Monday, January 21, 2008

LastNight: Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist at Eureka Theatre; Robin Williams Needs Help

Posted By on Mon, Jan 21, 2008 at 3:48 PM

click to enlarge katzalone.gif

By Oscar Pascual

The best thing about Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, is that he hardly ever does his job. Of course it’s not good for those who see him, but it works out great when his patients are hilarious comedians. Katz’s method seems to be laissez-faire, allowing his patients go off on extended tirades only to end the session before offering any true help. So was the case Friday night, when an intimate capacity crowd came to the notable Sketchfest event to see some funny people vent their frustrations-- in real life this time, not Squigglevision.

While all the featured patients provided good doses of laughs, the evening of therapy was made all the more memorable with an appearance by one troubled local. After some great sessions from patients Maria Bamford, Brian Posehn, and Bob Odenkirk, an anonymous crazy dude wearing a horse mascot head took the stage stamping his feet, demanding Katz fit one more in for the evening. Once seated, the man in desperate need of help took off the disguise to reveal Robin Williams.

The topics Williams brought up included his career, which he said has gone downhill ever since Dr. Katz told him not to do Bicentennial Man, but went and did it anyway. He admitted to having “career envy” against Jack Nicholson.

Williams was in anguish as to why he has to find challenging acting roles when Nicholson just has to act like himself amidst a mass of Boston accents in The Departed to gain recognition. Williams then brought up Dr. Katz’s failed prescriptions. He explained that the “Fuckitol” hasn’t worked, the combination of Viagra and Ex-Lax has him “come and go” all the time now, and that the Adderall still has not stopped him from yelling out Jewish epithets. But, like all patients, Williams was cut short by music as Katz reaches for a goodbye handshake.

But before all that happened, Dr. Katz took in patients who actually had appointments. Maria Bamford, whose own comedic act is quite schizophrenic in itself, came in to discuss her problems, which were magnified when she booked the appointment through an operator. As the Comedian of Comedy donned the voice of a mature black woman, the woman recommended to Bamford when she’s stressed -- although the operator herself is “too blessed to be stressed” -- she should go see a comedy show. “You know, get your laugh on, girl,” the operator says. Before Bamford can go any further about her Pagliacci syndrome, her session is interrupted by music and a handshake.

The same ending goes for both Brian Posehn and Bob Odenkirk’s visits. Another COCer, Posehn rants about a married life where he can’t jerk Short Round off in front of his wife (yes, he named his penis after Indiana Jones’ Asian boy sidekick), he gets annoyed when listening to stupid conversations in restaurants (“What’s the name of that Will Ferrell movie where he’s an elf?” It’s like asking, “What’s that Bruce Willis movie where it’s really hard for him to die?” That’s why I don’t go out. No one ever says stupid shit in my house), and concludes that life becomes hacky, not comedy material.

Odenkirk expressed his restlessness from the WGA strike, citing that he has so many great ideas but isn’t allowed to write any of them down. His new game show ideas include sureshot titles like Do You Want What’s in My Pocket?, America, What the Hell Are You Doing?, and America, You Got Talent? C’mon.

The evening served for lots of hysterical moments but no kind of help at all for Dr. Katz’s patients. Even Katz himself will attest to his own futility. After Bamford’s session, Katz’s own therapist came in to talk about her case.

“Oh, she’s fucked up,” he said.

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Oscar Pascual

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