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Johanna
12-11-2000, 03:07 PM
"The Cube" was a television play that aired just once, in October 1968 (or it might have been 1969--I was a young kid then, and some details escape my memory). It was shown on a Saturday or Sunday evening. I forget which network showed it.

It was preceded by an announcement on the screen: "EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION IS VITAL" or something like that. The opening scene was a man imprisoned inside a plain white cube with nothing in it. He says things like "What am I doing in this cube?"

A recurring motif throughout the half-hour play was "Strawberry Jam." A handyman brings in a chair and wipes a bit of strawberry jam off the seat. Other characters from time to time come and engage in surrealistic dialogue. The man trapped in the cube grows exasperated because no one will answer his questions about the enigmatic cube. He picks up a hammer and throws it at the wall. It smashes a jagged hole through which bright sparks are seen flying through dark space. The handyman walks back in and says, "Looks like you've got a #47 hole there." He takes out a piece of material that exactly matches the irregular jagged shape of the hole, and repairs the wall with it. (This is the point that my lifelong obsession with the number 47 began.)

A bearded mystic in a long robe walks in and the trapped man asks him about the meaning of the cube. The mystic takes a device and sticks it on the wall. It begins to beep and pulsate with a red light. The mystic intones, "Think on the Rammadarr. All will come to you. Is will come to you." And walks out. The beeping drives the prisoner out of his mind until he picks up the chair and smashes it. Something red leaks out. He tastes it. "Strawberry jam...."

The cube fills up with a cocktail party. Everybody drinking and socializing, ignoring the man trying to ask for answers, until he loses patience and slugs another man across the jaw. Shocked gasps, then silence. The man says, "I'm taking charge of my own life from now on!" He stalks out of the cube. Through the hall, around the corner into an office. Behind the desk sits a man who is presumably in charge of all the cubes. The prisoner confronts him and demands an explanation. Then he says, "I don't know if any of you are real, but I know that I'm real!" He picks up a knife from the desk and grips the blade in his hand. "See, I cut myself! I bleed!" The boss smiles enigmatically and says, "Look again." The prisoner tastes the blood and says "Strawberry jam." The boss says, "Of course!"

Then the room and everything fades away and the man is left alone in the cube, as he had begun.

Does anyone else remember seeing this? I wonder if the script is available anywhere. I never found out what happened to this "Experimental Television" project.

Johanna
12-11-2000, 09:56 PM
Nobody remembers seeing this? I showed my OP to a guy I work with and he remembered hearing about it . . . he even remembered the gorilla dancing in a pink tutu.

It was by far the weirdest thing ever to hit TV when I was a kid, and makes me reminisce what a wild time the 60s were.

I had already searched the Web in vain, but just now a mention of it turned up on good ol' Joe Bob Briggs's web site.

http://hotx.com/joebob01-19-97/flick.html

"No breasts." Thanks, Joe Bob. Some other viewers had seen it when they were kids too and wrote to tell what scraps of it remained in their memory.

I wish a video of it could be obtained somewhere. Is there any way to find out who wrote & produced it?

RealityChuck
12-11-2000, 10:18 PM
It sounds like it might have been part of the series NBC's Experiment in Television.

Ha! Google comes through. Look at this link:

http://www.henson.com/television/specials/cube_home.html

Experiment in Television did a bunch of avant garde stuff and ran on Sunday afternoons, without commercials. Very good stuff, but NBC soon realized it could make more money with football and sports and the experiment came to an end.

Johanna
12-12-2000, 04:41 AM
Chuck, you rock! Thanks, man.

mrannah
05-20-2012, 11:30 PM
I don't know if you'd found an answer to your questions about this odd special in the time since you posted this, but i thought i would share the information i have.... I saw it in it's single broadcast as well, with my father, who had forgotten it within a few years, but this special and several of its components haunted me (the only one my father remembered was the hole in the wall when the hammer was thrown through it and the subsequent patch). You can find this show on youtube, in its entirety (it actually runs closer to an hour than the half hour you remember).

I hope this helps.

postcards
05-21-2012, 09:03 AM
I don't know if you'd found an answer to your questions about this odd special in the time since you posted this...

She got an answer twenty minutes after her last post. Or did you miss that part?

You can find this show on youtube, in its entirety (it actually runs closer to an hour than the half hour you remember).

Could you perhaps supply us with a link? That would at least justify the resurrection of this zombie.

Colibri
05-21-2012, 09:39 AM
Moved to Cafe Society. Note that this thread is more than 11 years old.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

johnpost
05-21-2012, 09:51 AM
zombie or no

it was something else.

grude
05-21-2012, 01:34 PM
Wasn't this Jim Henson's first production?

74westy
05-21-2012, 01:34 PM
She got an answer twenty minutes after her last post. Or did you miss that part?


Could you perhaps supply us with a link? That would at least justify the resurrection of this zombie.
Link (http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/42075310#pm_cmp=vid_OEV_P_P).

johnpost
05-21-2012, 02:38 PM
Wasn't this Jim Henson's first production?

he did puppet work for kids earlier.

also another short experimental just prior, Time Piece.

friedo
05-21-2012, 06:02 PM
Link (http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/42075310#pm_cmp=vid_OEV_P_P).

Holy nertz. I think I saw a rerun of that on my local PBS station around 1989. Freaked my shit right out.

Johanna
05-29-2012, 05:28 AM
I don't know if you'd found an answer to your questions about this odd special in the time since you posted this, but i thought i would share the information i have.... I saw it in it's single broadcast as well, with my father, who had forgotten it within a few years, but this special and several of its components haunted me (the only one my father remembered was the hole in the wall when the hammer was thrown through it and the subsequent patch). You can find this show on youtube, in its entirety (it actually runs closer to an hour than the half hour you remember).

I hope this helps.
Oh, cool! I was looking for it there a few months ago but only found a few excerpts. Thanks!

Yorikke
05-29-2012, 10:15 AM
Link (http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/42075310#pm_cmp=vid_OEV_P_P).

Is that Tim Kazurinsky?

Joe

Hail Ants
05-29-2012, 07:37 PM
Just wanted to add that I first went looking online for this show years (but not quite 11 years!) ago. I was surprised that it seemed to have effected Gen-Xers like me all the same way! That is, the combination that we all had such vague memories of it and that it was so weird, most of us started to think that maybe it was all just a dream!

Johanna
05-31-2012, 02:41 PM
It's really good to know I wasn't the only one. :) All the Muppets in the world don't add up to such an out-of-left-field jolt of surrealism.

Doug K.
05-31-2012, 07:21 PM
Johana, you need to join this Yahoo group:

http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/JimHensonTheCube/

I think you'll be delighted. Make sure you check out the files section.

Johanna
06-03-2012, 06:16 PM
Thanks, Doug!