his pace.

  • Victorious: "Please run in front of a bus." "Quite obnoxious of you to say!" "Really?" "Sure was." "Thaaaaaanks!" "Up your nose I see boogers." "Very clever." "Wish you'd thought of that?" "X marks the spot I'd like to punch." "Your...finger smells weird!" And so on and so forth.
    • And at the beginning and closing credits of Freak the Freak Out, Trina keeps taking pictures of herself with a remote controlled camera, the first instance she continues even when her father walks in. He even does some poses too while trying to speak to her.
    • "A, K, 4, 5, 5, H, J, 1, 4, 7, 7, H, Y, 7, F, L, 4...(later) 6, Q, L, 4, K, 3, 2, A, M, T, Y...(later) K, L, 5, 4, 9, B, D, 6."

  • BBC's animal dubbing show, Walk on the Wild Side, features a segment with a Prairie Dog. Every single one of these segments features it shouting "ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN! ALAN!", before it realizes the other Prairie Dog it's shouting at is not Alan.
  • On The Whitest Kids U' Know, there's the portrayal of the Devil in the "Opus" routine.
    "What, you think the Devil lives in some sort of condo down in Florida? Yeah-huh. See, see, the thing about people like you is that you think that the Devil lives in some sort of houseboat, just drinkin' daiquiris, and listenin' to Jimmy Buffet. People like you think that the Devil lives in some sort of abandoned railroad car, just travelin' from state to state, eatin' sardines out of a can, and tellin' stories to strangers, and pettin' his scraggly little dog that he has. See, people like you think that the Devil lives in some sort of magical hot air balloon kingdom, where he just zooms around on a Segway scooter, and watches soap operas, and does Sudoku! People like you think that the Devil lives in some sort of rundown laundry detergent factory, where he just eats candy canes out of a box that he has, and he just writes short stories, and twirls his hair! You see, people like you think that the Devil is some sort of stowaway on Paul Simon's tour bus, just travelin' across America, and eatin' Teddy Grahams, and when people fall asleep, spittin' them in their ears! See, people like you, think that the Devil lives on some jewel-encrusted surfboard, just floatin' in the middle of a wave pool, just readin' romance novels, and thinkin' about boys! People like you think that the Devil lives on a Hollywood movie studio set that's made to look like a World War II fighter jet, and he just lounges around all day, gettin' baked, and callin' his friends, and hangin' up on 'em! People like y—"
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? does these on occasion. Sometimes the writers even get in on it; during one Dating Game skit Ryan was supposed to be the "Witch who entices the beast to her magic sleeping stool so she can find his true love to break the spell to turn him into a prince". The usual suggestions are things like "Angry Neighbor" or "The cast of South Park".
    Ryan: I'm just giving everyone a minute to read the novel that is my suggestion.
    • A Running Gag from the show was during the Scenes From A Hat game, Colin would start a joke and just keep it going until Ryan dragged him offstage. Possibly enforced by Drew in this case, since he wouldn't buzz Colin out until Ryan took Colin by the arm.
    • In one commonly-played game, three players will act out some scene, except two of them can only say two or three different phrases. Naturally, the third character soon gets extremely frustrated with the others after they've said the same thing a dozen or more times.
    • Any time a player pointedly ignores the host's buzzing multiple times, (s)he's generally in the midst of one of these.
    • Foreign Film Dub was a game where two players acted out a scene in a foreign language (usually just gibberish that sounds like the suggested language) with two other players making translations offscreen. Sometimes Ryan, if he's feeling particularly verbose that night, will make a translation that would go on for the better part of a minute.
  • It's not a gag, but remember the first time you saw The Wire? And the theme song went into its second verse? And then the instrumental bridge started? Then again it's quite possibly designed to weed out impatient people, because it's really not the right show for them...
  • Wonder Showzen's entire first season finale, entitled "Patience", was an overly long gag to test the viewer's patience. The first act is extremely slow, and the second act is the entire first act in reverse. The third act is extremely fast.
  • Appears twice in an episode of Woodley. Frank is caught trying to smuggle several puppies into a hospital under his clothes, to cheer up his grandfather, and is forced to remove all eleven of them, one at a time. Later, the same Doctor catches Frank wearing stolen surgical gloves again, and forces him to hand them over. He proceeds to take off several dozen pairs, one at a time, over a couple of scenes. This time it's done to distract the doctor from the party in his grandfather's ward.

  • From an episode of The Young Ones: "What did you call me?!" "Codpiece Face!" "What did you call me?!" "Codpiece Face!" "What did you call me?!" Etc.
  • The Mario Bros. sketches on You're Skitting Me invariably become an Argument of Contradictions that go on and on and on and on and on and...


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