December 1, 1946 |
New York City, New York, USA
|Influences||Johnny Carson, Ronnie Shakes, Dom Irrera, Norm MacDonald, Rita Rudner|
Jonathan Paul Katz (born December 1, 1946) is an American comedian, actor, and voice actor best known for his starring role in the animated sitcom Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. He produces a podcast titled Hey, We're Back and can be heard on Explosion Bus.
Katz was born to a Jewish family, the son of an immigrant from Budapest, Hungary. He is a close friend of playwright David Mamet, with whom he attended Goddard College. Katz co-wrote House of Games with Mamet and had small roles in the Mamet-directed films Things Change, Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner and State and Main.
Originally a musician and songwriter, Katz fronted a rhythm and blues group called "Katz and Jammers" before serving as the musical director for Robin Williams' 1979 standup tour. In 1998, he released Brandon Project, a blues album.
In 1996, Katz was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The initial symptoms began in 1996: "I was working on a TV show called Ink with Ted Danson, and after every episode we would take a curtain call and I noticed that I needed a head-start."
Hiding his condition became too much of a burden for Katz and he eventually disclosed it. Now he speaks publicly as part of a tour sponsored by a manufacturer of medications used to treat MS.
"People have been pretty supportive; nobody ever had me in mind for an action film because of the kind of work I do -- mostly in the world of animation, which is not a big issue because as a person, I can't run that fast; as a cartoon character, I can fly -- literally."
Katz, who now gets around with the help of a motorized scooter and performs on stage with the aid of a cane, says he doesn't regret his decision: "One of the reasons I disclosed my condition is because it is much easier to live with MS than to pretend you don't have it. If I could convince everyone of that, my job here is done."
Dr. Katz originally aired on Comedy Central from 1995-2002, and starred Katz as a professional therapist whose patients were chiefly other comedians and actors. He received a Primetime Emmy Award for his work on the show in 1995 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance. His voice can also be heard in the animated series Home Movies, a show with many ties to Dr. Katz, as well as on the Adult Swim animated comedy series Squidbillies where he performed uncredited voice-overs as "The Rapist" in Season 2 and as the Holodeck Therapist in Season 5.
In 2007, Katz joked to Blast Magazine entertainment editor Bessie King about the success of his Comedy Central show and the recent release of the full series on DVD. "I’m so proud of that work and I’m a compulsive name dropper, [but] when I did a movie with Ice Cube over the summer I said...I hope my best work is not behind me but if it is, I’m glad it's Dr. Katz," he said. In 2007, he released a stand-up album titled Caffeinated. In 2009, he can be seen (or heard) as Freezy, the Burl Ives-inspired animated snowman star of Turbocharge: The Unauthorized Story of the Cars, a comedy biopic about The Cars, which Katz narrates throughout.
In 2011, he starred as Jon Gold on the web series Explosion Bus created by Tom Snyder and co-developed with Katz, Snyder and Tom Leopold. In the spring of 2012, Katz taught a theater class at Brandeis University in Short Form Comedy. On September 3, 2014, Katz appeared on Ken Reid's TV Guidance Counselor Podcast.
- Bent, Mike (2009). The everything guide to comedy writing : from stand-up to sketch, all you need to succeed in the world of comedy. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. p. 19. ISBN 1605501689. Retrieved October 19, 2012.
- Brozan, Nadine (June 12, 1997). "CHRONICLE". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-12.
- "Hey We're Back! Podcast | Jonathan Katz's Podkatz". jonathankatz.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Explosion Bus - About". www.explosionbus.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- Epstein, Lawrence J. The Haunted Smile: The Story of Jewish Comedians in America ISBN 978-0786724925 - Publisher: PublicAffairs - Date: Aug 2008
- "The World According to David Mamet". ABC News. 2011-06-08. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Dr. Katz Receives His Degree". National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Official Website of Jonathan Katz - Bio". jonathankatz.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Jonathan Katz - President Street Productions" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-10-24.
- "Brandon Project by Jonathan Katz". MTV Artists. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Comedian Jonathan Katz on His Life with MS". EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "CNN.com - Comedian turns multiple sclerosis into a laughing matter - Oct. 10, 2003". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Anne Carlini - Exclusive Magazine". www.annecarlini.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- "Dr. Katz Proffessional Therapist". Television Academy. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- List of Squidbillies episodes#Season 2: 2006
- Interviewing Dr. Katz - Blast, the Online Magazine, blastmagazine.com, December 2007.
- "Official Website of Jonathan Katz - Yard Sale". www.jonathankatz.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
- Profile, brandeis.edu; accessed September 27, 2015.
- "TV Guidance Counselor with Ken Reid | Women in Comedy Festival". www.womenincomedyfestival.com. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jonathan Katz.|
- Explosion Bus starring Jonathan Katz
- WKATZ, home of Hey We're Back
- Jonathan Katz's Official Website
- Jonathan Katz at the Internet Movie Database
- Katz on the comedy podcast "The Exploding Sandwich"
- Extensive audio interview with Katz on the public radio program The Sound of Young America
- 11 Questions with Jonathan Katz (A.V. Club)
- Interview with The Onion's A.V. Club
- Dr. Katz's Therapy Sessions (audio only, with Dr. Katz's post-session diagnoses)