1. I don’t think that’s a ‘stake.’ I think it’s a steak knife.

    Apparently he lost the argument with himself while he was eating a steak. Also the Dr. seems to be addressing his steak eating habits rather than his copious hand bleeding.

  2. The copious hand bleeding put this comic into a new category: comic that made me cringe! And the joke seems to be that the guy argues with his puppet to the point of injuring himself. I agree with Folly that the Dr. should first deal with the immediate traumatic injury, then the obvious mental health issues, and only then consider diet habits.

  3. The joke has nothing to do with steak and stake (its a steak knife not a stake).

    The joke is as Folly and chemgal figured. The doctor thinks this man eats to much steak (concern for cholesterol?). The mans puppet tells the doctor its futile as, he, the puppet has tried to get the man to eat less steak but the man responds by stabbing the puppet (and therefore the man’s own hand) with a steak knife.

    Schizophrenic people who argue with puppets are apparently supposed to be hilarious for some reason. And I guess Baldwin figures if schizophrenia is funny then homicidal self-destructive psychosis must be a real thigh-slapper.

    I think ….. Mike Baldwin has had a breakdown.

  4. Yes, there is a long-standing trope (like, going back at least to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” from the fifties) of puppeteers or more often ventriloquists having conflictual relationships with their puppets / dummies / figures, who appear to have achieved some kind of independent existence. It may be taken as delusional, or as possibly real within the fictive world.

  5. You know, following up to Mitch4’s comment, generally, in the “ventriloquist uses dummy to express multiple personalities” fiction trope, it’s the PUPPET who’s crazy. This is one of the few times I’ve seen the puppet be the sane one.

    That’s kind of interesting, but not enough to make the joke work for me.

  6. I think it’s his conscience. (Remember those old angel/devil on the shoulder tropes?) It was on his shoulder, trying to convince him to give up steak, and the guy stabbed him

  7. ” This is one of the few times I’ve seen the puppet be the sane one.”

    I think its becoming more common– at least in jokes. It adds for irony. in South Park, there is a scene where Mr. Hat (puppet) tells Mr. Garrison (teacher) “You’re not fooling anyone, you know”. I can’t think ofspecifics but I’ve seen this dynamic a few times.

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