On Thursday April 23rd, celebrated comedian Jonathan Katz will take the stage with some of the biggest names in comedy on the 20th anniversary of his seminal television program Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. The live show will span two nights and feature comic heavyweights like Marc Maron, Maria Bamford, Emo Philips, Todd Barry, Dana Gould and more.
It’s hard to remember that just a few short years ago, nobody really paid much attention to standup comedy. We’re in the middle of the so-called second comedy boom, the first having taken place in the 80’s, but there was a pretty dry period in the 90’s and early 2000’s where standup was decidedly uncool. If you want to keep up with comics today, you can listen to thousands of hours of podcasts, watch innumerable comedy and sketch shows on cable and Netflix, and follow (and sometimes interact with them) on Twitter.
When Dr. Katz premiered in 1995, the landscape was very different. Sure you could catch the occasional comic on late night, and bigger names still had specials every now and then, but there were lots of extremely talented comedians who weren’t getting any airtime. Dr. Katz changed all that.
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, the story centers around Dr. Jonathan Katz, a professional therapist whose patients were all comedians. Katz would interact with the comics who generally performed a version of their stage material. Katz’s dry humor and reliable wit often added to the comics tried and true routines, in a perfect marriage of improvisation and scripted material. For comedy nerds such as myself in the 90’s, the show was a godsend and the first introduction to comics such as Todd Barry, Dom Irerra, and Marc Maron, who was still a relatively unknown club comic at the time. Knowing that they will all join together on stage 20 years later, careers thriving, feels like some kind of victory for us comedy junkies. If I were you, I’d get tickets for both nights. Whoops, you know what the music means – our time is up.
Tickets for Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist Live are onsale now. Guests vary from night to night.