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Posted at 4:30 PM ET, 09/16/2008

The Rant: When 'Cathy' Haters Are Staler Than the Gag

By Michael Cavna

Is there anything staler than a "Cathy" gag about her latest chocolate binge? Why yes -- yes there is.

That one thing would be: Bashing a "Cathy" gag about her latest choco-binge. Sorry, late-haters, but you're tardy to the party by at least a decade.

"Saturday Night Live's" sometime-inspired Andy Samberg (his best digital shorts are sublime) did a seriously lame "Weekend Update" bit over the weekend, in which he "impersonated" a shaggy-haired, "Ack!"-happy Cathy. Let's roll tape:
1. Diet/bikini joke? Check.
2. Chocolate gag. Check.

Mocking "Cathy" for relying on the same stock premises is akin to making jokes about Y2K, the omnipresence of Starbucks or bad airline food. ("And what's the deal with those rubber patties they call chicken?!?")

"Sex and the City" took a catty swipe at "Cathy" years ago, but it was a hilarious meta-joke that said as much about Carrie as it did about Cathy. And a decade ago, we attended a National Cartoonists Society shindig at which emcee Bil "Family Circus" Keane made light of "Cathy's" verbosity -- yet he did so with affection, tossing verbal bouquets to Cathy Guisewite in the house.

Then there's cartoonist Stephan Pastis, who told us recently that he regretted slamming a "Cathy" strip as unfunny -- that's the lowest salvo, he said, and one he had no business firing off. Don't get Pastis wrong, however. As recently as Saturday -- the same day as the Samberg skit -- "Pearls Before Swine" imported Cathy for a sweet visual gag.



Cathy for rum-n-stogies? Now there's a fair-trade agreement. (UPS) Enlarge Comic

But Pastis, unlike Samberg, just made sure to do so in a fresh and creative way that doesn't reek of 1998.

Forget "Ack!" Someone cry "Hack!"

By Michael Cavna  | September 16, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  The Rants  
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Comments

A newspaper column about a TV bit that was about a comic strip.
The media is really regurgitating itself these days...
I guess unfair jokes about Cathy the comic strip are a scourge upon the earth that must be stopped!

Posted by: Yikes | September 16, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse


Taken in the context of Andy's determined-to-be-retro approach (did you also see his so-lame-it-hurts rock anthem about the 3012 Space Olympics), his attacking "Cathy" 10, 15 years too late is...just about right.

Maybe it was the libations, but we thought it was funny. Sweat drops! Sweat drops!

We also laugh every time Andy puts a dress on. So I guess we're easy that way.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 16, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was the funniest bit of the night. Made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: guy | September 16, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: cordy | September 16, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

If you can get anything even vaguely "fresh and creative" out of a strip that's so sorely lacking in either of those two attributes, you should be lauded. Worth mentioning as well is the great "Cathy" parody, "Caffey" from 1997 by R. Crumb and Peter Bagge.

Posted by: Ben Towle | September 17, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The only funny thing to come out of "Cathy" is the "30 Rock" reference last season.

"Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! ACK!"

Posted by: Sebastian | September 18, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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