CORVALLIS, Ore. – Kevin Fitzgerald, the gregarious star of the Animal Planet network’s “Emergency Vets,” will bring his special brand of humor, insight and storytelling to Oregon State University on Thursday, May 15.
His presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. in LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for youths 12 and under. They may be purchased at LaSells Stewart Center on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Magruder Hall from noon to 1 p.m., or at the door. They also can be ordered by telephone from the Stewart Center at 541-737-2402.
Fitzgerald has one of the most unusual portfolios in show business. He has a 25-year career in veterinary medicine and was named the Specialist of the Year in Private Practice in 2006. Yet he also has starred as a standup comedian and has opened for Bob Hope, Diana Ross, The Temptations and others.
He also has worked as a bouncer during concert tours by The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Police.
These days, Fitzgerald is best known for his starring role on “Emergency Vets,” an Animal Plant favorite that takes viewers into Denver’s Alameda East Hospital, where he and his fellow vets are on-call 24 hours a day. They treat animals with gunshot wounds, fractures, mysterious ailments, or difficult birthing challenges, as well as more common maladies, finding the right blend of humor and poignancy.
His exposure on “Emergency Vets” and his unusual background has landed him on the NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, The Late, Late Show and other television and radio programs. Yet he says he still has trouble adjusting to a camera in the room while he is treating a patient.
As he noted on the show’s website: “It’s like perpetually being on a first date and having her dad in the back seat making sure you’re not holding hands.”
After Fitzgerald, or “Fitz” as he is known, graduated from the University of Colorado, he applied to vet school and was turned down. So he pursued a master’s degree and Ph.D., and then joined the faculty of the University of Hawaii, where he taught before the urge to work with animals prompted him to try veterinary school again. This time he was accepted into Colorado State University and graduated from its veterinary medicine program in 1983.
When he’s not treating animals or appearing on television, Fitzgerald is a popular speaker at corporate and fund-raising events around the country.
And when he finds a spare minute or two, he pursues his latest interest – tap dancing.
Fitzgerald’s appearance has been organized by OSU’s Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (SCAVMA) and supported by Purina.