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A poet-astronaut is shot through an area of space called the Chronosynclastic Infundibulum. He is duplicated into infinite copies of himself, each of whom finds himself in a bizarre situations on a different world. (These scenarios are all derived from the novels and short stories of 'Kurt Vonnegut Jr.', including Cat's Cradle, Welcome to the Monkey House, 'Harrison Bergeron', and 'Happy Birthday, Wanda June'. Written by
An interesting introduction to the works of Kurt Vonnegut (thru 1972)
When I went to college in the early 1970s the leading contemporary American novelists who were popular were Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan. Brautigan's TROUT FISHING IN America was very popular, but his subsequent writings failed to maintain his popularity. Not so Vonnegut, whose string of successes lasted far longer. I read SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, GOD BLESS YOU MR. ROSEWATER, CAT'S CRADLE, THE SIRENS OF TITAN, MOTHER NIGHT, and the other books. So this particular television show really interested me.
It was like a selection of episodes from the various novels and short stories of Vonnegut, hosted (as news reporters) by Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding. Goulding is reprising the role of "Walter Gesundheit" he played in a movie a few years earlier. Eliott is playing an astronaut (like Wally Schirra, who frequently appeared with Walter Cronkite at space shots). They get bogged down trying to recall Neil Armstrong's first words upon the Moon surface. William Hickey played Stony Stevenson, the best friend of the hero in THE SIRENS OF TITAN. He is chosen to be the world's first time traveler, and we see him going from one place to another.
Hickey meets Dr. Hoenikker/Hurd Hatfield (creator of "Ice 9" - and an example of the short sightedness of government sponsored science), and Bokonon/Kevin McCarthy (the ultimately powerless religious leader) from CAT'S CRADLE. He meets Wanda June from Vonnegut's play. He sees the threat of puritanical-ism mixed with inane political correctness in the future when he crosses the path of one woman vigilante Diane Moon Gompers.
The show as an introduction to Vonnegut was very good. Parts of it were shot in Flushing Meadow Park, not far from my home. So I thoroughly enjoyed the program.
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