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Somewhere Out There
Original Broadcast Date
January 21, 1996
Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, 57 minutes
Preceded by: Three Shingles
Followed by: Bible Salesman

I was at a party, it was late, I was about to go home.

Obsessions is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Somewhere Out There. It was originally broadcast on January 21, 1996.


(thunder and rain - there's a lot of thunder and rain backing and in interludes)

Joe, at a party, about to leave - 'the food was pedestrian, the wine was annoyingly ironic', falls in love with a beautiful woman across the room. The hostess Darlene tries to get him to spend the night with her. By the time Joe gets free the beautiful woman has left.

5:30: In the elevator on the way out Joe falls in love with another woman; Joe doesn't have the courage to talk to her.[1]

8:00: Joe goes into a coffee shop. The waitress is the woman who's in his dreams every night. Joe falls in love. He orders dozens of dishes, many of which one doesn't find in coffee shops. Joe passes out, wakes up in the emergency room. After a few hours they release him; he returns to the coffee shop, which has been razed, is now inhabited by homeless.

13:30: 'I have walked through a great ancient temple…'

14:10: Joe used to be a rock star. He basked in the adulation, enjoyed the luxury.

19:20: 'We're all wounded children…'

20:40: Joe's in bush country, where no White man has ever gone. The boat[2] capsizes. Only Joe survives. He fascinates the natives with all his gear: coffee maker, pastries, camcorder, satellite TV… They agree to sell the mineral rights to their land; Joe makes the deals on his satellite phone. They waste all the stuff they get, end up impoverished, long for their old lives.[3]

26:30: Joe books first-class passage to Mallorca, ends up assistant cook on a tramp steamer.

28:10: Joe goes to a strip joint with friends. A woman in a black dress chats him up, tells of a dream about having sex with her 15-year-old daughter, invites Joe to meet her.

31:10: 'Funky worm' (Ohio players)

34:00: Joe remembers being in Tumescent, New Mexico.[4] He notices his pickup rolling into Interstate 4.[5]

35:20: Joe remembers when he stayed in a hotel in Kowloon during monsoon season; it flooded. The hotel's brothel provided medical data (x-rays, scans, blood tests…) about its women.

38:00: 'We need to ask questions that probe…'

39:10: Joe remembers the time he spent in a prison in Mindanao, all that he learned. On work release, he's president of a major financial services company in Italy.

40:10: Joe sees a woman smear cake batter on her breasts, then plays the piano ecstatically. He sees another woman working out on a Nordic track.

41:50: 'We need to rid ourselves of the weight of dead men's thoughts.', discard the past in general.

42:50: Joe debates internally whether people should for today or tomorrow: we're happy living for today, make progress because we live for tomorrow.

48:10: 'Some is enough; enough is, sometimes, too much…' Joe talks about muchness.

50:20: 'This is Joe Frank. You have been listening to "Somewhere out there", created in collaboration with Arthur Miller and David Rapkin; music production by, and edited and mixed by, Bob Carlson; special thanks to Jennifer Ferro, Bruno Guez, and Jason Bentley.[6]

52:30: 'During the entire voyage nothing interesting happened.' Joe tells about cruise to Mallorca from 26:30. Despite everyone finding it so dull, all the passengers stay in touch, write a multi-volume account, try to stage a reënactment.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Joe becomes obsessed with a woman at a party, in an elevator, and in a cafe which later disappears.
  • Joe is a rock star and gives a speech to a college graduating class.
  • Joe is shipwrecked in the Amazon and displays his modern gadgets to the natives.
  • A woman in a strip club tells Joe about about her disturbing dream.
  • Mixed absurd monologue: a hummingbird lands on a rolling car, an underwater hotel during a monsoon, a brothel where patrons are offered medical records of the prostitutes, an enlightened prison, a woman smears cake batter on her breasts and plays the piano, a woman uses a Nordic-track in front of a tv with winter scenes.
  • Ridding ourselves of the weight of dead men's thoughts.
  • Were human beings meant to live in the moment?
  • Some, too much, enough.
  • A completely uneventful trip commemorated.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[C]reated in collaboration with Arthur Miller and David Rapkin; music production by, and edited and mixed by, Bob Carlson; special thanks to Jennifer Ferro, Bruno Guez, and Jason Bentley."[6]


Some stations omit the credits.


  1. Joe tells a similar story in Laughing Back - A Movie For Radio
  2. in bush country?
  3. re-used in The Loved One (Remix)/Lover Man
  4. no such place
  5. which is in Florida
  6. 6.0 6.1 a long-time DJ at KCRW