Outtakes From Dick Vitale’s Voice Over Work On Ken Burns’ New Civil War Documentary

vitale.jpg“Okay, Mr. Vitale. The tape is rolling. You can start your reading whenever you’re ready.”

“First of all, I wanna say this is an honor. Doing voice over work for the
great Ken Burns. I mean, New York, The Civil War, The Brooklyn Bridge,
baby. You can’t beat that with a stick. It’s unbeatable, just like DiGiorno pizza. It’s not delivery, baby!”

“Thank you, Mr. Vitale. Now, whenever you’re ready.”

“Okay, baby, let’s do this! Civil War Part II! It’s awesome with a capital Appomatox, baby! We’re gonna make a Bull Run at another dozen Emmys! And lemme tell you, that violin theme song, whatever it’s called, that is undoubtedly the most moving piece of music ever written for television. If that doesn’t make you get all misty eyed, you gotta be made of stone, baby!”

“Okay, now if we could get to the script…”

“And my main man, Shelby Foote, with all of his poignant insights and Southern aphorisms. That man is a living legend. I’ve been around the block a few times, and lemme tell you: I’ve never seen a man who could drive home a bitter truth like Shelby Foote. He reminds me of another Southern gentleman: Coach K, baby! Never mind their late season
swoon–the Blue Devils are going to the Final Four! That’s right, folks, you heard it right–the Final Four is gonna be Duke, Ohio State, Florida, and Duke! I’d love to hear Shelby Foote’s bracket picks.”

“He’s dead. Please start your reading.”

“That’s a tragedy. Almost as bad as Syracuse not getting a tournament bid. I had Jim Boeheim over at my house and he had a good cry while we watched ‘Hoosiers’. Gene Hackman. Dennis Hopper. The quintessential sports movie. That high school basketball team coming back to win the state final, that’s a Cinderella story for the ages, baby! Kinda like how the Union stormed back to defeat the South. Ulysses S. Grant, baby! Grant and General Lee coming together to turn back the evil forces of Boss Hogg…”

“There’s a million things wrong with what you just said, but I’ll ignore all of them if you’ll just start your reading.”

“Listen up–I gotta mention my good friends at Boost Mobile. Sign up now for Dickie V’s Dipsy Doo Dunkeroo Bracketology Knowledge-y, and you can win tons of prizes. Hats. Shirts. Hats. More hats. It’s great! All you gotta do is text them your phone number so you can be harassed with messages for the next seven years, baby…”

“If you don’t start reading right now, I’m going to cut off oxygen to the sound booth.”

“Okay baby, let’s get rolling! Cue that weepy violin music, baby!”

“There’s no music. For the love of Jesus, please read.”

“*ahem* ‘My darling Melissa: Words can not express my longing for you. My pen trembles when I call to mind your alabaster skin, your soft amber curls, and the warmth of your smile. Know that you are in my thoughts every waking moment of every day. And know that when I lay my head down on a hard, unforgiving Army cot, the only thing that can soften the scratch of the canvas and bring on the sweet respite of slumber is to whisper your name. I feel it wrap around me as if I were an infant being swaddled and cradled to his sleep. Oh Melissa, would that I could promise to return home soon. Would that I could promise to return at all! But that is for Providence to decide. All I can do is pray that He shall see fit to return me to your arms. If He does not, then know that we shall see one another again in the sweet by and by. And know above all, that with my last breath, with my dying words, I shall utter but one phrase and be at peace:’ Coach K, baby!”

“The script doesn’t say that!”

“I know! I’m bringing my own Dickie V flavor to the material! It’s what the kids want!”

“Do any of you sound engineers have a taser?”