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Ms. Bix: How many hours a day do you spend in here, anyhow?
[Arnie whispers in her ear]
Ms. Bix: Good heavens! He can't spend the rest of his...!
The Cube was an hour-long teleplay that aired on NBC's weekly show NBC Experiment in Television on February 23, 1969. The production was produced and directed by puppeteer Jim Henson, the screenplay co-written by long-time Muppet writer Jerry Juhl (who also appears in a cameo).
The story follows Richard Schaal as a man trapped in a cubical white room that anyone else could enter and leave, but which he himself apparently could not leave. The main character, simply named The Man in The Cube, is subjected to an increasingly puzzling and frustrating series of encounters as a variety of people come through various hidden doors. But as many remind him, he can only leave through his own door, so he must find it.
Watch it here.
Not to be confused with Cube.
Tropes associated with this work:
- Arc Words: Strawberry jam.
- Broken Record: Happens to a live rock band.
- Diabolus Ex Machina: The man finds out in the last minute that his escape was an illusion and he's still in the cube.
- Driven to Madness: The man is constantly in danger of losing his sanity.
- Driven to Suicide: The man tries to commit suicide by the end, but the gun he's provided with just squirts ink at his head, upon which every character seen so far all show up and laugh at him.
- Epiphanic Prison: The only way out is to figure out what the cube is all about.(Maybe.)
- Fourth Wall Observer: One visitor is a film critic who tells the man that he's just a character in a teleplay, and produces a TV to show him the ending.
- Groundhog Day Loop: Implied by the strawberry jam on the stool, which is the same stool that the man broke the Ramadar with.
- Happy Ending: Discussed and played with. The film critic shows the man the play's ending in advance - the man's healthy, happy, and even got the girl...
Man: BUT I'M STILL IN THE CUBE!
- And to top it off, he doesn't actually want the girl.
- He Also Did: Yes, this is the same Jim Henson who made The Muppet Show.
- Ice Cream Koan: Said by the monk. "All is all. What is, is."
- Mental World: Suggested by the film critic, and also by the band's opening verse, "You're really in the middle of the inside of yourself".
- Mind Screw: For both the man and the viewer. Who is the man? What is the cube, and why is he in it?
- Ontological Mystery
- No Name Given: The character. One visitor calls him "Ted", a name he denies is his.
- Putting on the Reich: The two Munich police officers, who seem to be wearing altered SS uniforms.
- Self-Inflicted Hell: Hypothesised by an old man.
- Sinister Geometry
- Tomato in the Mirror: "I'm... projected."
- Tempting Fate: Near the end, the Manager opens a door and tells him he can leave, and the man refuses to believe it isn't yet another trick.
Man: "How about this one? The minute I set foot outside this door, two gorillas grab me, dressed in ballet costumes, drag me back in, throw me on the floor and surround me singing Home Sweet Home!"
- You Wake Up in a Room: Actually, it's never shown what the character was doing before he appeared in the cube. In the end, it seems he only exists inside of the cube.