That's the one issue remaining really. Thankfully a running gag isn't a necessity to make a funny production, but it definitely is something that make the entire production stronger. Previous running gag ideas this year have been too general to actually generate a strong idea.
If we wanted to, we could return to some of the older running gags this year actually. It would be a tad risky, but considering we have the gags showing up this year again in Reheated on the classic night, it wouldn't actually be uncalled for to revisit them. That will be a bit tough in its own right though.
I guess for a bit of an exploration, we can again consider what worked in the past. If we think of similarities, "Smoke" from AMVS2 and the Osaka 'bleeps' from AMV Hell 3 have a similar basis. The Osaka bleeps were a play off of a previous joke from AMV Hell 2, so that's a possibility. We can look at a fan favorite joke from reheated and see if a running gag can be drawn from that. For example there have been two Gundam Wing "Yoiks and away!!" clips in different Salads. But we could actually have everyone make their own version because it can go in many different directions creatively (several former clips can, actually). I made the first two, so everyone else can make their version? I used my Gundam one as an example, but it could work for many of them I'd think. Maybe we can get ideas if everyone here takes a quick glance through Reheated again with 'running gag' in mind? We are established enough to allow jokes built on older jokes I think and it wouldn't be too strange if done with consideration. That Gundam Wing one and clips like it would work because it works both connected, and unconnected to the past for old and new audiences.
Your Geico Money idea spread well to a couple other creators and ended up having a lot of variety. We can again take something that's pop-culture based and keep putting it in. Heh, I just thought of this, but maybe one of Captpan's clips could work. This is similar to the explosion idea from last year (gee I wonder why
), but what if we kept blowing up the Death Star? Random unrelated stuff just causes the same Death Star explosion footage to appear in ironic situations, with Captpan's clip being the first one in the lineup. Hell, I'd even be willing to mask in the Death Star beams for anyone into any scene they want once they're done. It's less than an hour to do, I'll just need lightly compressed footage through dropbox.
Other than that, of course there are other great commercial characters that can be used in similar ways, but of course that's similar to Geico Money and runs the risk of audiences who know us to recognize the similarity.
AMV Hell 5 did "Always" and "Halo" as musical running gags, and those failed for the most part. They were too popular, everyone knew them, and got sick of them in pop culture. We just need to avoid something that has been used in too many places, and most of all.
How does everyone feel about these types of directions?