Joe Frank: You probably don’t know him

Joe Frank

Joe Frank is the title of a radio show hosted by a man of the same name.  He’s a storyteller and his stories are always twisted, humorous and often times philosophical. When you hear him, you can’t help but wonder how the heck he comes up with it. He has won a number of awards such as a Lifetime Achievement award, an Emmy, and he is a Guggenheim fellow.

If I were to describe him in one sentence, I would probably just use this one because it’s really quite perfect in it’s entirety.

“Frank’s radio programs are at times dark and frequently ironic, humorous and absurd. Adding to the atmosphere of Frank’s monologues.” –http://JoeFrank.com

[Side note: Please do not realize that there are two sentences in that quote]

He tells short stories, monologues and acts out (staged) phone calls. The majority of his work is accompanied by a musical backtracking. I believe people do send him their songs for the background music sometimes. [Citation needed]

[Side note: Please do not realize that I just pulled a Wiki]

I’d like to write the transcript for one of his shorter segments to give you a vague idea about what it’s like.

My Crimes (Monologue):

“I embezzled money from an old neighbor woman who lived down the street.

On the way back I stole a garden rake.

I burglarized the apartment of a blind paraplegic.

I stole quite a lot of toilet tissue from a paper manufacturer in Wisconsin.

Then I burned down the Harrison’s place on the corner there… Killed both of them.

Turned me into a homicidal maniac…

Passin’ bad checks out in Montana.

I have a skiing resort…$780 worth of cocktails and shrimp.

I killed a shop keeper, because I didn’t like the location of his shop.

I killed an interior designer, because I did not like her sense of style.

I killed a real estate broker one time, because he showed me the wrong apartment, and I killed the occupants of that apartment as well.

Fact, that was a murder that kept me very busy because I had to kill the superintendent and the door man too, just to make my getaway.

I killed a woman bar tender, for wearing a bow tie.

I killed a male bar tender for letting her wear that bow tie.

I killed the manager of that saloon, for hiring them both.

And I finally tracked down and killed the owner, because I didn’t like his watered down drinks.

At last I decided… to try to kill myself… driving head on into a little Porsche one time.”

(Around 2~ minutes of story)

Now what was your reaction? Really weird, right? But it also makes you think. He kills the things he doesn’t like, then he kills himself. Why? Does he not like himself? He doesn’t like what he has become maybe? Why was he so descriptive about how he was going to kill himself? He merely stated that he ‘killed’ the other people, for absurd reasons too. Maybe he was killing himself for some absurd reason as well; it certainly flows that way.

I’ll leave the interpretation up to you, for that is the magic of stories!

I don’t quite think my post is just in describing Joe Frank, but I hope I have influenced you into listening to him so you can fully understand for yourself.

Free segments can be find here: Joe Frank Podcasts (free)

I recommend these:

Joseph:

A third person narrative through the eyes of Joseph (Non-biological father to Jesus) in which he explains how he is envious of Jesus which in then turns into hate.  (Fantastic background music, very fitting)

No More My Lord:

A first person narrative. A dream in which Joe Frank finds himself at a party, attended by mass murderers and (relatively) lesser murderers. He develops the characters (Hitler, Pol Pot, etc…) as fairly intelligent normal people talking about everyday subjects such as tailors and floral arrangements. He then questions why he’s there at this party. This leads into more questions and then delves into religion and philosophical debates as to why should anyone should believe when such atrocities, explained by Joe Frank, can occur.

Bank Robber:

A monologue in which a bank robber explains how he can get away with stealing from a bank. The things he steals escalate in significance. It’s really quite humorous and absurd.

Suicide Bridge:

An announcer for something unknown is talking about a bridge in which it is favorable to commit suicide at. It’s favorable because it is at a point where the water level is so acidic that your body dissolves in impact. This doesn’t sound funny, but Joe Frank makes it funny. It’s also absurd, of course.

Ode To War:

This one is a monologue about why war is glorified. He explains how war gets a variety of things, such as parades and then makes note of the absurdity of a “peace parade”. He further explains his point with reinforced statements about how peace gets nothing, and everyone glorifies war. This one is a serious monologue, and is backed up by talking about other absurdities.

I’ll let you guys check out the rest. I’ll be interested in what you think! Don’t be afraid, just leave me a comment.

One last quick thing. If anyone copy+pastes the transcription, I ask you to just make note of me in whatever you are writing for. Just a short “Lol, thanks YoyoKirby” would suffice. Possibly a link back to this post, as I do not believe credit has been given where credit was due.

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~ by yoyokirby on March 20, 2009.

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