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The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
David Cross, Larry Block, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, 54 minutes
Preceded by: Windows
Followed by: No Angel

I would like to open with the following statement: That I have, for the past three and a half years, been conducting a sexual relationship with Melanie Lowenberg who came here to KCRW from the University of southern California and impressed by my radio work offered... well...

Jam is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on October 17, 1999.


'Papa don't take no mess' (James Brown)

Joe confesses to an affair with Melanie Loewenberg for the last 3½ years. She's 33 years younger than Joe.[1] Joe apologizes to everybody, invites all sorts of spiritual leaders to a prayer breakfast.

5:10: Joe talks to a preacher (David Cross) about faith.

5:50: Larry calls, had been thinking of Joe. He sounds drunk.

6:20: The preacher talks about his faith.

9:00: Larry talks to Joe about nature documentaries on TV, how weird the people are.

11:20: A guy leaves a long message on Joe's answering machine, wants to get together; he puts on funny voices, including a Peter Lorre impersonation.

14:00: Joe asks the preacher why good people suffer and bad people don't.

19:10: Joe asks the preacher how he knows when god is present. He says that god is always there, even when he leaves. The preacher finds a Canadian dollar.

21:10: Naomi calls. They schedule seeing Limbo[2] at the NuWilshire.[3] at 3:30.

21:40: Joe tells a mock fable about a child who grew to old age in 1 day, sucked on the offered breast of a beautiful young woman, which made him younger and her older; a unicorn and hippopotamus show up. It ends badly.

25:20: Joe and the preacher talk about an older preacher who has sex with young women in his congregation.

27:00: The preacher tells Joe about ORT, a gang of Jewish women, Israeli army soldiers, who corrupt Christians. They talk about Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, TV preachers whose infidelities were caught out.

28:30: Karen calls.

32:20: Larry tells Joe about his current role. He thinks he's doing great acting, and that no one cares.

35:50: Joe tells about Isabella, whose husband, a missionary, becomes corrupt on his mission, but writes about his great successes to Isabella. Their 2 children suffer from his sins. He refuses her entreaties to return. The children die.

39:20: 'I was a rambunctious rebellious devil child…' the preacher tells Joe about his misspent youth. Then he saw god on a Circle Line tour in NYC - he was the maintenance man on the boat.

42:30: Larry tells Joe about the baboon quarry at the Frankfurt Zoo in the late '60s, when he was in the Army.

44:00: Joe tells us how it is.

47:50: The preacher tells Joe about stealing penny-candy. Then they talk about death and the afterlife.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Laid back, jazzy musical loop with rhythm guitar and horns.
  • Opens with an admission that he's been sleeping with an intern at the station for three years. Discusses the aftermath arising from his lies. But without lies, how can we define truth? He repents by inviting spiritual experts from all disciplines to join him for breakfast at the station.
  • Reflections on the "framing" of the US Constitution.
  • Phone interview with a nutty preacher, performed by David Cross, briefly interrupted by Larry. Preacher (who calls Joe "Mr. Franks") gets tripped up, very annoyed, at Joe's persistent interruptions.
  • Larry on the "weird rituals" of indigenous people as seen on nature shows.
  • Joe hears from a friend. We hear the friend's side of the conversation about getting together sometime, then the guy starts doing bizarre impressions.
  • Back to the preacher. Joe asks him to reconcile the idea of suffering with the existence of a good, just God. They bristle at each other.
  • Spiritual singing joins in over the loop, then the music fades out altogether.
  • Back to the preacher: how does he know when God is present? He's always there, yet sometimes he leaves. A found Canadian dollar. Joe interrupts the preacher again.
  • A child who grew old in a single day. He meets a lovely young maiden and suckles at her bosom. A unicorn, urinating against a tree, see this and notices that the old man's youth is restored while the maiden's is depleted. Then a hippo opens his mouth to reveal a lovely tableau, and when the hippo closes his mouth the world goes dark.
  • Back to the preacher, discussing another holy man who has sex with a fallen woman while ministering to her. Then: conspiracy theories about Israeli women targeting Jimmy Swaggart.
  • Spiritual singing fades in again (a work song?).
  • Larry discussing a performance: berated by his father for being a bad husband. But in the middle of the performance Larry is distracted by a vision of success and a white Porsche, then suddenly realizes that he is not destined to be wealthy.
  • A story: Isabella's husband Alphonse travels as a missionary and writes home on how he's bringing the glory of God to the masses. But it's all lies: Alphonse lives a life of vice. Their children become progressively more gravely ill. Alphonse can't come home: he's too wrapped up in the mess he's in and weaves a deeper tapestry of lies on why he can't return. The children die.
  • Back to the preacher on how he came to find God in the first place. Meeting God in the form of a custodian carrying a state-of-the-art broom.
  • Larry describes a baboon quarry at the Frankfurt Zoo. Lots of mating and violence.
  • Joe sums it up: "well, that's the way it is."
  • Spiritual singing fades in again.
  • Back to the preacher. He habitually steals candy in small amounts, and it's beautiful because it's part of God's plan. Is anything evil since everything is God's plan? Facing death. "I can't wait to die."



  1. Which would make her 28 at the time of the show.
  2. the 1999 John Sayles film
  3. an old movie theatre in Santa Monica