Holy Moly!

Thanks to Matthew McKeever, who sent this as a CIDU and says: “another stumper … … and I went to parochial school”

Should Chef Boyardee should be canonized (as a saint in heaven) or sent to the other place?  Or maybe it’s the corporate moneygrubbers who own the brand (currently Conagra Foods) who should be sent someplace?


  1. There are so many alternatives to Holy Moly. You have roly-poly, ravioli, in the bowl cannoli (?), soccer goalie, Angelina Jolie (yeah I know a bit of a stretch ro rhyme). I’m not sure about the beer commercial or the ingredients on the table, though.

  2. What’s in the bowl are penne, from the look of it, but some people might call it “macaroni”.

    I think Philip and Rob have managed to get everything, but the ingredients on the table are still stumping me.

  3. The ingredients (some of them) could be used to make aioli (Aioli, allioli or aïoli is a cold sauce consisting of an emulsion of garlic, salt, olive oil, and often egg) Maybe the lemon is there to make it ‘lemon aioli’?

  4. I used to eat canned ravioli on boy scout campouts. Much better than tinned spaghetti.
    A bit amusing to imagine the Church brought down to the point where the Pope is opening cans, although whoever does the laundry would prefer he wore an apron.

  5. Surprised there were no avacados on the table to make guacamole. (Holy Guacamole is my standby expression of surprise.)

  6. So, impressed as I am at all the commenters who recognized obscure background details as things rhyming with “moly” — an avenue I would probably never have considered — I still don’t understand the joke. Is it supposed to be common knowledge that people use other words that rhyme with “moly” together with holy as an expression? (Blinky the Wonder Wombat put me on to that line of thinking, but really, to me anyway, “holy guacmole” works only because it is interspersing extra syllables into “holy moly” (sort of like the creative ways you can intersperse the F-word into phrases), and not just rhyming with “moly”, so it seems to me, that if that’s what the author was thinking, and he failed to include the only one that works and that people actually use, then this whole exercise is a major fail. The canonized phrase is “holy sh!t”, and if we want sanitized pg versions, the whole run of the 1960s batman has all the possible variations you could want, so it’s all been there, done that, and completely unnecessary and missing the boat on so many possible avenues of joke…

  7. I am also impressed with all the obscure IDs. For example, I am utterly unfamiliar with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but the trailer on IMDb includes exactly the scene on the TV.

    No one has mentioned the two dark objects in the lower left corner. Zooming in, they appear to be grubs. I was going to ask, but I see that a Gocomics commenter mentioned roly polies (also known as pill bugs).

  8. larK- Among the sanitized versions, my favorite, but as far as I know unuttered by Robin, is “Holy Socks”!

  9. <>#

    Philip mentioned roly-poly in the first reply.

    Which confused me, because where I come from a roly-poly is a type of spiral cake with a jam filling. Usually served hot with custard.

  10. Besides guacamole, the only one I think I’d have ever actually heard would be “holy cannoli”. The rest are just puns to me.

  11. Just to give credit where it’s due, Philip in the first comment has as the very first thing, “roly-poly”…

    Holy Socks, Holy Toledo, Holy Mackerel… So what exactly is the origin of this word play? Holy Mary, Mother of God? And being as that’s obviously too sacrilegious to use, all these are sanitized versions, so of like “jeez”? And so when did they start? What was the first one? When did they start getting humorous? Where and when did “holy moly” first appear?

  12. Not related to the phrase in the comic (and possibly not even rhyming with it) is the magical herb “moly”, mentioned by Homer in the “Odyssey”, and referenced in any number stories since then.

  13. While not a phrase that I recall hearing, “Holy moly ravioli” seems to have a solid frequency on the web.

  14. My favorite appearance of “Holy Moses” in literature (well, literature of a sort…)

    On Visiting Westminster Abbey
    Amanda McKittrick Ros

    Holy Moses! Have a look!
    Flesh decayed in every nook!
    Some rare bits of brain lie here,
    Mortal loads of beef and beer,
    Some of whom are turned to dust,
    Every one bids lost to lust;
    Royal flesh so tinged with ‘blue’
    Undergoes the same as you.

    Famous some were–yet they died;
    Poets–Statesmen–Rogues beside,
    Kings–Queens, all of them do rot,
    What about them? Now–they’re not!

  15. I don’t think anyone explained: “roly poly” is another word for pillbugs. They’re land crustaceans, technically isopods, that roll up into, well, a pill shape.

  16. “roly poly” is another word for pillbugs.

    Along with several other names. That’s one of those that seems to have some regionalism about it. It’s one of the questions on the NY Times dialect quiz.

  17. You’not gonna believe this.
    Note that the Pope is being addressed by a cardinal.
    Pope Francis used to be Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The current archbishop?

    Mario Cardinal Poli.

  18. In the background on the right, I after some reconsideration, I caught ‘goalie’ but I’m stumped by the Mr. & Mrs. Smith poster. I’m familiar this the popular movie but do not find the ‘-oli’.

  19. Darren: Excellent, they are unmistakably cannoli. I also thought, they were penne (after thinking they were fingers) but the extra dark ends made me uncomfortable with that. A quick Google search showed that many people make a more a skinny-rolled cannoli than the fat ones I’m used to.

  20. @blastoBill, the movie starred Angelina Jolie, and I figuire the intention is to hear her name as fitting the replacements. “Holy Angelina Jolie!”

  21. If we’re going to focus on the pasta, the Holy Father might go with Penne’s from Heaven (ba-da-bum)

  22. @Blinky the Wonder Wombat

    Maybe the Pope has realised what a total environmental and social disaster avocado farming is, and has quite rightly vowed never to eat one again.

  23. In the film “On Golden Pond” (not sure about the stage version), Charlie the mailman utters a nice mash-up of “moly” and “macaroni” — “Holy Macaroli”. A Google search yields 638 hits, so I suspect it’s a regional (probably New England) variation?

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