Dr. Katz: The Greatest Animated Show Ever??

November 9, 2009

Imagine a world where comedians worked clean, and where awkward pauses and hecklers were removed.

Picture 3There would be no George Carlin’s “seven words,” Red Foxx’s smutty oeuvre would be severely truncated, and Bob Saget would have to find other ways to slowly shed his wholesome Danny Tanner image.

The world would be poorer, certainly, but we would still have all six seasons of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, the innovative Squigglevision cartoon which ran on Comedy Central from 1995-1999.

Picture 1While the Simpsons were reaching the zenith of animated comedy, Dr. Katz was quietly diagnosing the funniest men and women of a generation.

The premise of the show was simple: comedian Jonathan Katz played a professional therapist, and each episode featured two or three comedic “patients.”  To provide some semblance of plot, enter the regulars: Katz’s unemployed 25-year-old son Ben (pictured right, H. Jon Benjamin) and snarky receptionist Laura (Laura Silverman). Katz’s bar buddies would intersperse some nuggets of wisdom.

Why am I writing about Dr. Katz now? Because my iPod classic is full of dozens of episodes, forever at my disposal. Whenever I’m stuck in line somewhere, I never frown or yawn. Instead, I am apt to start giggling loudly (much to the consternation of my fellow line-mates). And because of the show’s non-linear elements, I can cycle through each of the six seasons without ever growing tired of the good doctor.

Picture 4Guests on the show are a veritable who’s who of today’s comedy stars. There are late night talk show hosts (Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien), sitcom stars (Ray Romano, Dave Attell, David Cross), zany HBO/Comedy Central stars (Dave Chappelle and Sarah Silverman), panelists from The View (Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, but no Babs). Katz had them all. Even Ben Stiller, Wynona Ryder, Carrie Fisher, and David Duchovny showed up at one point or other.

But the real stars of the show are the lesser known but truly great standup comedians: Dom Irrera, Paul F. Tomkins, Brian Regan, Louis C.K., and Kevin Meaney, to name but a few.

A quick search of YouTube reveals a small sample of the show’s hilarious moments.

The always funny Patton Oswalt skewers Star Wars:

Al Lubel does a spot-on Jimmy Stewart:

Dom Irrera on cat-punching:



  1. Agree with this article. Noticed the same thing while rewatching it.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Just recently picked up the 13 disc complete series, but I’m really curious how you managed to get them on your iPod or iPhone? I’d love to carry the shows with me like that. It was a show so ahead of its time that I still doubt television has caught up to it. Great post!

  3. Hi there. Thanks for the comment! I converted the episodes to iPod files using software. I forget which program. But if you googled convert DVD to iPod, you’d probably come up with something.

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