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Dick Vitale's "Dreamtime Baby!"

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, viewed, played, heard, observed, worn, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

December 03, 1996|MIKE PENNER

Not wanting to push the envelope too far, ESPN Home Video decided to issue this release with a warning label:

Running Time: Approximately 45 minutes.

Ominously, the video begins with Dickie V. in leisure wear--short pants, the whole bit--pretending to nap on a lounge chair poolside at a plush summer resort. Dick's acting here, not too convincingly, but at least it's quiet for a few seconds.

Suddenly, something jars Dick from his slumber--I won't give it away--and soon he is staring, bug-eyed, into the camera, off and running: "I love college basketball so much, I even dream about it! Especially during the off-season. . . . My wife Lorraine says I even talk about it in my sleep! Now that's wacko, man! I am all wacko when it comes to college hoops!"

Shtick, Vitale. So familiar, so formulaic, that even Vitale realizes he needs to try something new on this, his second--Unbelievable, baby!--video release. This he does by turning the proceedings into a Vitale home movie, starring Dickie V., co-starring Dickie V. and featuring Dickie V.:

--Playing tennis with Stan Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.

--Schmoozing with Bill Clinton.

--Judging a Dickie V. sound-a-like contest.

--Channel-surfing inside his poolside condo, happening upon a nature show, exhorting, 'Hey, I've seen some tigers sneak up on some Hoyas too!" and segueing, smoothly, into highlights of Georgetown holding off Princeton in the first round of the 1989 NCAA tournament.

Periodically, an off-camera voice, supposedly Vitale's wife's, calls out to "Take a T.O.!" Sound directorial advice, but Vitale, of course, ignores it, yammering and hamming it up in a tour de farce that only a Vitale family member (maybe) could stand. It's a nightmare, baby.

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