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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
You're Going to Like Rodney
Plot:
A couple babysitting their young nephew are tortured and harassed by his malicious antics. They begin to suspect he is more than he seems when the nature of his pranks become more and more sinister.
Episode:
1066
Air Dates:
First Run - March 10, 1980
Repeat - June 24, 1980
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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36 Responses to Episode 1066


First heard this when I was nine years old...kinda creeped me out. The kid -- who never speaks -- seems to be modeled after Damien. Tony Roberts excels in this one.

I like this one as well - worth a listen.

This was a very good play. An interesting thing about this play is who plays the character Rodney. I don't want to give it away but after you listen you will get it.

Rodney never spoke which is one major thing that made the episode so great; good writing and great acting just like Twilight Zones Eye of the Beholder. Teachers using RMT in the classroom, I love it! I use that episode with my grade 8 students when we learn about how authors develop characters. Very cool episode. Been using it for years - the adaptation The Diamond Necklace compared with the short story, and The Black Room episode we compare to short stories The Bet (checkov) and The Side Bet. Lots of skills developed in listening to a story. Lots of the students said they enjoyed the shows. We usually follow that activity with them adapting a Sunday cartoon to a mini radio drama. Have to consider ways to communicate setting, mood, character, etc to their audience. Always a fun activity. Not sure if any have formed a deep love for Audio dramas, but the have at least had some exposure, and they know about cbsrmt.com. haha

I have 100s of Radio Theaters and many RMT in particular. My two boys both under the age of 7 like them but their attention span is not there yet. That is a beautiful idea Mike to use that episode for character development. Radio drama is unique in that is forces listener to use their imagination. The audience is forced to participate. I love it.

The lowdown: Rodney is a 12 year old boy....Well, perhaps he's much older. Perhaps Rodney is an old diabolical man inhabiting a 12 year old boy's body, controlling it, making him kill, and put fear in people. Maybe Rodney is sadistic and loves to see people squirm when his little predictions of impending death come true. Whatever the case, because he is a 12 year old kid, SOMEBODY has to take care of him. This misfortune falls on a succsessful married San Diego couple who, un-beknownst to them, is about to turn their world upside down with his annoying little ways.

A menacing child torments his uncle and aunt while they babysit him. Is he a child or something much more malovent?

FR. DAMIEN KARRAS - "Who are you?" PAZUZU, THE DEMON INHABITING THE 12 YEAR OLD GIRL'S BODY (speaking backwards, voiced by RMT alum Mercedes McCambridge) - "NOBODYYYYYYYY..." From the movie version of "The Exorcist" Friends, if you were condemned eternally, having chosen not only to serve but to be evil for that time, and you had no hope of anything but bondage to a master who hates you, you'd not be happy either. Neither is "Rodney", a 12-year-old thin, pale boy who has been befriended by the brother of a man who lives quite comfortably out in San Diego with his wife. The brother, an east coast attorney, is going to a law convention in Switzerland and needs his brother to care for Rodney for that time, so he flies him out to southern California. The brother and his wife appear to genuinely want to make the boy's stay a pleasant one. The brother says he'll take Rodney to a San Diego Padres game (first reference to a pro sports team I'd heard in the RMT)...he also attempts to play with Rodney in the family pool, inviting the boy to climb up on his shoulders. Rodney is so strong he almost drowns the man though. Oh, and Rodney doesn't say a word. The man and his wife learn to communicate with him through notes. Not long afterward, the boy writes a note which bothers the wife: "Your cat is going to die". Shortly thereafter, the family's kind neighbor finds their dead cat Sylvester under her doorstep. They take it to a vet for an autopsy but he can't find a cause. The couple, uneasy at first, think that's cleared Rodney until he writes them a note: "Told you so." Rod gets a slap (apparently) from the husband who's getting irate. The kind neighbor, talking to the wife, says her sister is a handwriting analyst and might be able to tell something about young Rod by his notes. She does, and it's all the more perplexing...the sister is astounded to learn he's only 12, as the notes appear to have been written by a very old man. Soon afterward, Rodney writes a note to the couple: "You're next".

A great selection for the SOW highlighting the ingenious writing. Quite remarkable to have created a character who has no spoken lines. Unfortunately my copy of the file kind of petered out at the end and went all garbled after Rodney is introduced to the visitor from Europe. Rodney is a strange young boy whose parents have been killed in an accident and his grandmother was killed in a fatal fall. Left homeless and without any family, the family lawyer takes him in. When he has to leave for a conference in Europe he asks his brother to care for Rodney for a week. The child never speaks and only communicates by note, all of which point to foreboding doom. Is he predicting these events? Or creating them?

Alright, folks. This week I've let loose with my all time favourite episode. This episode showcases what I think are the very best elements of RMT, and is the show that hooked me in the beginning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I always do.

I agree-- this could be one of the best RMT's of all time. This was one of the first ones I ever heard (and taped--and still have my copy to this day!) This is radio drama at the top of its game! Very, very creepy-- reminiscent of "The Omen" with a little of "It's a Good Life" (echos of, anyway) from the original "Twilight Zone" thrown in. What really makes it work so well-- is we never hear Rodney speak-- the stone cold silence is far more fearsome! I wonder if there are any other RMT's with a completely silent protagonist in it. I can't recall any, off-hand. Bryna Raeburn and Patricia Elliot do some great, spine-tingling screaming in this episode. And, Tony Roberts and Patricia Elliot portray a great married couple, yet again, as they did in "Hickory, Dickory, Doom". The whole "Butterfly Collection" sequence is fantastically frightening --as is the image Tony Roberts creates in our mind's eye --when he states; "He's liable to come at us with a butcher's knife" during the search for Rodney in ACTIII. I also love the cryptic note at the end-- "Goodbye. It was..." and E.G.'s explaination of that remark in his closing statements. Very clever ending. Great Choice and Great Show. If one ever needs to introduce someone to RMT-- this would be one of the best examples I can think of!!!! Until Next Time.............

I was constantly picturing Damien from The Omen. I wonder if the writer was influenced by that movie. This episode had all the elements that made RMT great; a good story with a strong script that was executed well by the actors, and an ending that made you think. Until E. G. Marshall explained that note, I could not figure it out. Creepy. The device of having Rodney communicate strictly through notes added an air of menace to his character that would have been absent if he had spoken. And it led to the great ending. My favorite element of the plot involved the graphologist's interpretation of Rodney's handwriting which indicated that the note was penned by an old man. That development kind of reminded me of a scene in the novel "The Exorcist"; Regan's mom throws a party and a psychic is one of the guests. She has a negative reaction, for obvious reasons. I love the fact that this idea of the handwriting is not pursued; instead it is just left hanging there for the listener to wonder about. It raises the idea that Rodney is inhabited by an old spirit. Some of my favorite RMT's will introduce a plot element such as this without following up with a definitive explanation. For instance, in "Hickory, Dickory Doom" the odd character who shows up and enters the clock is not explained thoroughly. I had heard this show before and enjoyed it but after listening to it again, I like it more than ever. I consider this my favorite Tony Roberts performance. This episode had all the elements that made RMT so enjoyable; and as someone who favors the supernatural/spookier stories, I loved the unrelenting evil emanating from Rodney. A "happy" ending would have blunted the impact of the show. The more I think about it, the more this show reminds me of "Hickory Dickory Doom" which also had a dark ending. Splendid choice! If this was your favorite RMT, what would the rest of your top 5 look like Wade?

The other four might be "Time And Again", "Black Widow", "Blizzard of Terror", "The Crack in the Wall", "Sagamore Cottage", "The Chinaman Button", "Mother Love", "The Imp in the Bottle". Oops. That was eight. I could probably go on. These are subject to change, of course, since I haven't heard all 1399 episodes yet.

Yes, this is definitely one of the best. I agree about "The Crack in the Wall," and I would put "A Horror Story" and "Hickory Dickory Doom" up there as well (except for the terrible sound on my copy of "A Horror Story"). By the way, not only is this one reminiscent of the Omen, but also of an old Mysterious Traveler episode from 1944 entitled "The Good Die Young." It's probably available on the web, for those who liked this CBSRMT episode.

My top five would look something like this: 1. Carmilla 2. Nightmare's Nest 3. The White Wolf 4. Hickory, Dickory Doom 5. The Ghost Gray Bat

My top five would be: 1. Death Is a Woman 2. The Judge's House 3. You're Going to Like Rodney 4. The Deadly Hour 5. The Dominant Personality Really hard to whittle it down to five, though! There's so many fantastic episodes! Until Next time....................

Good choices. My top five is always changing but here goes... 1. The Ninth Volume 2. A Horror Story 3. You're Going To Like Rodney 4. Mother Love 5. A God Named Smith I have to hit the Submit Button before I change my mind again. Too many great ones.

In regards to "You're Going to Like Rodney", I had never heard of this one, before it was posted here, but thought it was an excellent story. It's one of those stories that, for me, works best with no visuals, relying on good story telling to visualize scenes; had this been a video it may not have been as effective. I thought the near drowning in the pool, early in the story was creepy, along with going up the stairs to see the butterfly collection. This is one of those stories that I will listen to again and recommend to others. The top 5 lists are fun to read and I rely on them for what I queue up in my iPod to listen to, so I thank the other memebers for posting their favorites. It's also fun to compare notes. Like another member said, there's more goes into a list of favorites than just being good stories. A large part of it is "what does this story remind me of? What fond memory surfaces?" Anyway, here's my current favorites: 1. The Ninth Volume 2. The Magic Stick of Manitu 3. The Black Room 4. Time and Again 5. Murder to Perfection Like others, the list is subject to change as I listen to more shows.

RMT did a number of shows dealing with aliens but, unless I overlooked it, I don't see any such episode on anyone's list of best shows.

Try "'Till Death Do Us Join." It's a great story; a gothic horror from the early 19th century by a writer named Sheridan La Fanu. They changed the title for CBSRMT, so it is easy to overlook if you just search for one with a good name. Picking episodes by title is not a very reliable way to find the best ones. "The Horla" is another great one that I have not seen mentioned here. It's De Maupassant, so you know it's got to be good!

I sure wish you had been a teacher of mine - you've hit on a great way to trick the kids into learning.

Well... as part of our short story unit i played this episode for my class. they LOVED it!!! it was a perfect episode for them - Rodney is 12 years old... my students are 12-13 years old. We had already talked about methods of characterization so they picked up right away that there was no actor playing Rodney. Was fun to teach characterization with a story where there is no character. Next on the list to play for them is The Black Room where we'll examine setting using this story with such a spartan setting.

Talk about a downer ending...but completely appropriate. I was very impressed with the way the actors created the illusion that the boy was there even though there was no actor playing the part at all. Proof that radio can do as much with silence as it can with sound (something that has been forgotten in the increasingly loud and action-filled movies and TV shows these days). For awhile, I thought it was going to turn out that they were only imagining the kid or something. It kept me guessing. I particulary enjoyed E.G. Marshall's closing narration where he explains the final "It was" note from the boy. Creepy! A great pick for the show!

This will go on my list of episodes to use with my grade 8 students this year when we talk about writing and character development. We study the techniques authors use to create interesting characters including appearance, dialogue, thoughts, and reactions of others. This episode provides an example of a character whose development and interest is solely based on the reactions of others. cool!

This was an interesting episode. At first I didn't know if I was going to like it. But I ended up getting wrapped up in it, and I think the reason is, this show is especially suited to radio, because of the total silence on the part of Rodney. On TV or film the kid might have a goofy grin or really scary expression, but on radio, there is no visual image either. So the drama focuses on something neither seen nor heard, and I think this was very effective. The husband and wife (who deserve credit for sheer volume of dialogue) say something to Rodney and then .... nothing. IMHO, the very good sound quality in this recording helped enhance the silences. Thanks for another good show.

I give this one a Five because the writing on this one really played with the mind. Rodneys character was the strongest because of the good writing and the strong supporting cast that made you think there was this sickly dark sunken eyed boy with a beanie cap (notice how my mind painted some additions to the character). This kind of had a bit of an Omen twist to it.

One of the reasons I like CBSRMT so much over other forms of entertainment, i.e. TV is because it requires me to use my imagination. This episode takes that thought to an extreme as demonstrated by the fact that we never hear Rodney's voice and yet he is as vivid a character in the show as the others. Another reason this show ranks high on my list is that the suspense starts slowly right from the opening and continues to build all the way until Rodney gets on the plane in Act 3. We are consistently kept off balance by the escalation of the events contrasted with the loving trust some of the characters show towards Rodney. Afterall, Rodney is just a child right? Finally, the twist at the end is great. Based on the Sagamore Cottage episode, I know that some of you don't like it when bad things happen to good people. However, in this episode I think it works because we really think that their problems have gone when Rodney gets on the plane. As my wife said to me, "Rodney is just plain creepy!". Is it Rodney or is it the picture my imagination paints? Either way, I agree with my wife! I hope you enjoyed this recommendation for show of the week!

I agree that this is the type of creepy program that I like to hear because the tension built well into the third act. This isn't true of many programs where the plot is revealed early in the third act or even late in the second act.

I felt the sympathetic characters (well played by Tony Roberts and Marian Seldes) deserved a better fate after trying to help this 12-year-old boy. (Precisely the same age as my daughter right now ...hmmmm.) A few thoughts: - This is one I remember from my original RMT days. - I've said before and will say again how much I loved that long-lasting (two decades, at least) CBS stock mystery music. (As I was getting ready to retire for the night after a busy July 4th two days ago, my daughter alerted me to the fact that there was a "Twilight Zone" marathon on so my night didn't end until 2:00 pm. The show that was on was "The old man in the cave" starring the late James Coburn. I thought I was [i:c34e49a7de]watching[/i:c34e49a7de] a CBS RMT with all the familiar music that was playing, except I remember the TWZ was first to use this.) The reason I bring up the music is that the last use of these same music beds on video I remember are the CBS late movies that used to be shown on weeknights. I remember watching them studying with friends from college. One I vividly remember featured William Shatner, and was entitled "Kingdom of the spiders". It was actually a fascinating movie, especially when you read about how they made the thing with loads of live tarantulas, but I digress. There was a bunch of familiar TWZ/RMT music in that one, but in a pivotal scene with Shatner being attacked by (or rather, falling into a basement full of) tarantulas, there was a trumpet-and-drums "Curtains! This is it!" music bed I'd never heard used before on the RMT. That was, until I re-listened to "You're going to like Rodney". It (or rather, a part of it) is playing when Rodney does what he finally does to the kindly neighbor, who also seemed to deserve a better end. - What was most interesting about this episode was what you didn't learn. What was in Rodney's suitcase that he wouldn't let anyone touch? Did he really have a butterfly collection? (Doubt it, but...) What was up with that brother character played by Himan Brown? Who was Rodney, really? (I guess it's pretty evident what he was, though I don't think he was his boss, "old Reeky"...to use a Scottish phrase from that RMT episode "Speak of the devil".) - Like I'd said in my review of this program many weeks back, I think what was PLAINLY evident was that Rodney wasn't happy. Frankly, I strongly doubt one will ever find a contented, joyous demon. Very good episode.

I thought this show was top notch! This is what I listen for. I thought the script built the tension nicely. Having the main character say nothing is like something out of Hitchcock. The unanswered questions in the script ring of Hitchcock also. Does anybody remember why "The Birds" started attacking people. Of course not, because Hitchcock never tells us. The cast really brings to life strong characters. The unbilled appearance of Himan Brown is fantastic. Excellent choice!

The acting was superb. However, I have to say the writing was even better because I was completely fooled in that Rodney was a complete figment of my imagination. It wasn't until very late in the program that I realized this character was not portrayed by an actor yet he was a powerful presence. I had an image of Rodney in my mind...a puny, sickly youngster with a devilish sort of coldness. As such, I thought this was an incredible piece of writing that worked for me and probably cut the production costs a bit. Further, I've heard a few programs with an adult actor playing a child (which was a stretch) or shows were a child actor was hired but the actor sounded like he was reading. The mute antagonist is this program added to the creepy effect.

A true example of excellent radio writing!

I just listened to this excellent scary episode "You're going to like Rodney" by Bob Juhren, after listening to a couple others by the same writer including "Holiday Visit" and "Mother Love", which were also great episodes. Lately I have been listening to specific authors whose episodes I enjoy, And I am grateful that the creators of this Website allow searches by authors so we can do this. I have been also listening to the author Elspeth Eric's episodes as well as Nancy Moore's, and of course, Sam Dan, whose episodes I really liked. Of course, I am most grateful to Hyman Brown who created Mystery Theater and Labored to produce these amazing radio experiences. How fortunate that we can hear these on our IPads today- I wish all involved with Mystery Theater who are no longer with us could know how their creative talents live on, and how radio lives on in other mediums!

I well remember hearing this episode while a teen when it first broadcast...creepy having the kid stoney silent...made it much better than having an actor play him...good episode.

This is definitely one of the best episodes of RMT!

This kid (Rodney) makes the character Rhoda from "The Bad Seed" (movie came out in the 1950's), look tame in comparison. I use that one frequently with my grade 8 class when we discuss characterization. Rodney is the story's subject yet he has no speaking lines at all. His character is developed through the reactions of others.

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