A Special Prescription from "Dr. Katz"
Best known for his award-winning Comedy Central animated series Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, Jonathan Katz is acclaimed for his edgy and often acerbic works as an author, producer, comedian, musician and actor. Diagnosed in 1997, he once told us: “For the first couple of years I thought it was a stage I was going through, like puberty without pimples. Not so bad. Then I discovered that if you join this club it's a lifetime membership, and it is not just you: it's your family too.”
Katz asked his 17-year-old daughter how he should raise awareness for MS Awareness Week 2011, and together they decided on a letter of encouragement to people living with MS and other disabilities. Here it is:
Some of you I have met, some of you I have only imagined but because we have this thing, disability, in common, I am thinking about you today. I have the luxury of living in a make believe world much of my day. I have this for two reasons: I have a really fertile imagination and a really wonderful wife. In our 26 years of marriage we have taken turns being the “bread winner” and even though we have not formally agreed that this is her turn, circumstances have landed a disproportionate amount of responsibility in her lap.
For more than 20 years I have made my living in comedy. I still do and it often involves making jokes about MS. I know, you think it is a coping mechanism. It is not. It is a joking mechanism. I am a compulsive comedian. I know that if I were in a room of 25 people with different kinds of disabilities I would be the guy showing off, trying out jokes. Being disabled is all by itself not a good enough reason to invite another disabled person into your life but as a disabled person living in a world that is often without accommodation I wish I could invite each and every one of you to my handicapped accessible home to drink coffee, my first love, and meet my family, my true loves.
Even comedians are capable of sincerity on a day like today.
We're raising an espresso to you right now, Jonathan. Thank you for the letter and for the many ways you are working toward a world free of MS!
In addition to Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, Jonathan Katz is well known for his work on TV (Ink, The Larry Sanders Show, and all the late night talk shows), in the movies (Daddy Day Care, The Independent, State and Main, Things Change, The Spanish Prisoner), in publishing and on the radio.