The Rant: When 'Cathy' Haters Are Staler Than the Gag
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.
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!"
| September 16, 2008; 4:30 PM ET
Categories: The Rants
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