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Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist - Season 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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(May 09, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Animated in "squigglevision," the series revolved around Dr. Katz (a professional therapist), his slacker son, co-workers, and his patients (voiced by various comedians).


Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist: Season One includes the first six 1995 episodes from the Comedy Central animated series, which was based, the story goes, on comic actor Jonathan Katz's personal life. Playing himself (i.e., providing the voice for his cartoon self) as a divorced psychologist whose clients include a number of comedians, Katz is very funny in a non-confrontational, quietly frustrated yet loquacious way. Dr. Katz lives with his grown son (H. Jon Benjamin), an unemployed, apparently unskilled loser who hangs around Katz's office ineptly trying to pick up his dad's prickly receptionist (Laura Silverman). The latter is so surly and self-centered she tells Katz he doesn't "know what it's like" to spend a day around "crazy people" at work. (Katz, being Katz, has no comeback to that remark.) These three absurd characters (and the inspired performers behind them) would be enough to fill a show by themselves. But the biggest plus in Dr. Katz is a succession of vocal performances (which sound largely improvised) by some welcome comedians playing neurotic versions of themselves, including (and especially) Ray Romano, Wendy Liebman, Dave Attell, Laura Kightlinger, and Larry Miller, all in the first season. Each episode exudes anxiety and churns along to the sound of rambling dialogues that barely paper over repressed desire and rage. Sort of like real life, except funnier. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Six episodes
  • Commentary by Dave Attell, H. Jon Benjamin, Jonathan Katz, Ray Romano, and Tom Snyder
  • The Biography of Dr. Katz
  • "Short Attention Span Theater" shorts
  • "Shrink Wrapped": an original Squigglevision short

Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Katz, H. Jon Benjamin, Laura Silverman, Will Le Bow, Julianne Bond
  • Writers: H. Jon Benjamin, Dave Attell, Bill Braudis, Dom Irrera, Andre Lyman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Comedy Central
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EBGE9Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist - Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Dr. Katz is a comedic cartoon with stand-up comedian Jonathan Katz in the starring role of a psychiatrist who has more than his share of professional comedians as patients. This enables them to do their stand-up comedy routines as part of their therapy sessions. Dr Katz' 23 year old son, Ben, still lives with the good doctor and is chronically unemployed. Ben is constantly trying to start up a romance with Dr. Katz' receptionist, Laura, with no luck whatsoever. For example, when Ben meets Laura for the first time he asks her if she'd like to go out for coffee, and she does - leaving him to answer the phones. Laura receives a paycheck from Dr. Katz but in many ways is as chronically unemployed as Ben is. She has no interest in pretending to be busy, being nice to the patients, or at times, even showing up for work. For example, when Dr. Katz suggests that Laura to be nicer to the patients she replies "Do you have any idea what it's like to deal with crazy people all day?" In the series premiere, "Pot-Bellied Pigs", Dr. Katz rides Ben pretty hard about being out of work. Ben's solution to his cash flow problem is to buy two Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and breed them in their small New York City apartment. When Dr. Katz asks Ben if he thinks this is a good plan Ben's response is "Dad, the ad says 'Stay Home, Make Money' ....these are good things!" The third episode "Bully" is also one of my favorites in which Ben gets very upset when Dr. Katz throws away Bully, the stuffed bull from his childhood. Ben labels everything that belongs to him, and expresses fear that perhaps his father wants him out, too.
Dr Katz employs a novel animation technique called Squigglevision, which can be visually annoying to some people.
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Format: DVD
Well finally, a decade after its debut, the cult classic comedian-curative careerist cartoon Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist is on DVD. Like the American version of The Office, the first season of Dr. Katz had merely six episodes. That this necessitates a low-cost single disc compilation could be fortunate or unfortunate depending on your wallet-to-patience ratio.

The disc comes in a clear plastic DVD case to allow the episode information to be seen on the back of the cover insert when you open the case. This is handy since there's no need for chapter listings, however the clear plastic makes the case much flimsier than more common packaging.

The main menu is of course done in the signature Dr. Katz style. An image of Katz is animated in Squiggle-Vision to lip-synch with several psychiatric phrases from the show as the theme song plays. After it repeats once, the music stops and Katz just sort of stares at you and occasionally glances at the menu selection.

As any Dr. Katz fan should know, the PC-based animation won't win any awards. Though the picture is clearer than it's ever been, the minimalist style of the pixelated MS-DOS scenes and monophonic audio mean you won't need to hold out for an HD version. The show is presented in full screen as originally aired, although it is framed in fake widescreen that is not anamorphic. Considering the quality, it's probably better when viewed small anyway.

On the selection menu, there are six commentaries spread across five episodes. Four of them are by Jonathan Katz, H. Jon "Ben Katz" Benjamin, and series creator Tom Snyder (not the talk show host), and are as informative as you'd want and hilarious as you'd expect from the cast of an improvised comedy show.
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Format: DVD
Point of fact re: other reviews, this show does not take place anywhere specifically, but if you know anything about Dr. Katz and H. Jon, this show most closely takes place in Boston. Among the several subtle references to this, the most glaring is the name of the bar "33", a clear reference to Larry Bird, as well as Dr. Katz himself being from Newton, MA, H. Jon's history in Cambridge, etc.

This show is THE seminal TV show and served as the launching pads for all of the best modern-era TV shows out there. Everything from Raymond to Chapelle to Insomniac - point a finger at a successful show and there exists a great likelihood that it has its roots on this show. Obviously there is the connection to each comedian's stand-up material, but this showcase - the straightman Doc with his neurotic patients (even David Duchovny came across as incredibly funny on this show) delivering their material - the way it was presented, and the underlying subtleties of his relationship with Ben, Laura, et al, those kind of sophisticated machinations no longer exist on TV.

It is wit and humor of a bygone era and I for one was fortunate enough to have taped every episode when it ran in marathon form on Comedy Central at the tail end of my college years, thus I have had the pleasure of having the entire episodic catalog in my constant possession for nearly 10 years. The fact that it is coming out officially on DVD is a huge triumph and one I am so excited to partake of as a consumer. Truly timeless - a collection of all the greatest humor of the late 20th century all in the same recognizable format and the catchy jazz loops to complement the squiggles. Simply put - the greatest TV show ever made.

And for anyone who has yet to see Jon Katz live - it is worth every moment and every penny. He came to Jimmy Tingle's near Boston last year or so and it was as if I could have died and gone to Heaven. None before and none after.
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Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist - Season 1
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