Dr. Katz is a divorced psychiatrist who lives with his son, Ben. While trying to help his patients (famous and not famous) with their traumas, paranoias, conflicts and problems, Dr. Katz also handles his own problems. His son Ben is all grown up but still don't know what to do with his life. His hobby is to waste Laura's (Dr. Katz's sarcastic receptionist) time with cheesy pick up lines and useless ideas and inventions. Dr. Katz also has a Cheers like bar called Jacky's 33 where he usually hangs out on his spare time, mostly chatting with his friends Julie and Stan. Julie is the bartender, who is studying to become a physical therapist and for whom Dr. Katz has a crush on. Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist was a cartoon based on Jonathan Katz's personal life. Originally running on Comedy Central, the show aired for 5 and a half seasons, and helped put Comedy Central on the map, along with fellow cartoon hit South Park. Halfway through its sixth season, the network cancelled.
Ben decides to go into the celebrity limo business. He moves into Katz's office to do this, which of course annoys Laura.
Ben hears from an old friend named Bruce (at 1 in the morning), who tells him that he and some others will be in town over the long weekend. Ben decides to throw a party, and when Katz threatens to bring his guitar, Ben tells him he's not invited.
Katz gets a phone call from Sharon Meyers, a woman he dated briefly two years ago, when she was also his patient. She was very attractive, and a dancer (""She was a Rockette. She can kick her own face,"" Ben says).
Looking through the P.U. class catalog, Katz encourages Ben to take an adult education course.
Ben hears about a new system of therapy called ""brief therapy,"" wherein the patient is cured with only 10 questions. Katz is skeptical, of course, citing the example of Jonas Salk, which he then realizes is a bad example, since what he did worked. Laura brings up the Meyers-Briggs test, and Katz refers to them as ""vaudeville.""
Ben starts working at Steve's Bakery, his very first job. He has to get up at 4 A.M. to start work, and he gets fired on his 3rd day, for being 4 hours late.
Conan O'Brien steals a couple of Dr. Katz's jokes, and Katz becomes obsessed with the incident. After recounting the events to Ben and Laura, Ben plots to sell some of his own jokes to Conan O'Brien.
Apparently not having learned from his previous experience with journalism, Ben goes to a broadcasting school audition.
In the premiere episode, Ben sends off quite a lot of money -- $2,999.99 each -- to buy two pot-bellied pigs, theoretically to breed them, although he didn't specify which sexes he wanted. This sudden interest in animal husbandry comes after Katz lectures Ben about finding a job.
Katz gets glasses, although he doesn't think he needs them. He points out the irony in a store whose job it is to sell you glasses telling you after an examination that you need glasses. He makes Laura help him look at an eye chart which he wrote himself. Julie laughs when she sees him in his glasses, and Stanley is no help either.
Katz finds a chair sitting outside on the curb and takes it home (""You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff people throw away."" Ben: ""You mean crap?""). However, he realizes his folly and sends Ben to take it to the dump, which proves to be difficult, because the dump is no longer open to the public (""It's all digital now"").
Ben points out, ""When we spend time together over breakfast: boring,"" leading to a discussion of the old games he and Katz used to play when Ben was a kid. Katz asks him to take the London broil out of the freezer, and then goes to work. When he gets home, Ben greets him with a clue -- the first in a series of 54 -- for a game of Treasure Hunt
While picking up a box of donuts one morning, Ben is harassed by an old bully from school, Jimmy Solaray, and by Jimmy's son. They call him a sissy; Ben retorts by saying he's going to join the military.
Ben begins rearranging the furniture in the apartment after picking up a book on Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese philosophy that teaches believers to arrange the objects in their surroundings to achieve inner peace. Dr. Katz is wary of Ben's new obsession with Feng Shui, but Laura finally finds something to talk about with Ben.
Ben and Katz both use "Ultra Henna Bouquet," which makes their hair an odd orange color. Ben just can't bring himself to complain, though, since he got the sample free in the mail and loves getting anything free. They do call the hotline, and Katz tries to complain, only to be stopped by Ben.
Ben is surprised to get a letter from boyhood friend Lance Garcy. Turns out it's a chain letter, and Ben is quite awed by its power of causing tragedy to strike those who ignore it.
Laura takes the day off from work to get her watch fixed. Ben thinks it's because she's not happy at the office; particularly when Katz asks Ben to fill in and then brusquely changes his mind. Katz frets about whether Laura is happy -- "100 percent of my employees are unhappy," he muses. Stanley suggests "Intra-Office Primal Screaming." In an attempt to make things better, Katz makes Laura an "Administrative Assistant": "I won't be able to pay you as much, but there will be additional responsibilities," he tells her. Katz tries to convince Ben (and himself) that there is no problem with Laura, but then throws an office Christmas party -- even though his office consists only of him and Laura.
Katz takes a class in making African ritual masks.
Ben wants to change his image, and he decides to get an earring, after considering developing a tic, or getting allergies, or dressing like a pirate and calling everyone Captain.
Katz's ex-wife announces she's coming for a visit, and Ben tells her she can stay at their place, which Katz does not like the idea of. Ben then brings up the possibility of getting his own apartment, which of course does not happen. ("The sunken living room -- can that be fixed?" he asks one potential landlord.) Stanley, at the bar, tells Katz he's the one who came up with the slogan "Location, location, location"; it used to be "Location, location, location, location," he says. Katz winds up deciding to let his ex-wife stay at the house, even though Ben has now changed his mind on the whole matter, too.
Katz gets a fanny pack to hold his cell phone, beeper, electronic organizer, and various other technological gadgets.
Katz brings up the job issue with Ben, and a series of metaphors ensues.
The first couple episodes had much more random discussion than did the ones that followed. "Pretzelkins" typifies it. The unifying theme is that Katz feels a bit of a malaise in his life. Julie thinks it's because he deals with unhappy people all day long; Stanley thinks he needs a little "you know." Katz asks Ben to drive Grandpa to the urologist, and "remind him to put his pants back on."
Ben is proud to have been quoted in a newspaper article as a witness to a crime, and he considers himself to be a part of the media now. He considers getting a more exciting first name than Ben, like Zeus; dad suggests Ben "The Over-Reactor" Katz. He finally admits to Katz that he didn't actually see the crime.
Alerted that something is afoot by Katz wearing a bathrobe, Ben learns that he had a woman over the night before. At first he is incredulous, but then believes it and is offended.