A Landing Strip In The Jungle

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A Landing Strip In The Jungle[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Lester Nafzger, Fred Coffin, Arthur Miller, Joe Frank
57 minutes
Preceded by: Another Country (Part 3)
Followed by: No Show

The first day I arrived there I checked into an odd looking hotel.

A Landing Strip In The Jungle is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1986.


  • Joe is staying in a hotel in Sri Lanka, becomes involved with Ali, a young street hustler and drug dealer. Joe eats a bundle of hashish the kid sells him, then goes to dinner and is overcome by the drug. He flees to his room, his mind reeling, and has a revelatory insight: life is utterly meaningless. The next day he gives the rest of his money to Ali.
  • Monologue: Disjointed thoughts and images.
    • The city at night.
    • Wrapping fish in the bible.
    • "I recently went to Venice to buy the larynx of a famous tenor; it's something new I'm into now."
    • Dressing statues, swinging dead birds on strings, an old woman and child investigator sitting in an oil drum at the airstrip, waiting for things.
    • A beautiful woman is transformed into a manservant in a brothel.
    • "A fish will never understand my fear of drowning, will it?"
    • Joe is a wealthy colonial businessman tricked into facilitating the overthrow of the government.
  • Monologue: wanting, longing, needing - is anyone fulfilled?
  • Panel: Joe moderates a survival contest - being swallowed by a whale, attacked by vampire bats. This is a competition to see who can describe their most harrowing ordeals. Arthur Miller, playing "TC Jones", is interviewed by Joe on his adventures in Brazil. Another actor or two chips in, disputing the importance of the story. Lester Ainslie tells of being swallowed by a whale. TC frequently interrupts.
  • Schopenhauer: theory of the will. Desire is infinite, fulfillment limited.
  • Joe rapidly describes a third world city, interspersed with threats of violence and dice rolling, set against intense, energetic music.
  • Joe is repeatedly robbed in the stairway of his apartment every few weeks, meets the mugger years later in Manhattan. "That's my man!"
  • Watching a prostitute with an abnormally large rear who specializes in old men.
  • Joe is awarded a $5000 grant for filming a piano dismantled in timelapse, but uses the money to move out of town.
  • Rapid absurd monologue: the most enigmatic of deities, filling a bowl on one's head by walking into a river, using one's third eye to cheat at cards.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "Special thanks to Lester Nafzger, Fred Coffin, and Arthur Miller. Technical production by Tom Strother."


  • The line about collecting the larynx of a famous tenor is repeated in Philosophy.