1. Cato hides in his home and attacks him at random, which cuts down on snacking and forces him to get more exercise.

  2. The Cato experience is as dvandom described, but I don’t understand the “and a lot cheaper” comment. Hiring a martial-arts-trained manservant doesn’t sound cheaper than buying “keto” foods.

  3. I think it’s just absurdism. It’s a common joke to say I’m doing the X and the response is don’t you mean Y, and the joke is that he is doing the X and it’s an absurd mental image. (David Letterman had a month long running joke in 1986 where he said he eat eaten at Prudhomme’s restaurant and Paul Schaeffer said “Paul Prudhomme” and Letterman so, no, Don Prudhomme’s restaurant; he had oil lug nut soup and tire tread filet …. he then spent a month trying to explain the joke with ever more growing elaborations.)

    Perhaps the most famous Cato scene was in the return of the Pink Panther were he hid in Clouseau’s refrigerator and that might be what the cartoonist has in mind.

    Although I’m more inclined to think the cartoonist didn’t have anything in mind and just hoped the confusion of Cato/Keto would be enough to carry it. (It isn’t). The “a lot cheaper” doesn’t mean anything. It’s rimshot noise to keep the patter going after the joke is made hoping the humorous image of the Cato/Keto confusion will sink in. (It won’t).

  4. I mostly agree with Woozy, but only halfway on this point:

    The “a lot cheaper” doesn’t mean anything. It’s rimshot noise to keep the patter going after the joke is made [...]

    I agree that we needn’t be troubled to figure out how or why Cato would be cheap. But it’s a comparative, cheaper, and what we do have is an idea that the Keto plan tends to be expensive.

  5. However I do think for the “X? Don’t you mean Y?” “No, I mean X” jokes to work your really do need a image of what X would be.

    Is he planning to be a cannibal and eat Cato? Is he planning on having Cato beat him up so he can not eat? Does he plan on having Cato hide in his fridge? Does expect ever time he wants to eat the universe edits the scene of him eating with a photo of Cato existing? Is Cato just existing supposed to somehow be a diet.

    Although the cartoonist might have had the second or third option, I really think he didn’t actually think this through. Somehow being aware of Cato’s existence is somehow supposed to be a diet.

    I think Mitch may have it on why it is cheaper than Keto. Keto is so expensive anything…. including hiring Cato to live with you and ……. exist….. is cheaper than Keto.

    I suppose like most nerds I find a reminder of Cato’s existence mildly amusing. But it’s not enough for me. Maybe if it was a truly obscure reference I hadn’t heard in decades, but I’d say every year half a dozen blogs or so bring up a “hey, remember Cato from the Pink Panther? Bet you had all but forgotten it” joke.

  6. As it turns out, this is the first of a running gag over a number of strips. It appears he’s talking about one of those diet plans where they send food for you to eat…’Cato’ being the cheaper option, for whatever reason. Although that’s not at all clear in this comic, which leads to all the confusion and creative searching for a meaning. I went through several ideas myself.

    However, the diet itself is quite grizzly. Apparently, they send you pieces of the actor’s dead body. This puts you off of your appetite and you lose weight. Sheesh Although this still doesn’t explain why it’s cheaper, but there you go.

    The third comic in this run is equally as confusing, to me at least. I’d welcome some suggestions about what he’s on about here.


  7. Shrug – And not to pick at an old wound with folks around here, but did you notice the name of the shop that Romeo is delivering for?

  8. Stan: That would be a GREAT name for a brick oven pizza parlor. Like at Bertucci’s, the ovens would be inside the wall with openings to slide in the pizza. Pie holes.

  9. MiB says: Stan: That [The Pie Hole] would be a GREAT name for a brick oven pizza parlor. Like at Bertucci’s, the ovens would be inside the wall with openings to slide in the pizza. Pie holes.

    Hmm maybe, but that would depend on a locality where people say “pizza pie” or at any rate can contrast “a whole pie” with a slice for pizza.

    Actually, I know there are franchise (or local-chain) restaurants specializing in pies. But locally it seems none have hit on that name. There does seem to be one with that name in L.A., advertising sweet and savory pies.

  10. The pie shop in “Pushing Daisies” was called The Pie Hole.

    “…on a locality where people say “pizza pie”… ”

    Oddly enough in areas where no-one says “pizza pie” people do not have a problem understanding that other people refer to pizzas as “pie”. We would all get the joke.

  11. Translation: I only get my pie pies from the The Tar Tar Pits on the The Way Way in Lake Edge of the Lake.

  12. There’s a pizza restaurant group in St. Louis called Pi Pizzeria. It’s moment of fame came President Obama said it was his favorite and had some shipped to DC.

  13. …while playing for the Los Angeles Angles.

    I’m disappointed by Lake Tahoe — I trusted a random list on the web to be accurate when they claimed it was the ultimate redundant name — turns out not so much. 😦

  14. There may some dispute about exactly what “Tahoe” means. One source says it means “Big Water”. Another says it’s a mispronunciation of the name by which the Washoe call it, “da ow a ga” which means “Edge of the Lake.”

    The redundancy reminds me of a story of a worker surveying for a map maker. Finding an unnamed creek, he asked a local for its name. “We just call it the crick” said the local. When the map came out, it was indicated as “Crick Creek”. “Sounds backwards to me” said the local when he saw the map.

  15. I wasn’t able to identify what Shrug’s “The The” was referring to.

    “Creek Crick” could work if you take the first part to refer to the Creek people.

  16. Cool, thanks for clarifying. I thought it was going to be another of the interlingual redundancies, like maybe The Los.

    Nobody I don’t think says Rio Grande River?

    I indistinctly recall being told at one time that there was one of those redundancies frozen into “Mount Fujiyama”.

  17. So, the personal PIN number to the automatic ATM machine helps pay for the La Tarta pie. You can bank on it.

  18. MiB says: Can’t wait to hear what the hoi polloi have to say.

    Besides the thing about interlingual redundancy with the the, another fun thing about this expression is that some people use it for the opposite group socially from its traditional / standard application. It gets used for something like “the upper crust”. My theory on that is influence from the sound of hoity toity.

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