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Jonathan Katz
January 28, 2005 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Dr. Katz has multiple sclerosis. A great profile of comedian Jonathan Katz, who is now battling the horrible disease.
posted by braun_richard (23 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I didn't know about this. It's very sad.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:11 PM on January 28, 2005


I loved that cartoon. Katz was great as was the ever awesome H. Jon Benjamin. Not sure who I like better: Ben Katz, Coach McGuirk, or Jason.
posted by xmutex at 1:15 PM on January 28, 2005


Thanks.
posted by docpops at 1:21 PM on January 28, 2005


very sad indeed. a friend of mine was also recently diagnosed.
posted by blendor at 1:23 PM on January 28, 2005


Dr. Katz has been battling MS since the nineties.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:46 PM on January 28, 2005


It's not sad. It's inspiring. Some of the sadness (having to buy a house with no stairs, for example) is certainly there, but the fact that he's determined to cope with it, continue living the life he wants to as far as he is able to, etc. is good to see.

Crip tip for the able bodied: never never never say "you're a strong person." Most hated phrase ever. I mean, when you're handed a shitty diagnosis, you pretty much have to learn to roll with the punches. It's not because you want to or because you're feeling especially strong. It's either sink or swim, and there are plenty of days when sinking sure looks nice. Sometimes I think people say things like that to reassure themselves that it's OK that X person has Y diagnosis, because they can handle it. And then they can that much more readily forget about it and go on with their able-bodied lives.

Wow, I am grumpy today. Sorry. Continue on.
posted by MiHail at 1:50 PM on January 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


Holy crip, he's a crapple!
posted by stavrogin at 2:02 PM on January 28, 2005


Saying it's inspiring is kind of the same as the "He's so brave" kind of thing, isn't it? When he has no choice? Eh, minor quibble.

I'm very sorry to know this. His work is awesome, I hope he keeps it up!
posted by agregoli at 2:19 PM on January 28, 2005


I hadn't heard about this. He's a very funny guy.
posted by odinsdream at 2:25 PM on January 28, 2005


I had no idea and I'm sorry to hear it. I loved Dr. Katz.

(xmutex: I'm so glad someone else recognizes how great H. Jon Benjamin is. I love his voicework. Very understated.)
posted by LeeJay at 2:27 PM on January 28, 2005


Squigglevision indeed :(.
posted by basicchannel at 2:28 PM on January 28, 2005


Saying it's inspiring is kind of the same as the "He's so brave" kind of thing, isn't it? When he has no choice?

Well, he has a choice of how he can deal with it. And, at least in this article, he seems to be handling it with humor, intelligence and, well, grace.

As someone who reacts much worse to much less, I find that inspiring.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:38 PM on January 28, 2005


Dr. Katz was one of my fave shows ever! I hope it gets released on DVD someday. Interesting article.
posted by jcruelty at 2:43 PM on January 28, 2005


...when you're handed a shitty diagnosis, you pretty much have to learn to roll with the punches. It's not because you want to or because you're feeling especially strong.

God yes. You continue with your life because your only other choice is to lay in your bed crying until the nice folks in the white coats come and take you away. It doesn't take long to realize what's the better choice. You don't do it because you feel like a superhero; sometimes you do it because all the other options are worse.

I was diagnosed with MS two and a half years ago, and because I still got up every day and put some clothes on and left the house, people fell all over themselves to tell me how strong I was. (And there was one person who said, my hand to God, "Oh, you're just like the president!". And it was a really long moment of "wha...?" before I realized they were talking about the president on The West Wing.)

I was baffled by the "you're so strong" comments. (OK, I was baffled by both, clearly, but I gave the "you're so strong" ones a lot more thought.) The thing is, living is living, and no one's life is easy. Every person alive has had some sort of horrible thing happen to them. My biggest horrible thing just happens to be that I have MS.

Bottom line? I'm no stronger than any other person in the world who got a shit sandwich once but then continued to enjoy eating.

(blendor--if your friend wants to talk to someone about it and isn't interested in the painfully condescending support literature, my email address is in my profile and he or she is welcome to contact me.)
posted by jesourie at 2:47 PM on January 28, 2005 [1 favorite]


Best Dr. Katz joke.

A polar bear cub asks his mother, Are you a polar bear?
The mother answers, Yes I am.
Cub asks again, Are you sure you are a polar bear?
Mother answers, Yes I am.
Cub asks, Is dad a polar bear?
Mother answers, Yes, he is.
Cub asks, are you sure he is a polar bear?
Mother answers, Yes I am pretty sure. Why are you asking if we are polar bears?
Cub answers, Well, I do not know about you guys but I am freezing!

I hope the best for him. He's awesome!
posted by dov3 at 3:14 PM on January 28, 2005


Dr. Katz was one of my fave shows ever! I hope it gets released on DVD someday.

Bring it on.
posted by hippyboy at 4:47 PM on January 28, 2005


This is sad.
posted by greasy_skillet at 4:47 PM on January 28, 2005


Very fun, and I suspect, seminal cartoon.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:50 PM on January 28, 2005


dov3, you beat me to it, except the punchline is, "Because I'm fucking cold!" Squigglevision and Dr. Katz fans, you do know about Home Movies on Adult Swim, right?
posted by yerfatma at 7:01 PM on January 28, 2005


Good for Dr Katz ( who I've never heard of). But I wish people would realise that a diagnosis of MS is *NOT* a death sentence.
posted by Pericles at 3:09 AM on January 29, 2005


LeeJay: He's not the only other one out there. I didn't even know his name until just recently, but I loved Ben on Dr. Katz, and have always recognized his voice since then. It wasn't until I picked up the Home Movies DVDs that I figured out what his name was.

To pharaphrase one of those Adult Swim bumpers, "Coach McGurk is the greatest television character ever and if you don't agree, you're a big, dumb idiot."
posted by Swervo at 10:32 AM on January 29, 2005


My sister was diagnosed with MS just before Xmas. Though partially mobile, she periodically relapses and sometimes requires life support, as her breathing fails. Her husband and three very young children miss her very much because she has spent a great deal of time in hospital during the last couple of years whilst going through a lengthy diagnosis process.

Good luck to Jonathan Katz, MS really sucks.
posted by chrid at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2005


He's been out with this for a long time. I first heard about it in this article (very recent, but had to dig to find it again).

And he sums up certain problems about it:
' "The one thing I resent about the way people write or talk about MS is when they say things like when Teri Garr was on Larry King and he talked about her 'devastating' disease, he said."
' "They always refer to it as 'devastating,' " he said. "It's not fun. But 'devastating' is something else - people caught in tsunamis or landslides or people with cancer. The only thing 'devastating' about my MS is when my daughter refuses to believe I really was New York's 1964 table tennis champion." '

One of the annoying things for me is the need for secrecy that comes from that view of the condition as "devastating" - you probably can't be open with this if you want to be able to find a new job, or advance in your current workplace. I've had it for at least eight years, and can still walk. But I know that most people would expect the motor scooter or wheelchair or blindness or devastation to hit eventually. And so it becomes a cycle and the only MS patients most people really know about are the ones who have become disabled and can't hide it anymore.

There might be a good reason to call this guy "brave" or "strong", but it's not because he has the disease - rather it's that he's public with it now.
posted by dilettante at 4:16 PM on January 29, 2005 [2 favorites]


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