Start the holiday season with a good laugh |

Start the holiday season with a good laugh

Special to the Daily Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, star of Animal Planet's "Emergency Vets," headlines with comedian Jeff Wozer in the Silverthorne Pavilion's holiday comedy show and dinner Wednesday, Dec. 8.

SILVERTHORNE – The torture nuns inflicted on children can really alter their lives.When Jeff Wozer was in sixth grade, Sister Latancia whacked him across the spleen with a yardstick and yelled, in a heavy Slavic accent, “Are you some kind of comedian?” Immediately, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. But before he settled into regular comedy gigs, he became a ski bum.Now he drives more than 40,000 miles a year across the nation, presenting his point of view on the outdoors, from skiing to wildlife, city life to mountain bumming.He calls home the Comedy Works in Denver with a show edgy enough to open for the likes of Dave Chappelle or clean enough to capture a corporate gig – depending on the crowd.Wednesday, Dec. 8, he’ll join comedian and animal veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald in clean show for all ages.

Before Fitzgerald cared for animals as a veterinarian, he dealt with another type of animal – fans of rock stars. He worked as a bouncer for the Rolling Stones in the 1960s and ’70s.In 1978, after working for the Rolling Stones on and off for nearly 10 years, Keith Richards told him to get a grip on his life because the band gig wasn’t going to last forever. (Little did he know.)”When someone like Keith Richards tells you to go back to school and make something of yourself, you listen,” Fitzgerald said.About eight years later – after teaching at the University of Hawaii and continuing to work summers as a bouncer for the Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Marley and Elvis – he got into vet school.Fitzgerald has practiced as a vet for more than 20 years and has performed stand-up comedy almost on a nightly basis since 1986. Now he’s the star of Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets” and a regular at Denver’s Comedy Works, one of the top 10 clubs in the nation.His rapid, one-liner style, combined with his warm demeanor on stage, have led him to open for such legendary performers as Diana Ross, Bob Hope and The Neville Brothers. He has appeared on the “Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “The Maury Povich Show,” the Discovery Channel and “The Howard Stern Show,” among others.

In addition, his clean-style comedy has led him to perform at hundreds of corporate and benefit shows.Fitzgerald takes his comedic style from such greats as George Burns and Jack Bennett. The two legendary comedians developed a style of delivering two to three punch lines per minute to prevent audiences from heckling them.But Fitzgerald has been far from heckled in his career.In June 2002, People magazine selected him as one of the 50 most eligible bachelors in America, along with George Clooney and Ben Affleck. In his humble way, he said there are 3,000 guys in Denver alone who should be on the list ahead of him and attributed his good fortune to being in the right place at the right time, much like Forrest Gump.”Kevin is like your best friend on stage,” said David Gray, a fellow comedian. “He has all the skills you’d expect from a doctor. His bedside manner comes across in his stand-up. He’s very gentle and soothing and funny.”Fitzgerald’s material includes true-life animal stories, current events and memories from his childhood. Often, classifieds wind up in his act, such as poorly punctuated ads which read: “Free to good home pit bull will eat anything loves children” or “doberman neutered just like one of the family.”

“You don’t write funnier things than what happens, and I know animals and what happens to them,” Fitzgerald said. “I think everybody’s funny. Comedians show people things that they don’t notice in everyday life. They put a mirror up to society, hopefully in a good way. We can’t take ourselves too seriously.”One thing he does take seriously, though, are his patients. He views each animal as a member of someone’s family – not just an animal. He has worked at Alameda East veterinarian hospital in Denver since 1985.Despite his busy schedule, he has recently started a variety show, billed as “The Love Show.” He and his brother John join a diverse group of entertainers that have been performing to sold-out crowds in the Rocky Mountains.Tickets to the dinner buffet and comedy show are $35 and may be purchased by calling (970) 262- 262-7370.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at

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