In the early ’90s, before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and before South Park redefined the way that animated children behaved, Comedy Central was a valuable resource for fans of stand-up comedy. Half-hour shows like Short Attention Span Theater and Stand Up Stand Up introduced viewers to up-and-coming comedians in brief clips, essentially chopping up full routines for the sake of spreading them out over hours of programming. For many people, it was the first time that they’d be introduced to today’s biggest stars, like Stewart and Louis C.K.
That said, when a software developer and former teacher named Tom Snyder (not the late talk show host) met a talented stand-up comic named Jonathan Katz, they decided to develop an animated series together… an unlikely pairing, to say the least. Snyder had already pitched a show about a therapist, and Katz accepted the role of a therapist who treated a variety of hilarious patients, played by popular stand-up comics.
The series became Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and, in 1995, it was one of the first original programs that Comedy Central would air. It didn’t matter that this group of people had very little experience in animation because, when the right people find each other, magic happens. To get the story of how this Emmy and Peabody award-winning series came to be, we spoke to Snyder, Katz, and many of the other key players involved in the show. Enjoy.