The current creative team of Tony DePaul and Paul Ryan use the phrase to signal a cameo by the comic strip's creator, Lee Falk. Rather than recap the origin of the Phantom, Falk (the character) simply gets readers up to speed with the current story.
As I noted in the Falk's last appearance (The Phantom Insider 3), the current story is partially set in the actual New York City apartment building where Falk lived. So while he does break the fourth wall and talk directly to the reader, his appearance is quite logical. After all, he's just going to his apartment. (click on images to enlarge)