Who knew Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell (D-Windsor) were so theatrically inclined?
Well, the secret's out now that the two have starred in a video roast of their colleague, Sen. Dick Mazza (D-Grand Isle), produced by the Vermont Grocers' Association. (If you're not familiar with the legend of Dick Mazza, BTW, you should definitely check out Seven Days' 2011 profile of him, written by my former colleague, Andy Bromage.)
Mazza, whose family has operated Mazza's General Store in Colchester since 1954, was presented with the industry trade group's "person of the year" award at its annual convention last Friday at South Burlington's DoubleTree Hotel.
With it came the 15-minute video written, in part, by Scott and Campbell and starring such notable Green Mountain thespians as Gov. Peter Shumlin, Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and former governor Jim Douglas. It was directed by local filmmaker Dennis Bathory-Kitsz.
"We have some talented actors masquerading as politicians," says VGA president Jim Harrison.
Here it is:
The video's kinda long, so if you're pressed for time we recommend fast-forwarding to 9:30. That's when Campbell bizarrely displays his collection of signed autographs (think Connie Chung and Bob Newhart) before hanging a framed photograph of Mazza with the caption, "The Big Dick."
Or to 11:25, when Scott "steals" Mazza's '99 Corvette — and his wife, Dolly — to take them for a ride. After switching out Mazza's license plate with his own lieutenant gubernatorial plate, the lite gov backs the convertible out over Mazza's lawn and burns rubber on his driveway.
When that particular scene played during the awards dinner, Scott says, "[Mazza] jumped up and put his hands on his hips. I don't know if he was more worried about his car or his wife!"
Mazza's taking the gentle ribbing in stride.
"It was fantastic. I never had so much fun," he says.
But as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Mazza says he's thinking about filing a complaint with the Agency of Transportation about a certain lieutenant governor caught driving with an unregistered plate.
Photo of Mazza and kale courtesy of Lt. Gov. Scott.