Winner 1998

Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist

Comedy Central, Tom Snyder Productions, Inc., Popular Arts Entertainment, HBO Downtown Productions

Nowadays, it seems that any comedian with a small following is fated to have his or her own television program. Most of these efforts are mediocre, some achieve excellence, a few even win Peabodys. So far, this is the first reported instance of a comedian making a successful transition from comedy club to “squigglevision.” Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist is the brainchild of comedian Jonathan Katz and partner Tom Snyder, who serve as writers and executive producers, along with co-producers Nancy Geller, Tim Braine, Kevin Meagher, Niki Hebert, Loren Bouchard, and supervising producer John Fisher. The program centers on the life of Dr. Katz, a psychiatrist with his own problems, especially his under-achieving son, and a parade of celebrities, comedians, actors, whose eccentricities—real and imagined—send them to Katz’s couch. The best part of this program may be the hilarious banter between Dr. Katz and his son Ben, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. Theirs is an all-too-believable bond between generations that never quite lives up to either’s expectations. But it might be a mistake to read too much into Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. It is simply a dependable, reliable half-hour of hilarity, which has the additional benefit of saving millions of viewers the high cost of psychoanalysis. For so doing, it is presented with the Peabody Award.