If You Go...
Who: Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald
What: Stand-up comedy night
When: Doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m.
Where: Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
How Much: $25, attendees must be 18 or older
Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, also known as “the hardest working veterinarian in show business,” has led quite the interesting life.
He’s been a bouncer for the Rolling Stones, the Who and more; he’s been a veterinarian in Denver for 32 years, a gig that landed him an 11-season run of the reality show “Emergency Vets” on Animal Planet; he was named one of People Magazine’s 50 most eligible bachelors in 2002; and he performs around 100 stand-up comedy shows a year.
One of those shows will be at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue on Friday.
“I’ve always loved comedy,” he said. “It’s an interesting form of entertainment. You’re not hiding behind a guitar. You don’t have anything to fall back on.”
Fitzgerald got his start in comedy by writing for others, but in 1986, he took the leap into the stand-up world.
“In the very beginning, I was very nervous and very shy,” he said. “The secret to comedy is just doing it and getting comfortable — or getting the appearance of being comfortable.”
Fitzgerald’s content comes from life experiences. He tells funny stories about pet owners who come into Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, where he works, laughs about being a comedian and shares anecdotes about his family.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun,” he said of the Vaudeville event. “Glenwood’s always been a great town for entertainment, and a night of comedy is a good way to spend an evening once in a while. I’m glad they’re bringing in comedy regularly now.”
The Vaudeville plays host to comedy nights once a month and has seen such Denver acts as Andrew Orvedahl, Phil Palisoul, Elliot Woolsey and more.
Fitzgerald is one of the higher-profile Glenwood guests best known for his part in “Emergency Vets,” a reality TV show that ran for 11 seasons on Animal Planet. Fitzgerald said when he pitched a show idea to the network, he was on a comedy tour with Betty White.
“We thought that it might be a comedy show,” he said of his “Pets of the Rich and Famous” idea. “I approached them, and they said, ‘Oh, we’re not interested in comedy.’”
It turned out the network thought Alameda East Veterinary Hospital would be the perfect setting for an ER show — a fad genre at the time. Fitzgerald agreed.
“We partnered up with High Noon Entertainment, a Denver-based television production company,” he said. “We really proved you can make great TV productions outside of L.A. or New York. At the time, we were one of their strongest shows.”
Fitzgerald may have never become so successful if it weren’t for some guidance from Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.
He got to know the band as their bouncer for multiple tours starting in 1969.
“It was like running away with the circus,” he said. “I learned a lot about human nature.”
At the end of the band’s ’78 tour, Richards pushed Fitzgerald to go become a veterinarian, asking if he wanted to be a bouncer when he was 50.
“When Keith Richards tells you you’ve got to get a grip on your life, you better do something,” he said.
Fitzgerald’s many endeavors don’t seem to be very related, but each path he took led to the next, and now he’s seen as a modern-day renaissance man.
And he’s certainly gotten some good stories out of it all.
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