Emergency Room

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Emergency Room[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Arthur Miller, Tim Jerome, Larry Block, Paul Mantell, Lester Nafzger, Joe Frank
Real People, Panel Discussion, Improv Actors, 60 minutes
Preceded by: To The Bar Life
Followed by: Stories For Nothing

"You gonna do that for long?"

Emergency Room is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1988.


Recordings from an emergency room. A man with a shotgun wound is interviewed. Staff talks about what was done when the man arrived. A policeman calls the man's family. Actor panel discussion: a surgeon talks about the advantages of carrying one's organs externally, synthetic organs, leaving the body behind and becoming machines. Monologue: Second person narrative describing surfing, a diabetic killing oneself with a chocolate gun. Emergency room: an angry, drunken man who's been beaten is questioned. Panel discussion: fluid transfusions for couples, cryogenically preserving people by launching them in orbit, zipper suturing, external skeletons, the spirit drug, flattening patients and shining light through them. Monologue: a man who dies while climbing stairs in a blackout has an out of body experience. He travels down a long dark tunnel and emerges into a festive dinner party attended by dead family members. They do the carnival dance. More emergency room audio: an old man is interviewed, ear swabbing, a discussion of the alcoholic regulars. Panel discussion: sterilization techniques, the fairness of triage, the "bakery theory," treating victims and assailants. Joe and actors: the fastest piano player is challenged to a piano-off. Emergency room: a shocking pink psych ward, amazing human resiliency.


Shared material

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "With Arthur Miller, Tim Jerome, Larry Block, Lester Nafzger, and Joe Frank. This program was mixed by Jeff Sykes."