Jonathan Katz celebrated the twentieth anniversary of his animated Comedy Central series nearly a year ago at Moontower 2015. Patients including Dana Gould and Dom Irrera took to leather armchairs atop the Stateside Theatre stage, delving into their emotional shortcomings and, in the case of Irrera, begging to spoon with the nonplussed therapist. Here Katz shares his memories of the show.
“The reason I decided to do it is because I just love performing.
“Doing a short stand-up set and then moving over to the Dr. Katz set was such a breakthrough. The first time we did Dr. Katz Live was in San Francisco, and [co-creator and Squigglevision implementer] Tom Snyder was playing the piano and portraying my therapist. It was just so hard to keep the show moving, the pacing of it.
“Andy Kindler’s just ridiculously good at Dr. Katz. He genuinely feels apologetic for anything he does. He can make a great joke, and then apologize. My favorite moment with him actually happened in Washington, D.C. He said to me, “Dr. Katz, do you think I’m hiding behind my comedy?” I said, “…no!” That got a big laugh.
“Maria Bamford is so good. She sings a song about her therapist in her act. And she just requires the word “Hello!” and she’s gone, off and running.
“I think the only one that didn’t work was Eddie Pepitone, because he was shy about being his loud, aggressive self. He was being too polite.
“Emo Philips, his jokes are so good that sometimes I don’t get them in the moment. He did a joke about how he likes to go hiking, but he gets these things caught on his pants when he goes into the woods…and then it somehow has something to do with molesting children. My memory’s so bad, but it really was a brilliantly constructed joke.”