David Duchovny, Ben Stiller, and Gilbert Gottfried will hit the guest couch during the fifth season of “Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist,” which premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central (tonight’s visiting sicko: Denis Leary). The show also welcomes a new permanent character: a video-store clerk, voiced by comedian Todd Barry, who befriends the cartoon psychologist’s slacker son, Ben. Otherwise, the hit series remains the same, with Dr. Katz making psychological funny business with the comedians and actors who visit his office. “You could think of Dr. Katz as the world’s worst talk-show host,” says Jonathan Katz, the show’s creator and lead voice. “Imagine telling a great joke and then getting, ‘What I hear you saying is…'”
Although his guest list is turning Hollywood, Katz continues to produce his show in suburban Boston. “We do all of the animation in Watertown, Mass., and all the dialogue in Korea,” jokes the comedian, 51. (His cartoon alter ego, he stresses, is only 49.) Occasionally, celebrity guests will phone in their dialogue while Dr. Katz offers counsel from his studio, as Duchovny did from the “X-Files” set in Vancouver for the episode airing June 29.
Katz’s doctor also has plans to break out of the two-dimensional world. The comic did a live version of the series with Janeane Garofalo and Larry Miller at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen last March and is hoping to bring the show to Broadway for a six-week run: “Maybe I’ll do it with past guests Joy Behar, Dom Irrera, and Ray Romano. Although getting Ray for six weeks now would be very tricky.” Katz pauses to consider Romano’s recent popularity as a sitcom star, then adds, “I can’t believe I just fired Ray Romano. Wait a second, let me fire some other people.”