A Natural Disaster

From The Joe Frank Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A Natural Disaster[1]
In The Dark
Original Broadcast Date
Arthur Miller, Ryan Cutrona, Larry Block, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Telephone, 26 minutes
Preceded by: Hit Man
Followed by: Joe Frank's America

"I'm at 1305 Lindbrook Road, about three houses past the blinking traffic light."

A Natural Disaster is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series In The Dark. It was originally broadcast in 1994.


A man (Arthur Miller) makes a phone call to the void, asking for help. An earthquake has caused his home to collapse, he's buried under it. He speaks calmly. His address changes the 3 times he tells it.

2:20: Joe describes what happens in earthquakes, blames the earth, takes vengeance on a pile of dirt by stabbing it.

4:20: A street preacher (Ryan Cutrona) tells people the awful things that will happen to them in the apocalypse, thinks the earthquake is funny, a harbinger of the punishment God will inflict on them.

6:50: Crazy preacher (David Franks) calls person (sounds like a woman to me; preacher addresses him/her as 'brother'), leads him/her in a crazy prayer ('Clytemnestra's daughter ... African Eurasian tiger pussycats'…[1][2]

11:50: Joe talks about fire, lights a match, describes the damage it can do. He puts out the match, demonstrating his superiority to it.

14:20: Joe talks about hurricanes and tornadoes, the damage air can do. He punishes it by capturing it in balloons, sucking it up with his vacuum cleaner.

17:30: Joe takes retribution on water for the floods it has caused by boiling some and smashing ice with a hammer.

18:10: A man (Larry Block) describes making love in a building destroyed by the earthquake, how great it was. They go to other destroyed places to make love in.

20:30: Joe lists notable earthquakes of history and their mortalities.[3]

Legacy Synopsis
  • A man trapped in his house calmly telephones for help long after an earthquake.
  • Monologue: taking vengeance upon the earth for natural disasters; stabbing earth with a knife.
  • Old man preacher character prophesies doom, laughs at the earthquake.
  • Prank telephone spirit and prayer call ("Repeat after me.").
  • Monologue: an address to a lit match; contemplating fire. Imprisoning the air in balloons as revenge for Hurricanes and tornadoes; torturing air by passing it through a filthy vacuum cleaner.
  • Larry describes making love in the rubble after an earthquake.
  • Joe reads a list of historical earthquakes and their death tolls.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[C]reated in collaboration with David Rapkin and Larry Massett. The performers were Joe Frank, Arthur Miller, Ryan Cutrona, and Larry Block. The story editor was Farley Ziegler. Recorded and mixed by Jerry Summers. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro."


Please see guidelines on commentary and share your personal thoughts in this section.


  1. According to Hearing Voices, Larry Massett says he got this tape from Andrei Codrescu, and gave it to Joe.
  2. Reused in Prayer and Holy Land
  3. I notice Joe talks about disasters caused by the 4 classical elements: earth, water, air, and fire.