That Night

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That Night[1]
In The Dark
Original Broadcast Date
Grace Zabriskie, Ryan Cutrona, Harvey Perr, Carol Katz, Helen Wilson, Donna Hardy, Mark Henning, Douglas Johnson, Joe Frank
Absurd Monologue, 27 minutes
Preceded by: A Natural Disaster
Followed by: Just Hold Me

My uncle Fred was a deeply religious man who labored all his life.

That Night is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series In The Dark. It was originally broadcast in 1994.


Joe goes fishing with his uncle Fred (Ryan Cutrona?) a week after Fred's retirement. A fish pulls Fred into the water; his body is never recovered. This made Joe reconsider his values.

1:50: The maître d' of 'Le Dome' shows Joe and his date to the employees' wash room, seats them on toilets; when Joe complains he smashes the water pitcher on the floor and demands to be taken to his mother. On his way home, Joe reads a story in the paper of a surgeon taking out people's internal organs, replacing them with electronic gear. At home, on the TV newscast, the anchorman shows palms with bleeding stigmata, the anchorwoman rips off her blouse, holds her breasts, gyrates; they report on a corporate takeover of the Vatican.

2:50: Joe switches to another channel; its news reports of animals, their habitat destroyed, have moved into cities and taken up crime. A female reporter in the field talks to people who have been attacked by animals.

4:40: Joe calls the woman in an apartment across the courtyard who is nude, upsetting Joe. First he wants her to put clothes on, then to meet him, to have a relationship with him. She's unsympathetic to Joe's distress and uninterested in meeting him.

8:50: Joe sees prostitute sheep in the street, a begging fox. A nun from the Order of Infinite Charity in a limousine lures Joe off the street, forces herself on him. They drop him off in the suburbs.

11:00: A marching band and float from the homecoming parade of Swinburne Agriculture and Mining College drives by. The woman on the float asks Joe the way to the college: they've been lost for more than 40 years.

13:20: Joe thinks of going into the map-making business; he wants to create life-size maps because they'd be more accurate. Then he laments how formulae, analogous to maps, constrict our lives. An old man stops; he's the fiancé of the woman on the float, he's looking for her. She had given him a bouquet made of 2 sticks and a rock, which he still has.

17:20: Joe wonders why there is so much suffering and other philosophical matters.

18:20: Joe calls the woman across the courtyard again. Because she persists in refusing him, he shoots her.

20:10: Joe talks about the narrow border between order and chaos, wonders if we will save ourselves from ourselves.

21:00: Joe is now in the country (no mention of how he got there); feels great to be in nature.

23:40: Uncle Fred, happy to be about to retire, invites Joe to go fishing with him.

24:20: The nun tells Joe that this is what angels would do if they had bodies, tells Joe not to judge her.

25:00: The woman on the float calls to report a missing person: herself.

Legacy Synopsis

Joe's uncle drowns while fishing a week after retiring, urban animal criminals, voyeur complains about a nude woman, sex with nuns in a limo, an elderly marching band and homecoming parade has been lost for 40 years and is being chased by homecoming queen's fiancé, creating life-size maps, to Jesus: why is there so much suffering, we're on the edge of chaos, it's great to feel a part of nature monologue with traffic background, monologue on sleep (repeated in other programs)


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[C]reated in collaboration with David Rapkin and Larry Massett. The story editor was Farley Ziegler. Sound effects by Jerry Summers and Theo Mondle. Recorded and mixed by Theo Mondle. The performers were Joe Frank, Grace Zabriskie, Ryan Cutrona, Harvey Perr, Carol Katz, Helen Wilson, Donna Hardy, Mark Henning, and Douglas Johnson. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro."