Meanwhile back at the ranch
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch..." is a catch phrase that appears in a variety of contexts. For example, it may be employed by narrators of American cowboy movies and TV shows to indicate a segue from one scene to another but there is often more to this than meets the eye. The expression originated as a stock subtitle in the silent movies and at first the reference to the ranch was literal. Later, as the phrase became a cliché, it was used more and more loosely and with a growing sense of mockery or levity, often with a vague focus. In this manifestation the phrase came into common use in unrelated contexts.
"Meanwhile back at the ranch" is the title of a children's book by Trinka Hakes Noble; a crime novel by Kinky Friedman; of the first album of the German country band Texas Lightning; and is the root of the name of the English band Meanwhile, back in Communist Russia... (1999-2004). It is also the name of a song by Badfinger from the album Wish You Were Here (1974).