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In The Dark
Original Broadcast Date
Farley Ziegler, Larry Block, Arthur Miller, Grace Zabriskie, Bob Gordon, Naomi Schwarz, Michael Meloan, Joe Frank
Improv Actors, 23 minutes
Preceded by: Pilgrim
Followed by: Green Cadillac

"I've tried to handle this and not, you know, I mean the whole point was for me to take care of this and not burden you with it."

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


A woman (Farley Ziegler?) calls Joe. She's been keeping track of Joe's medical expenses, is exasperated by the difficulty.

2:50: A rabbi talks with Joe about immortality.

3:40: Larry complains to Joe that Arthur Miller gets more of his stuff on Joe's shows. Joe disagrees.

5:20: A woman (Farley Ziegler?) leaves a message on Joe's answering machine, apologizing for not being what Joe wants.

5:50: A fellow (Keith Talbot)[1] leaves a message on Joe's answering machine, saying that he can tell when Joe's doing better because he calls less.

6:40: A guy ('Cousin Bob' -Robert Gordon?) talks about the significance of life.

7:10: A woman with an accent (Grace Zabriskie? Noemi?) says 'radio talk' helps her deal with anxiety.

8:10: Arthur Miller tells Joe what a bad actor Larry is, how good he is, wants more money.

10:00: The rabbi talks about celebrating weddings and bar mitzvahs, feeling that deceased parents of the celebrants are watching. He believes that there's an eternal spirit.

11:00: A fellow ('Cousin Bob' - Robert Gordon?) tells a story about a fellow who climbs a mountain to ask the wise man the meaning of life, gets a silly answer. Joe asks what this story means. The fellow replies, 'Exactly.'[2]

12:10: The fellow from 5:50, Keith Talbot, talks about his and Joe's dreams.

14:20: Joe tells us we should be happy, in numerous ways, backed by 'Little man swing'.

20:30: A fellow (Mike Meloan) tells Joe about the vivid imagery he achieves with his show, but it often leaves him depressed.

Legacy Synopsis

A woman complains about doctor's bills for a long list of procedures. A man talks about immortality through artistic work. Dialog with Larry about not using his material. Some guy talks about calling people more as life gets worse. A woman talks about listening to the radio. (Arthur Miller) disparages Larry, threatens to quit over money. A religious guy talks about feeling the presence of the dead. The story of life as a fountain. A man dreams of being driven by his mother. Monologue: Joe offers a motivational talk against a jazz loop, celebrating (but not molesting) your inner child, laughing. Joe reads motivational poetry to a rhythmic beat. A man complains that Joe's show leaves him feeling depressed.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[C]reated in collaboration with Arthur Miller, Larry Massett, and David Rapkin. Recorded and mixed by Theo Mondle. The performers were Joe Frank, Farley Ziegler, Robert Gordon, Arthur Miller, Grace Zabriskie, and Larry Block."

Commentary and disagree over the cast. The former lists the cast as 'Larry Block, Arthur Miller, Keith, Cousin Bob, Noemi, Joe Frank', the latter as 'Farley Ziegler, Larry Block, Arthur Miller, Grace Zabriskie, Bob Gordon, Naomi Schwarz, Mike Meloan, Joe Frank'.

I'm certain about Larry and Arthur.

I think the guy at 5:50 and 12:10 sounds like the same person as John, the depressed guy in the group therapy session in 'When I'm calling you'. has Keith in the casts of both.

The last guy to speak sounds like Mike Meloan. (He tells the story about the fortune-teller who screams 'Don't deny me!' at him in 'The nature of things' and 'Karma, don't deny me'.)

Women have 3 segments: the first, 5:20, and 7:10. The voice at 7:10 could have a fake accent. The segment at 5:20 could refer to the first. identifies the first as 'a woman', 5:20's as 'an ex-girlfriend'. Joe sets up a date to see a movie with Naomi in 'Jam'. Farley Ziegler sounds like a southern name; I think the woman in the first segment sounds like she has a trace of a southern accent. Wikipedia says 'Noémi' is a French variant of Naomi. Grace Zabriskie could put on an accent like the woman in 7:10; she's from New Orleans so can probably do a southern accent too.


  1. his voice sounds like John's in When I'm Calling You
  2. The same explanation the preacher offers at the end of Jam.