Jonathan Katz, star and creator of Comedy Central’s notoriously squiggly but acclaimed first animated series “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” has no qualms with name dropping. He also doesn’t have a problem with dipping into the repertoire of other comics.
Katz is aware of these tendencies. His Web site says there are two things he does compulsively: tell jokes and drop names.
In the span of a recent half-hour phone conversation to promote an appearance in San Francisco next week, Katz, skirting a question-and-answer routine, opted to deliver an impromptu routine of sorts from his home in Newton, Mass.
Dropping a name about every three minutes, he mixed his material with fodder from other well-known laugh-makers, complete with proper punchline attribution.
Garry Shandling, Robin Williams, Paula Poundstone, David Mamet and, uh, Sir Isaac Newton, were your ears burning?
The reason for Katz’s attempted holiday small-talk is due in part to his upcoming headlining gig at The City’s annual Jewish holiday event, Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, which runs Dec. 24-27.
For 17 years, hostess and show producer Lisa Geduldig has provided the answer to the question, What are Jews supposed to do on Christmas?
Offering an alternative or, depending how you look at it, refuge from Christmas soirées, Geduldig created the popular event, which, fittingly, is held at a Chinese restaurant — New Asia in Chinatown.
Rounding out this year’s lineup are science comedian Brian Malow and New Yorker Hilary Schwartz.
(Prospective patrons, don’t worry … Geduldig has long stated that you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the show.)
Part of proceeds from this year’s festivities will benefit the Northern California Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Jewish Family and Children Services of the East Bay’s Refugee and Immigrant Programs.
That being said, there’s a hook with Katz.
In 1997, the then-49-year-old comedian was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Thankful for his previous years of good health, he took the diagnosis in stride and has since weaved it into his act. He says, “I’ve always said MS is worse than a cold, but better than cancer.”
Although multiple sclerosis has compromised his mobility a bit, limiting his stand-up engagements, Katz says he’s looking forward to hitting the stage and scaling the steep hills of San Francisco on his motorized scooter.
The scooter, he says, is powered by fear — “mine and others’.”
Be afraid, be very afraid.
IF YOU GO
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy
Where: New Asia Restaurant, 772 Pacific Ave., San Francisco
When: 6 and 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24-26; 5 and 8 p.m. Dec. 27
Tickets: $42 to $62
Contact: (925) 275-9005, www.koshercomedy.com