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Preview: Hey, We're Back!

Hey, We're Back!

From the desk of Jonathan Katz: "For the past year or so I've been creating a weekly radio show called 'HEY WE'RE BACK'. The show has featured a number of famous and not-so-famous guests, ranging from music legends like Bob Dylan and Aretha

Updated: 2014-10-05T03:24:35.288-04:00


Then and Way Back Then


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I don't live in the past, but if you are trying to find me, I don't recommend the present. In this–my last audio only episode–I return to an old radio show from the '40s that helped form me as a young man. Then I go way back to ancient
Egypt, where I discover the world of Audio Fossils. Using a new technology, we are now able to hear sounds that were made thousands of years ago.

Special guests include Sarah Silverman, Andy Kindler, Tom Leopold, and Israeli scientist, Jonathan Devor.

Thanks for listening.
Jonathan Katz

When bad things happen to good ideas


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"Worst Case Scenario" is an old radio show I loved as a kid. Tom Silver, the host, is interviewing Arthur Köeppler, a leading expert on traffic safety.

"Bring Your Cousin To Work Day" is Sid Steiber's favorite holiday. He loves it so much, he celebrates it once a week.

"Listener Response" is where we get to hear some of Jonathan's favorite responses to the question he posed last week.

For next week’s question, Jonathan talks with Israeli physicist, Jonathan Devor, about the likelihood of audio fossils dating back as far as ancient Egypt. And then he poses the following question: "If you could hear any sound that was generated in the last 5,000 years, what would that sound be, and why?" The number to call in with your response is: 617-866-8000. Thanks for listening.

The Work Force


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In this episode I deal with the subject of THE WORK FORCE from three different angles; I talk to many hardworking Americans with "thankless jobs." I also asked my old friend Sandy Briscoe -- the British naturalist -- for a letter of recommendation to Cornell Medical School where I have been offered a teaching positiion. And finally, I reflect on a time when I was the principal at my daughter's high school -- a truly thankless job. I also pose the following question: If someone was to offer to donate $10,000 to your campaign, would you: a) accept the money, b) point out that you are not running for office, or c) say something else. I would like to know. Please leave me a message at 617 866-8000.

Women's Lib and Pop Music


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Where do I start? Thanks for your patience. In this episode I have strayed from my usual format because of an interview I did with singer/feminist Helen Reddy. We met years ago in NYC and I interviewed her for my old radio show, "Peas in the Pod." Listening to this latest recording, I was surprised how much and yet how little has changed.

When I do episode 26, I will return to my older format. I'm in it for the long haul.

Growing Up Franklin (Ben Jr.) and My Jewish Roots


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In this episode, I explore my Jewish roots, tracing all the way back to New York City in 1959. I am also proud to introduce "America's Next Top Optician". At least once a week, I pretend that Benjamin Franklin was my dad. Now you get to hear how that works....It works for me.

Good Dreams and Sidney Katz


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This episode, number 23, begins with a relapse. I fall back into my “city and listing” habit and I do it all in the name of one of the dopeyest jokes I have ever made. Then I get in the car and call my favorite local radio show with a question. It might be off subject but it is on my mind. Because of my sense of fair play and good manners I take my answer off the air. Then I go to one of my favorite places: the past. We hear my Dad Sidney talking to his friend Abe Allen in 1979. Trust me, these guys really know how to share a mic. Then I get a little groggy and drift off into a really good dream, a good Dr. Katz dream.

If there are any Little Feat fans that listen to this you may recognize a piece of their music called Old Folks Boogie.

We here at Albion Producitions like to think of this episode as the launch of a new season with a new producer, Katie Covett. We hope you like it.

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 22


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In this episode I pay a visit to a dentist. I learn, once again, that my comedy is not for everybody. She feels the same way about my teeth, but is surprised to learn that my comedy comes with a fee attached.

Then I try once again to heal the wound I created in the heart of my friend Sandy Briscoe. He is the British entomologist whose research I interrupted not so long ago.

Several years ago I managed a high-end audio store in New York City. Even then, people thought my hiring practices were unusual.
Better Safe Than Sorry is a radio show I created about an overcautious detective. In this episode he really rises to the occasion without putting himself in harm's way.

The actors featured in this episode are Wren Ross, Maggie Surovell, Beth Oblongato (as the saleswoman), and author Jonathan Wilson.

Thanks for listening,

Jonathan Katz

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 21


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The first segment of episode 21 is a conversation with Wendy Liebman—a woman who has been making me laugh for years. Wendy reminded me how much fun we have talking to each other—a lot of fun. Comedians talking about comedy is boring; comedians trying to make each other laugh is fun. I am pro-fun.

A few years ago I made a pilot (trial first episode of a TV show) for CBS. I asked my friend David Mamet whom I should cast, and he said "America's best character actor is David Paymer.". So, the cast included Paymer, Marcia Gay Harden, Jane Adams, and Robert Klein. The dialogue in the scene you'll hear is between me (reading the role of Paymer's dad) and Paymer—a guy who, like me, is smaller-than-life as an actor. The audience was made up of studio and network executives, writers, and cast members. One of the executives was Gene Stein. He was the guy who championed this show.

And finally, you hear about my fear of overstaying my welcome in comedy. Thanks for listening, and please let me know what you think by writing to me.

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 20


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This episode was actually recorded in front of an audience in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a group of people so willing to laugh it was depressing. They were sweet, playful and most important, punctual.

The show begins with me breaking the first rule of radio—it's what the audience hears, not what they see. I started the night by showing the audience a clip from the series of biblical shorts I have been doing for This is the one where I play Him to Todd Barry's Moses. You get to hear what they saw.

Then I tell jokes—what i have been doing since 1981 when there were not that many jokes. I sing the theme song from my CD Jonathan Katz Caffeinated. Why does my CD need a theme song?

Finally, I remember that I am on hold, and I pick up the phone and talk to Miss Kiley, voiced by Jane Brucker.

Doing a fake radio show in front of real people is fun. Improv Boston is a great place. They made me feel at home. I don't even feel at home at home.

Thanks for listening.


"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 19


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This episode was recorded live at Logan Airport in Boston — until airport security realized I wasn't going anywhere. They suggested that I go home. I did, but I made one stop on the way: The Orpheum Theater in Boston, where I recorded another round of my new game show Six Months On A Desert Island. Laura Silverman was my guest. While at Logan, I took calls and gave financial advice to anyone who asked. I had another difficult encounter with telephone information, and my wife tried to sell me land. Maybe I am too available.

Jonathan Katz

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 18


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The first stop is my favorite cafeteria in NYC, at the Cornell medical building. I used to meet my dad there for lunch. After lunch I decided to take the day off. I walked home and caught my wife in the act with another man and even though I have imagined this a million times I never thought I would have such a "violent" reaction.

The Hip Hop sounds so cute, but most people do not consider themselves members of this group.

More than twenty years ago I became friends with a guy named Frank Morgan. I called hime about 15 years ago and last week he returned my call. We spent New Year's Eve together and reconnected almost immediately. He is a wonderful singer/songwriter so I took a break and shut up.

Visit Frank Morgan at iTunes.

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 17


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In this episode, I explore my shortcomings as a soul singer, my success with weddings and bar mitzvahs, and some of the more subtle differences between me and James Taylor.

Soon, in Episode 17, I will answer the question: "What ever happened to Dr. Katz?" The truth is, he is scaling down his private practice and opening up HAPPY ACRES -- America's first THERAPY THEME PARK. I know that therapy is not supposed to be fun, but that does not mean you and your shrink can't spend a fun day at HAPPY ACRES.

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 16


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This episode is about scams: I get scammed by a young woman on the phone, just by dropping my guard for one second.

Then I try and scam a guy who works for The Geek Squad. They gave me some very bad advice, and have not yet assumed responsibility.

Then I do some very solid comedy on the block, and when I am done, the audience is surprised that I want to get paid.

Then I am paid a visit, on the phone, by Lou Dobbs. I took some liberties with his recorded voice.

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 15


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Once in a while I show up at a stand-up gig but when I get there I am clearly not who they had in mind.

About a year ago I visited an old college friend in a South American jungle. He was there to study the mating habits of an endangered insect. I was determined to surprise him and in the process I crushed the very thing he had been studying for several years. I still cannot give up on the friendship so I finally coaxed him into meeting me for a drink on NYC’s Upper West Side.

My cartoon son Ben, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, dropped in on me after work one day. He wanted to talk to me about a business venture.

By the way, happy anniversary. One year of HEY WE’RE BACK and going strong.

Thanks for listening.

Special thanks to Dana Friedman, Lou Viola, and Chad Matheny

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 14


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The first piece is about moody microchips. I am not sure if it's me or them.

Then we go to San Francisco where we staged Dr. Katz live with H. Jon Benjamin, Laura Silverman, Tom Snyder (as my therapist), with special guests Robin Williams, B.J. Novak, Andy Kindler, Maria Bamford, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Possein, and Eugene Mirman.

The show ends with another episode of Better Safe Than Sorry, starring Maggie Surovell as the distressed woman.

I know I have been gone for a while. I wanted to give my listeners a chance to get to know each other. But now that I am back, that won't be necessary. Thanks for your loyalty and your patience.

Jonathan Katz

"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 13


We begin the episode with a visit to the office of Nick Delicato, the overcautious detective from the old radio show Better Safe than Sorry. From there, to the inside of a rental car where I accidentally come across something profound while listening to a country song. Then we go to San Francisco and a live production of Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist with my friend and the co-creator of the show, Tom Snyder.

Sarah Silverman is funny. She is a friend and someone I occasionally approach with a serious question. This week I asked her what she would do if she got a collect call from the Pope. Her answer will surprise you.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 12


In Episode Twelve, I try and help out a friend trying to promote her yoga business, I lend my support to the telephone sex industry, and I also get to spend some time on Death Row for a crime I did not commit. Even though I am on Death Row my lawyer is trying to get me an endorsement deal with Weight Watchers.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 11


In this episode, I take an online test that tries to answer the question: "How Smart Are Computers?" I am lucky enough to spend some time on the phone with superstar Hannah Montana. After that, another run-in with directory assistance; and finally, I catch up with one of the guys whose family benefited in the sixties, when the U.S. government paid farmers not to grow wheat. Unlike his peers, he was able to turn that into a business model, and continues to get paid for not doing things.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 10


In Episode Ten we meet two guys who have opened a venison-only restaurant in midtown Mahattan; a real life hero of mine, two-time United States table tennis champion Marty Reisman, who tells us about his life then and now. I also spend more time holding for tech support. And finally, I raise the question that all comedians are asked: “Were you a funny kid?” The question and the answer can also be heard on my first CD ever -– Jonathan Katz: Caffeinated -– available on iTunes and

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 9


In this episode, I introduce a new segment called Housecalls. This time, I am visiting a neighbor — my neighbor. I spend some time trying to help out an old friend — Bob Saget, who has fallen on hard times; and I am sharing a non-sectarian Xmas/Hannukah song i recorded a few years ago with The Bobs.

Housecalls is an opportunity for me to "force feed" my comedy on unsuspecting strangers. I love it...

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 8


The first scene is a reunion I have with an old Hebrew school friend. The guy was a natural athlete and it was great hearing that he still competes. My next stop is with directory assistance. This is a call I made more than twenty years ago but it still feels topical. I did, eventually, make contact with Mr. Potterton. My dad had a sister named Sylvy. She died about ten years ago but with the help of a medium, I was able to make contact and catch up. And finally I talk about the things that keep me awake at night. Not for the squeamish, not for the Amish.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 7


In Episode Seven I finally get a chance to talk to Bob Dylan about his life before music. It is a story that you will probably be hearing for the first time. But first, we meet a man, recently divorced, trying to return to the dating scene with no real skills. From there, we go to the airport—a place where cell phones and ex-girlfriends often converge.

Then we return to jungles of South America where I try and repair the damage I had done the day before when I visited my old friend, the world renowned naturalist Sandy Briscoe.

Last but certainly not least, is my interview with the great Bob Dylan.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 6


In Episode 6, I experience a rude intrusion into my otherwise sedate life. It happens while I am holding for some help from my bank. Then we hear freelance journalist Dan Snider speaking with a civil engineer who has been asked to design a tunnel connecting the two cities of Newton and Wellesley in Massachusetts. The towns are less than ten miles apart, and the construction has become extremely controversial. Finally, I try and track down an old friend from Chicago — a guy I knew so well. But if you don't stay in touch with someone, you can lose a piece of who you were.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 5


Sandy Briscoe was my room mate at Oxford. We were doing post grad work and became bosom buddies. We shared everything and then one day, we lost track...of each other. I missed him recently and decided to pay him a suprize visit in the jungles of Peru. It didn't work out the way i had hoped.

Mark Mc Dermott is the spin doctor's spin doctor. Our very own Dan Snider had a chance to sit down with him and talk about George W. Bush. i think the results will suprise you.

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"HEY WE'RE BACK" Episode 4


In episode four, I continue my love/hate relationship with directory assistance, we hear about a guy who has opened a toll booth on his own block, and we get a close up look at tech support ; and I hopefully raise the question "Who's really in charge?"

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