The two Marty Markowitzes

Marty Markowitz, the former Brooklyn Borough President, has never heard the popular podcast called “The Shrink Next Door.” He’s only vaguely aware that it’s now a TV series with a top-notch cast.

However, he does know that he and the main character share the exact same name.

“The psychiatrist next door?” he said when a reporter called Friday. After hearing a brief description of the story, he said, “The one with Marty Markowitz?”

“Shrink,” which premieres Friday on Apple TV +, is based on the true story of a New York City psychiatrist who exploits and dominates the life of his patient, named Marty Markowitz, who is played on screen by Will Ferrell. It is based on a popular podcast of the same name, which was written and hosted by journalist Joe Nocera and released in 2019. Paul Rudd plays psychiatrist Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf.

The Marty Markowitz of the series and podcast is a former fabric manufacturer, now 79 years old and living in the East End of Long Island.


But Marty Markowitz, 76, the former politician who also served 23 years in the New York State Senate, doesn’t really know much about the story. Contacted by phone on Friday, Markowitz, who served three terms as township president from 2002 to 2013, said he was mocked by a couple of friends for the coincidence.

“Will Ferrell is going to play Marty Markowitz, I think,” he said. “Other than that, one or two people contacted me to say, ‘Marty, is that you?’ You know, kidding. “

He said that Marty Markowitz “is not a common name,” but then proceeded to recite to a couple of other Marty Markowitz who have come into his life in the last few decades.

One, according to the former county chairman, was a psychologist on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, whose potential patients sometimes called him.

Unfortunately, that person is nearly impossible to google. Searches for “Martin Markowitz Brooklyn” return results for the former county chairman. Searches for “psychologist Martin Markowitz” return results for “The Shrink Next Door.”

An advanced Google search turned up a quote in a medical library catalog from the 1970s that referred to a Martin Markowitz. And it’s possible that the former Beep was referring to Dr. Martin Markowitz, clinical director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, but he probably wasn’t. That doctor specializes in infectious diseases, not psychology, and he doesn’t work in Brooklyn.

The county chairman also said there was a Marty Markowitz from Boca Raton, Florida, who called him to say, “Hey! I’m Marty Markowitz too. “Those two Marty Markowitzes have met a couple of times on trips the Marty from Brooklyn has made to Florida.

“Pretty nice guy,” former President Markowitz said. “It was good. It was, you know, I think we had dinner, his wife, my wife, and that was it.”

The two Marty Markowitz, from Brooklyn and “Shrink”, that is, have never spoken. But they agree on at least one thing: Neither sees a problem with a non-Jewish actor like Ferrell playing a New York Jew named Marty Markowitz.

“I must tell you that there are Jews who play Italians and there are Italians who play Jews,” said former President Markowitz. “It’s okay as long as they are experts.” (“Shrink’s” Markowitz expressed similar sentiments to JTA earlier this week).

The only caveat, he said, is that Ferrell, who grew up in California in a family with English, Irish, Welsh and German roots, would have to play “a tall Jew.”

“By the way, Will Ferrell is six foot three, a little taller than you,” the former county president said, adding that he was “five foot five and a half.” That half is very, very important. “

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