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Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist
January 5, 2011 2:15 AM   Subscribe

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist is an American animated series that originally ran on Comedy Central from May 28, 1995 to December 24, 1999. The series used an unusual animation style called Squigglevision and often featured prominent comedians like Jon Stewart and Mitch Hedberg. Many of the episodes can be found online... posted by twoleftfeet (58 comments total) 79 users marked this as a favorite

 
My favorite is when Ben wins a scratch ticket and treats Dad and Laura to dinner at a fancy French restaurant, at least until he gets the bill.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:20 AM on January 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I reccomend "Ben Treats" for the manatee material. a decade later and it still affects my vocabulary.
posted by fFish at 2:23 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


... and that's Thatz!
posted by Mr. Palomar at 2:24 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


i thought I was possibly the only person still watching this. I wish he could give medical certificates for the nights I stay up too late watching it.

Some quick and dirty highlights:
Dave Chappell on Wonderwoman
Jann Karam reminding me of my own therapy days "Just tell me how to be!'

It also introduced my to some comics that never really got exposure in the Australia.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 2:29 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


PETER GRIFFIN: "What the hell is wrong with you? Your skin is, like, moving around or something."
DR. KATZ: "I believe I'm having some sort of seizure."
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:06 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Squigglevision was also used early on in the wonderful Home Movies, although they dropped it after season one.

I was never allowed to watch The Simpsons as a child, but I recall catching a few episodes of Dr Katz late at night as a (relative) young'un, and it certainly helped to inspire a lasting love of animation. I will definitely have to spend the rest of the evening watching these episodes now, and see if any ring a bell.
posted by wandering steve at 3:06 AM on January 5, 2011


I still crack up when Mitch delivers that line, "An escalator can never break down, it can only... become stairs"

That pause. It kills.
posted by Decani at 4:20 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


To me, this is new and cool-ish, but the squigglevision is sort of doing my head in.

That said: ta!!
posted by pompomtom at 4:20 AM on January 5, 2011


Isn't Fox's Bob's Burgers his new show?
posted by NoMich at 4:26 AM on January 5, 2011


Jonathan Katz has MS but still performs. He has had an interesting career. He was the New York ping pong champion in 1964 and used to hustle ping pong with David Mamet. Here is the wikipedia page for the show.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:31 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, the stalwart days of Comedy Central -- Dr. Katz, The Critic, MST3K, Kids in the Hall, Short Attention Span Theater, promo voiceovers by Penn Jillette...

By the way if you are a fan of H. Jon Benjamin who voiced Ben you absolutely must watch Archer on FX, which returns for s2 Jan 27.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:35 AM on January 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


When it worked, Dr Katz was phenominally brilliant. In fact, Dr Katz was my favourite show as a teenager. But I will say that from the harsh light of an adult, while the retroscripted parts were almost always pure brilliance, the vehicle part of the show often fell short - it worked when the comics came on with material that worked within the context, but often it was just a tape of their standard TV set with banter edited around it.

Saying all of that, I still am deeply in love with it.. There is a dvd box set of this. I recommend it. Be a good consumer. Also, comedy central does rerun it from time to time. And Mitch Hedburg is funny because Mitch Hedburg is funny, however. Ray Romano isn't funny, and well, he isn't funny. That's the thing.

It's hard to quantify how different this was, though, to everything else that was on TV in 1995 when it originally ran. We didn't have Adult Swim yet. Having comedians do their acts un-edited was actually pretty edgy, Weird, I know. And for a teenager in rural australia in 1995, it was one of the things that changed my life (along with Bill Hicks bootlegs),

On the subject of squigglevision, Home Movies is the best thing ever - I actually delayed watching it for years after one of my best friends at the time told me about it and hooked me up with some dvds, That was one of the worst mistakes I ever made. I found myself watching Dr Katz with her about five years after that, and she pointed out to me that Home Movies is basically Dr Katz without the vehicle for comics that was so often so dodgy. And then it clicked.

But then, Home Movies never got me laid, so it's hard to be objective,
posted by jaymzjulian at 4:41 AM on January 5, 2011


The Thanksgiving episode with Carrie Fischer (playing Ben's mom) is my all-time favorite.
posted by Twicketface at 5:08 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen enough Dr. Katz, apparently. I didn't know it was gust comedians! But I've seen enough to love the show, for sure. And glad to hear the news that it's now been released on DVD. We've looked for it in the past.
posted by Goofyy at 5:35 AM on January 5, 2011


Honestly, Dr. Katz needs to come back so that I can see my favorite comics of today in Squigglevision with Retroscripting.

I mean, can you imagine Jimmy Pardo, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Aziz Ansari or Chris Hardwick on that show? It would be great.
posted by inturnaround at 5:54 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honestly, Dr. Katz needs to come back so that I can see my favorite comics of today in Squigglevision with Retroscripting.

This a thousand times! I was just talking about this with a friend a couple of days ago. The only reason they show stopped was because they had pretty much ran out of comedians to have on the show. Now with 10 years of brilliant new comedians out there Comedy Central should bring it back. Seems to me all the players should have the time to do it and how hilarious would it be to see the likes of Demetri Martin, Kyle Kinane and Eddie Pepitone interact with the master.
posted by any major dude at 6:26 AM on January 5, 2011


Little Benny
Benny Benny
LOS BENITOS

Awesome. Ben's crush on Laura is one of the best TV non-romances of all time.
posted by mintcake! at 6:28 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


inturnaround: I mean, can you imagine...Patton Oswalt...on that show? It would be great.

It is!
posted by Room 641-A at 6:36 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Brian Regan's time on the couch was my favorite when I was a teenager and it made me chuckle again this morning. I found it surprising how well I remembered some of these clips. Ah, good times.
posted by Hop123 at 6:44 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man. I hated Dr. Katz when I was a little kid. Somewhere in a file cabinet somewhere there's a letter archived away that I wrote to Comedy Central when I was 13 or 14 demanding that they stop showing it so often and instead put MST3K in a better time slot. (This was during that naive, youthful "I actually believe that if you write the TV/movie people a letter they'll actually listen to you" phase)

Still not a huge fan but it begat Home Movies, and for that matter John Benjamin's animation prowess, and for that alone the show deserves a lot of praise.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:50 AM on January 5, 2011


I reccomend "Ben Treats" for the manatee material. a decade later and it still affects my vocabulary.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Jim Gaffigan is hysterical. Man, this show was one of the real classics of the Comedy Central Showing Real Comedy Era.
posted by Spatch at 6:52 AM on January 5, 2011


nomich: Isn't Fox's Bob's Burgers his new show?

Both shows share the same producer (Loren Bouchard) and voice talent of H. Jon Benjamin, but I don't think Katz himself is involved with it.
posted by adamms222 at 7:01 AM on January 5, 2011


Here's Maria Bamford with Dr. Katz (and Laura Silverman) ... in an on-stage live version
posted by Auden at 7:03 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wrote "I still say 'You can call me manatee' all the time." until I found out that it was mentioned by several other people.

"I have a layer of blubber to keep me warm in the water" is genius and the voice!

The rest of the show was okay, I guess.
posted by Brainy at 7:10 AM on January 5, 2011


As mentioned in the previous thread, Tom Snyder, inventor of Squigglevision and creator/producer of Dr. Katz, is a friend. You may also know him for his educational software company (now owned by Scholastic) and his Soup2Nuts animation company (also now owned by Scholastic). His sister, Carrie, manages another animation studio -- Clambake Animation.
posted by ericb at 7:17 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


"She was heinous. No that was her name - heinous."

and then the hairy mole starts going "ooga ooga booya!"

I had an old VHS of a lot of Dr. Katz and the Tick that I had recorded from when I was in middle school that I used to carry with me everywhere. Dr. Katz was a show that I found myself watching whenever it came on (Comedy Channel I think), and couldn't really remember when it was on, only that it seemed to be only usually everyday or every other day. I'm glad it's online as I don't have that VHS anymore.
posted by scunning at 7:21 AM on January 5, 2011


Jonathan Katz also has a very occasional podcast called Hey we're back
posted by cnanderson at 7:25 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


twoleftfeet, did you make this post while hiding in my house, noticing that I was working my way through the box-set? I'm just on disc three though.
posted by fuq at 7:29 AM on January 5, 2011


I still quote the episode "Family Car", viz. "Everybody has their own definition of emergency" and "Do you think this is good for your eyes?"
posted by ob1quixote at 7:29 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


My wife and I cannot encounter the word "simulacrum" without wiggling our eyebrows at each other. Thanks David Duchovny!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:30 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loved this show, The Critic, Daria, Gargoyles and Darkwing Duck in high school.

Come to think of it, I was a very odd teenager.
posted by SMPA at 7:38 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never watched it too much when it was on, but I thought I remembered an episode where Richard Gere decided to hide in a closet. I always thought that was kinda funny.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:39 AM on January 5, 2011


or was it David Duchovny?
posted by bitteroldman at 7:40 AM on January 5, 2011


I loved this show, it was charming and clever and understated, much like me!
posted by Mister_A at 7:48 AM on January 5, 2011


I mean, can you imagine Jimmy Pardo, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Maria Bamford, Aziz Ansari or Chris Hardwick on that show?

Patton Oswalt was on Dr. Katz.
posted by dgaicun at 7:53 AM on January 5, 2011


Ha ha, the manatee bit is my favorite too.
posted by dgaicun at 7:58 AM on January 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Loved this show when I was a teenager -- it provided just the sort of existential/absurdist humor/perspective my life needed at the time. Thanks!
posted by treepour at 8:18 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I vaguely remember this show coming on very late at night right after Duckman. Those two shows pretty much defined my concept of funny for the rest of my life.
posted by rocket88 at 8:25 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sister man, sister my man, sister my MAN!
posted by cmyk at 8:35 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, the stalwart days of Comedy Central -- Dr. Katz, The Critic, MST3K, Kids in the Hall, Short Attention Span Theater, promo voiceovers by Penn Jillette...

Don't forget the original British Whose Line is it Anyway? The nostalgic pang for I get for those days (which happened to coincide with college for me) whenever I hear the MST3K end credit music is surprisingly strong.
posted by usonian at 8:39 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching all these clips both brings back memories of watching odd cartoons in my sophomore dorm room between classes. It also makes me realize that I may listen to the Sirius Uncensored Comedy channel a little too much, since many of these appear there frequently (I just heard the manatee bit on the way to work this morning!).
posted by mysterpigg at 8:51 AM on January 5, 2011


Oh man, I played a lot of hooky my junior year of high school, and every single day was spent watching Dr. Katz and Kids in the Hall . . .
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:28 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never knew that the red-haired guy on the couch was Louis CK. I remember watching those episodes thinking that this guy got anger issues and may legitimately need real therapy.
posted by cazoo at 9:43 AM on January 5, 2011


Hi Aquaman.
posted by GuyZero at 10:26 AM on January 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know what the music means!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:57 AM on January 5, 2011


GuyZero beat me to the two funniest words in this entire series. Just thinking about Dave Chapelle's "Aquaman" bit makes me literally laugh out loud. I LLOL.

I think the reason this show was so funny is the same reason that watching lego men acting out Eddie Izzard stand-up is funny. Yeah, most of it is because of the comedian but there is something very meta about seeing an interpretation of the routine along with it.

That and there was a lot of improv in the show between the regulars and the comedians. They even left in the stuff that didn't work!

I also liked "Home Movies". But I think I'm alone in that regard.
posted by chemoboy at 11:02 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had all but forgotten this show. This is my first comment on the blue, because I just have to share my favorite quote in the hopes that someone else appreciated this moment:

Laura : We don't have a valet. This is a laundry ticket.
Wendy: What are you saying?
Laura (smirking): I'm saying this is a laundry ticket. I'm saying, you seem to have given someone your car for a laundry ticket.
Wendy: I don't see the humor in that.
Laura: Well, it's very subtle.

And now I can watch it again! Amazing. Bless you, twoleftfeet.

Season 1, Episode 2: "Pretzelkins"
posted by xiaolongbao at 11:02 AM on January 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


In my dreams, I am happily married to Laura Silverman. Then her sister seduces me. Don't get me wrong, I like her sister. But, oi! Does she have a mouth on her!
posted by chemoboy at 11:15 AM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This show would have been tolerable without that squgglevision crap. The humor was pretty funny and deadpan, but the animation gave me a migrane. DO NOT WANT.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:17 AM on January 5, 2011


God, I loved this show so, so much. I bought bootlegs on ebay before the official DVD release.

"Grace knows Bully! GRACE KNOWS BULLY!"

"I made fifty business cards! You can have forty..."

"How about Ben 'The Overreactor' Katz? How about Ben 'Making a Mountain out of a Molehill' Katz? How about Ben 'It was a one-time deal, a freak thing, it'll never happen again' Katz?"
posted by mreleganza at 11:43 AM on January 5, 2011


Oh man, this probably should've been marked NSFW because I just spent a super long time watching all the video clips instead of working. Y'know what, though? I'm just going to mark work NSFL (not safe for life).
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 12:08 PM on January 5, 2011


I physically could not watch this show. Gave me the creeping jitters something fierce.
posted by Aquaman at 12:39 PM on January 5, 2011


Ben: You know what he's doing today?
Jon: I'm ... I'm ... I'm betting it involves eating and gutters and ...
Ben: Yes. He's a doctor.

And now I remember why this show was truly funny. Because Dr. Katz was a therapist and his son was in so badly in need of therapy. The interaction between Jonathan Katz and H. Jon Benjamin is pretty unusual in animation. It's very human, and very funny.

And now I have already ruined my day by watching all these DVDs. Thanks, twoleftfeet.
posted by chemoboy at 1:02 PM on January 5, 2011


I used to have free time before Metafilter! On fourth episode and counting....
posted by bquarters at 3:06 PM on January 5, 2011


I loved this show when I was a kid. I agree with the person upthread that said Comedy Central was at its best back then. Dr. Katz, 90's SNL reruns, and Kids in the Hall — so good!
posted by defenestration at 5:28 PM on January 5, 2011


You don't highlight it, but there is a lot of Ray Romano on Dr. Katz. Or maybe just a bunch of comedians that sound like Kermit the Frog, but, coincidentally, none of them were very funny.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:30 PM on January 5, 2011


"Don't be shticky....JEW" is a long running repurposable catchphrase in our house. Of course if you haven't seen the Andy Kindler bit then you have already jumped to conclusions about me and mine.
posted by stevil at 7:53 PM on January 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Winona Ryder episode of Dr. Katz is the reason I walk around going "Raar!" all the time, since way back before it was a Thing.

Man, I loved that show.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:35 AM on January 6, 2011


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