Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes…

Surely you’ve heard the old joke:
Roy had a brand new pair of shoes. He goes to visit his friend. Being polite, he removed his shoes and leaves them at the door. While visiting with his friend, the friend’s cat discovers Roys new shoes, likes the smell and proceeds to chew them up. Roy goes ballistic. The friend, feeling very bad, has a dilemma: he has two cats. One of the cats enters the room at that moment. The friend then asks: Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes?

Repeat that punch line to the tune of the Chattanooga Choo Choo and substitute these lyrics: Pardon me, boy, is that the Chatanooga Choo-Choo?

Yeah I know. Really corny. But there is a point to this corn… I’m on my way to the Choo Choo town to see my daughter and son-in-law. Every time I go back I think of the song and having lived there for over a year back in the 70’s, I kinda like it. Especially when I think of Roy’s shoes being chewed up by that cat!

This is a treat for us. We don’t get away much and a couple of days on the road and lounging with the offspring will be nice. We made a journey out west to Seattle to see the eldest daughter back in February and really enjoyed it. If only we could get a trip in to see the son in Iraq.

By the way, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is one of those songs that once you get it in your head, it is hard to get it out. And, when you think of Roy’s problem with his new shoes being chewed, it is virtually impossible.

Enjoy! 🙂


30 responses to “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes…

  1. I have been trying to find the joke for that punchline for over 22 years.

  2. I first read that line in a Russell Baker NYT Sunday Observer column in the 1970’s and have been trying to find it again. Searching the Times archives online has not proved successful, yet. If anyone has the reference date, please pass it along. The column had other great lines that “rhymed”, too.

    • remember the joke whos punch line is Sorry, Oppernocky only tunes once.
      It’s about a piano tuner named Oswald Oppernocky who spends time tuning a lady’s piano. After he leaves she sits down to play….it’s horribly out of tune….she calls the tuner on the phone and says “Sir, my piano sounds terrible” his reply was_SORRY LADY OPPERNOCKY ONLY TUNES ONCE!_____________________________

      • That was lovingly, wryly delivered by Erik Frandsen in his Greenwich Village folkie days. Only, Oppernockety was a guitar tuner.

    • Anne Marie Whittaker

      Sunday Times Magazine January 19, 1975.

  3. visit

    and sing along (and be amazed at the tap dancing, too!)

  4. It evolved into a Roy Rogers joke.
    Roy was a guest on a radio talk show and told it about himself!
    He changed the “friend” to be his wife…Dale Evans who ask him the question.

  5. Roy came in an hour early for a live radio show appearance in Philadelphia at WWDB in 1984 or 85. we all sat in the bosses office and chatted and I ask him about the joke. the owner challanged Roy to tell it…and he did. It was quite a moment as you can guess! nice guy and a hero of mine for years…(along with the Durango Kid)

  6. there’s another version where a mountain lion takes his boots, Roy goes out and shoots the lion, and Pat Butram, upon Roy’s return, asks the famous question.

  7. The first time I heard this joke was in 1972 when Orson Bean appeared on the Johnny Carson Show. Bean told it totally deadpan and Carson, who was famous for his deadpan routine, just stared at Bean through till the end. When the audience broke up in howls, Carson relented and did his beamish boy routine.

    Bean did a superb job of telling this old saw. This happened 40 years ago, so all these comments about how it was 20 something years ago are off the mark. The tale about Roy Rogers telling it on himself in 1984 may be true, but the joke was around long before that.

    Like many shaggy dog tales there are many versions. So who originated the joke and when? That’s the question.

  8. Ian, et al… I’ve been trying to find that joke for over 30 years. Every time I hear that song, I can’t help but sing the punch line. So last night, my 17- year-old son asks, out of the “blue,” “Pardon me dad, is that the guy who sings those new blues?” It set me off again. I sang him the punch line without the joke and he says, “why don’t you just google the punch line and see what you get?” Duuuh. So I did, and here I am. At peace after all these years. Of course, with a little mental energy, I probably could have come up with a joke to match the punch line. So now we’ll have to come up with a joke to match my son’s “new blues” question.

  9. There was another version, and the punch line was “Pardon Ming Toy, is that a tatoo or your tutu?

  10. Likewise I’ve been looking for the joke for more than thirty years. I am now convinced you can truly find anything on the internet!

  11. Now I remember why Roy had some chewed new shoes. Thank you for reminding me of the joke. When I saw a train i would often spontainiusly sing the punch line and it would run through my mind for days humming it ,singing it etc. Thank you for freeing up a few neurons in my little brain! Now maybe I find my walet & keys (LOL).


  12. It was thought up by either Frank Muir or Denis Norden on the BBC Radiob show My Word in the early 1960’s

    • That’s where I first heard it – thought is was a bit later, probably early 1970s. Each week the contestants would be given the line of a song or well known saying at the beginning of the show, and the finale was when each of the contestants gave his answer. Another one I remember was “I think therefore I am” got twisted to “I think they’re for 1am”

  13. Actually, the whole punch line goes like this (to the tune of Chatangooga Choo Choo….
    “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoes? Size number nine. Boy, do they need a shine.”

  14. My mom used to mess up the punchline… Pardon me Roy. Is that the cat who ate your new boots. That makes us laugh even harder.

  15. My Dad (who died In April 2012 😦 ) told me this joke years ago, and I still remember it. I was just sitting at my desk when it popped into my head. So glad I found the rest of the joke here. Thank you (you too, Dad xoxoxox)

  16. Michael A Jacobsen

    I don’t think this joke originated on the Beeb in the ’60s. I heard a comedian tell it at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas in 1948; I wish I could remember his name.

  17. I had a teacher tell this joke, and for some reason years later I was telling my husband the joke.. we were on vacation and walking into an antique store.. and heard someone telling the punch line.. so odd.. but funny. always remembered the punchline

  18. Frank C. Derr

    Myna Loy and Xavier Cugat go into a fancy restaurant. After dinner, Cuggie asks to the see the dessert menu. The waiter say we’re all of everything except nougat. Cuggie says, OK, I’ll try it. The waiter brings the nougat, Cuggie takes one bit and spits it out, screaming, “That’s horrible tasting!” William Powell, sitting at another table, gets out of his chair, walks over to the offensive confectionary, picks it up, and says, “Pardon me, Loy, is this the nougat Cugat chewed through?” Now we have four Chattanooga Choo Choo jokes, or at least four punchlines. Anyone know any others?

  19. Louis Mongillo

    A Jewish gentleman had a son who became a talkative New Age guru. After a while, his congregation, out of appreciation, bought a fancy new bench for their church, and he sat in it often, along with other worshippers.
    One day the father decided that he wanted to visit his son, so he walked into the church, but the guru happened to be absent. Deciding to wait on the bench for his son’s return, he walked over to the fanciest bench in the church and said to the person sitting there: … “Pardon me goy, is that the chatty guru’s new pew?”

  20. Louis Mongillo

    One of Dr Freud’s first patients was very uncomfortable, until he suggested that she just lie down on the couch and say whatever came into her head. She started to talk, at first haltingly, then growing more comfortable, speaking compulsively, and she suddenly became terribly self-conscious and asked, “Pardon me, Freud, but is my chatter really cuckoo?”

    On the set of the “Thin Man” movie, a prop man noticed Myrna Loy carrying a swatch of material, and asked, “Pardon me, Loy, is that the shantung that’s the new clue?”

    At the zoo, an unkempt gnu was sitting morosely in a corner of the cage. Outside the cage was a bamboo shoot with teeth marks; a visitor saw that, and thought the gnu might have thrown it out of the cage, and asked the attendant, “Pardon me, boy, is that the shoddy gnu’s bamboo shoot?”

    From NYTimes Magazine, January 19, 1975

  21. The version I heard was that Roy stayed in accomodation at a western hotel.
    He left his boots out to be cleaned and he severely berated the inn keeper with dire consequences unless the culprit was found.
    Hence, the innkeeper Confronted Roy with a cat by its scruff.
    “Pardon me Roy, Is this the cat that chewed your new shoes”

  22. The way I heard this originally was that it was about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

  23. Roy Rogers and Johnny Carson (as Gabby Hayes) acted out this joke in a Mighty Carson Art Players sketch on Tonight Show! ☺

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