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Ex ski bum with quips

Cassie Pence
Vail Daily photo Illustration/Ali Doyle Comedian Jeff Wozer, who got his stand-up start in Vail while living as a ski bum, performs tonight at Samana for the club's comedy series. Louis Johnson also performs.
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VAIL – Day No. 1 of Jeff Wozer’s Mt. Everest diary reads that his Nepal trip has experienced a crushing setback: He can’t find anyone to water his plants.At day No. 37, Wozer’s diary reveals he still has not left the living room, but decided to subject himself to Everest-like conditions anyway.”I will now quarter inside my pitched tent from the apartment’s living room floor and lower the thermostat to 61 degrees. From this point forth my residence will now be referred to as Apartment #2/Base Camp 1-A. I truly am the jetsam of jeopardy,” he writes.Will Wozer ever summit Everest? Who knows, but it’s sure funny reading about the journey. Wozer is a former ski bum gone comedian. He developed his act while living in Vail for seven years in the early 1990s. The key to comedy, Wozer said, is to have a point of view. His shtick his comparing life in the mountains to life in the city, poking fun at both sides of the equation.

“When you break it down, a lot of the stuff we do outdoors just sounds horrible. Camping. Let’s go sleep on an air mattress filled with our own foul breath. I know people who run the Leadville 100. And for what, a belt buckle and a bag of chips? It just sounds so nuts when you really break it down,” said Wozer, who is very into the outdoors himself.His first stand-up experience arrived on the Cascade Resort’s stage for a local talent show. He was supposed to perform 10 minutes, but it was going so well 20 minutes later they had to yank him off stage.”Stand up is just an incredible high, when you are riding that wave when the show is going well, it’s fantastic,” he said.Next came his stint on “Vail Valley Sunday,” a television program hosted by Tony Mauro, now of KZYR, The Zephyr. Wozer performed a satirical news show, similar to Saturday Night Live’s. Former owner of Vail Associates George Gillette threatened to come after him because of his jokes about the company, Wozer said.”I-70 is Vail Associates little Monopoly board. The only difference is a Monopoly board offers free parking,” he said.

But he didn’t stop at the resort company. The town of Vail was an easy target for Wozer as well.”The town takes itself so seriously, it’s just fun to make fun of. The first time I got pulled over by a cop in a Saab, I thought it was a publisher’s clearing house prize,” he said.Now living in Denver, where the weather is an insult to winter, he said, the Vail-specific jokes have subsided, but he might pull out a few for the show at Samana tonight at 9. His resident club is at the Comedy Works in Denver, but he travels over 40,000 miles a year sharing his unique perspective on the great outdoors. When not on the road or roaming around the backcountry, he spends many hours trying to be funny on paper. He writes humor columns for various publications on everything from marathon running to why poker is now a sport.His stand up act is mostly word driven, also, but he has some bits that incorporate actions to impact the crowd.



Louis Johnson, the other comedian on the bill and also from the Comedy Works club, is more of a physical comedian.”He’s a master at selling his stuff. He’s a very expressive comic. His credits speak for himself,” said Wozer.Johnson has appeared on his own Showtime “Comic of the Month” special and won the network’s “Funniest Person in America” contest.Tickets for the comedy night at Samana are $15 at the door. For more information, call the club at 476-3433,

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado


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