Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist - 614
Season 6: 12/24/99
Katz's friend Carlton Campbell, host of radio show "Campbell's Couch," has asked Katz to fill in for him one night ("Does he know you well?" asks the typically supportive Ben). Ben admonishes his dad "Don't piss off the skinheads," which he writes on his hand, except the "don't" rubs off. Katz enlists Laura to be his producer/call-screener. Ben, afraid no one will call in, asks Todd to call in, even though he's "normal" ("It's like therapy, but without all the privacy," Todd says). Katz, also worried, asks Stan or Julie to call in. Testing his dad, Ben calls the office as "Benna," a hysterical black woman ("My man be cheatin' on me!"). The show happens, no one really calls in, and it ends. "I hope I haven't cheapened what I do," Katz says. "Oh, you definitely have," Laura says. "Then I hope for something else," he says. "I hope no one got hurt." NOTES: The only episode to open someplace other than the office or the Katz home: It starts with Katz and Ben eating at Nomar's Diner. Also, Katz calls one of his patients -- Dom Irrera -- not only turning the radio call-in show backwards, but messing with the "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist" format, too.
- Dom Irrera: Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson, but now Douglas is fat, with his "nipples pointing straight toward the ground"; Uncle Tony hated everybody, including Dr. J ("He's the doctor of my a**!"); hates ventriloquists, and has never laughed at a clown.
- Julie Barr: She was really tall as a kid, and the other kids played Gulliver with her; went to the Grand Canyon and hoped for a "Brady Bunch"-style donkey ride down, but she was too heavy ("I'm too fat to ride a beast of burden").
A wonderful episode examining a theme well worth examining: radio therapy. So many great lines here. Like when Katz rhapsodizes about the "millions" of people who will be listening, and Ben says, "Dad, it's not the '40s. You're not FDR." Or Katz explaining why the show is on from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.: "That's when people are reflective, and pensive, and home." Or Ben's hysterical phone call to the station: "Get me on. I've got a good one. Your show sucks! You suck! Oh, man. Bye-bye, you suck." It gets knocked down a half-grade for the fact that Laura conveniently gets to be his producer/call-screener, which is highly unrealistic in a show that is usually pretty well grounded. Also, they missed a great opportunity by not having the episode end with the end of the radio call-in show. Someone could have been calling in, and then the music starts.... Anyway, a fabulous tweaking of some standard "Dr. Katz" formats, with great participation from everyone.GRADE: A-
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