I remember when it snowed in the Sahara.

An Enterprising Man[1]
Somewhere Out There
Original Broadcast Date
May 26, 1996
Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, 59 minutes
Preceded by: Red Sea
Followed by: Lost Soul

An Enterprising Man is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Somewhere Out There. It was originally broadcast on May 26, 1996.


When a freak snow falls in the Sahara, Joe builds a ski resort. He builds a ski lodge, imports a conifer forest, hires Austrian barmaids dressed in traditional clothes. But because there are no mountains there's no downhill skiing.

3:00: He adds other attractions: a ferris wheel, a miniature golf course, a petting zoo, a food court, a multiplex movie theater, an opera house, a replica of the city of Venice, a soccer stadium, to no avail.

3:40: He alters the axis of the earth with a nuclear explosion, which doesn't help.

4:40: He imports a mountain from Czechoslovakia, but the normal desert climate returns, melting the snow, drying out the forest, starting a fire, which burns down the resort.

7:30: Joe buys a deserted island in the Caribbean, builds a ski resort using artificial snow, as well as a beach resort, with luxury hotels, condominiums, a casino, etc. It becomes the most popular island in the Caribbean. Joe becomes a multi-billionaire.

11:00: Joe identifies with the common workers of his island, leads a revolt that destroys the resort.

15:20: Joe describes his address at the Harvard Business School: how well-appointed he was, how passionately the audience reacted.

22:10: Joe develops a computer chip to be implanted in the brain which makes the recipient know everything. This doesn't work out because recipients use their knowledge in trivial ways instead of to create new knowledge, which he analogizes to the difference between someone who inherits a fortune instead of making one. He tries to instill respect for the knowledge with religious ceremonies surrounding the implant. Despite its popularity, public condemnation drives it into bankruptcy.

32:40: Joe hires Nobel-prize-winning scientists and Silicon Valley engineers to invent teleportation. The first customer gets reconstructed improperly, so that business fails.

37:30: Joe builds a city undersea, with a huge industrial park, but it collapses.

46:20: Joe hires scientists to invent powerful aerosol aphrodisiacs to use as a biological weapon. He tests this on a Marine corps that invades a local town to attack its women.

49:30: Joe tells us not to be discouraged, delivers a paean to the success you will eventually have if you have faith in yourself.

Legacy Synopsis

Joe is a businessman without financial constraint, embarking upon one grandiose scheme after another without regard to its plausibility or consequences, amoral and indifferent. Each of them fails with disastrous effects, yet he "picks himself up, dust himself off, claps his hands together, rubs his palms, looks upward, and moves on" to the next scheme each time with reckless confidence reminiscent of a lunatic business self-help author.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "This program was created in collaboration with David Rapkin. Recorded, edited, and mixed by Theo Mondle. The special guest vocalist was Judith Owen. Music looping by Bob Carlson. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro, Carly Eiseman, and Esmé Gregson."