My fingers and toes are torn and bleeding from grasping the rock face.

In The Dark
Original Broadcast Date
Grace Zabriskie, Patrick Bauchau, Larry Block, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, Scripted Actors, 27 minutes
Preceded by: The Loved One
Followed by: A Special Family

Coma is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series In The Dark. It was originally broadcast in 1993.


Joe is climbing a mountain, one false step from falling to his death. He has tired, wants to sleep.

2:00: He finds a scrap of paper with a number on it in his pocket, speculates about its meaning.

3:00: A woman (Grace Zabriskie) talks to someone, apparently an unconscious patient in a hospital; she's his wife.

5:10: Joe's bored with death. He knows he's in a hospital. He disdains his visitors.

8:10: Woman asks Joe why he worked so hard, prays for him.

9:30: Joe remembers a Christmas past when he bombed Bulgarian officers.

11:40: After the war Joe, Fairchild, and Cummings rented a trout stream, didn't pay their rent, were evicted; they complained about the quality of the stream.

12:10: Joe recalls his first bullfight: he tripped on his way out of the hotel room, was impaled on an umbrella stand.[1]

12:50: Joe recalls when he 'played Russian roulette on a Japanese trawler with that Portuguese sailor'.

13:20: Joe recalls his dinner at Ravenswald with Hitler and his high staff.

13:50: Joe recalls his attendance at the Postdam conference.[2]

14:30: Joe had to leave the conference because the Pope wanted an audience. The pope is tempted by a prostitute.

15:10: Joe remembers the night Elena broke off their engagement. He sees her again years later.

16:30: Leonard (Joe) calls his Uncle Harry (Larry Block), tells him what a great time he's having at the Club Julian in Paris. Harry doesn't believe him, is certain Leonard's in the office, working too hard, wants him to go home and pay more attention to his wife, Anna. They argue.

21:00: A physician (Patrick Bauchau) makes a nonsense diagnosis of the patient's condition to his wife, says he's terminal.

21:50: The physician comes on to his wife.

22:20: Joe's climbing the mountain again, tells us of his troubles.

23:20: Joe finally arrives at the top of the mountain, finds a phone booth, calls the number on the scrap of paper.

24:40: The physician continues to come on to the woman. She resists. She eventually submits. The phone rings. The woman answers it. Joe asks for Anna. She groans.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Monologue with sound effects. Joe is rock climber carrying numbers.
  • Actors: woman talks to a man in a hospital - crying out of happiness.
  • Monologue: "I'm getting bored with dying,"
  • The funny story of machine gunning Bulgarian officers
  • Bull fighter impaled on an umbrella stand
  • Russian roulette, dinner with Hitler and a conference with Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt,
  • The pope weeps for a prostitute
  • Following women who look like a lost fiance.
  • Actors: Joe is accused of faking a phone call from a dance club in Paris.
  • Actors: Doctor hits on dying patient's wife.
  • Monologue with sound effects: Rock climbing, finding a telephone booth.


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

Additional credits

"(C)reated in collaboration with David Rapkin. Recorded and mixed by Theo Mondle. The editor was Farley Ziegler."


  1. Recall the fate of the bullfighter in Arena.
  2. He says, 'Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill discussing the carving up of Eastern Europe'. This happened at the Yalta conference Roosevelt was dead by the time of the Potsdam conference.