January 20, 2008
By Leanne Maxwell
SF Sketchfest presented two sold-out nights of “An Evening of Dr. Jonathan Katz Professional Therapist and Patients” this weekend at Eureka Theatre. We went on Friday night, when the “patients” were Maria Bamford, Brian Posehn, Bob Odenkirk, and “more,” which ended up being surprise guest, Robin Williams. The patients were delightfully quirky, and, as usual, Dr. Katz was the perfect springboard for their jokes. Those of you who went to Saturday night’s show, let us know how it was and who the surprise guest was for the night!
Our spouse was a huge fan of the ‘90s, animated version of Dr. Katz (we enjoyed it, but didn’t go out of our way to watch it), so he can offer a better perspective of the live format versus the animated:
Daniel: Fans were not disappointed. All the familiar elements were there minus the squiggle vision. Talk of Katz’s son Ben opened the show. Ben was apparently so confident as a child he “truly believed that only he could prevent forest fires.” (Ben was played by Jon Benjamin, who was part of Saturday night’s performance –see comments). There was also mention of Katz’s secretary Laura and the obligatory piano exit music at the end of each session.
Daniel: Each comedian brought something funny and slightly revealing to the table. This format seemed especially well suited to Maria Bamford who’s act normally revolves around her OCD and her efforts to take control of a life which seems slightly off kilter.
SFist Leanne: Maria Bamford’s imitation of Shirley, her African-American insurance specialist, was tops: “I’m too blessed to be stressed.”
D: Brian Posehn delivered a hilarious set centered on marriage, masturbation [“Things are about to get awesome in here,” was his best line. — SFist Leanne] and the stupidity of the general public.
D: Bob Odenkirk read a brilliant poem about the regrets of not eating enough high fat ice cream in one’s life time.
L: Bob Odenkirk had a great idea for a new American Talent Show, called, “America, Come On!”
D: Even surprise guest Robin Williams seemed to settle down long enough to deliver a decent set of material. Although he did stray dangerously close to appearing bitter and washed up.
L: Last time we saw Robin Williams was during an art show at White Walls gallery, when he ducked into the Gangway for a pee.
D: But the real star was Dr. Katz himself who handled each comedian with his own unique wit and deadpan comic observation. Each set was like watching a well played tennis match with Katz himself as the John McEnroe of comic therapy.
L: We really enjoyed the format of Friday night’s show. Jonathan Katz mentioned at the end that he has multiple schlerosis. It’s apparent his dry wit is as sharp as ever, and we wish him all the best.