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In the pursuit of slumber, an insomniac begins listening to non-existent radio stations. The reason behind her sickness is uncovered when she finally succumbs to slumber.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 20, 1981
  • Repeat - August 26, 1981





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11 Responses to Episode 1200

I can't believe it. I cannot believe that playwright Elspeth Eric missed such an obvious line at the end. Or maybe she just wrote this where we THOUGHT that was what Teri Keane was going to say. Remember the Al Pacino flick of the same name a few years ago? Well, this is an Eric play, so Teri Keane's not likely to be shooting dead dogs in an Anchorage alley somewhere to collect blood sample to falsify crime scene information. Instead, Keane's a divorcee lives alone and whose husband dumped her for a younger woman earlier. She does apparently harbor guilt, and hurt, and some self-loathing (like Pacino's character) which appears to make her unable to sleep. However, she does have a kindly neighbor and a married son who both care for her. The neighbor in particular tries to help...she lends Keane a radio to listen to at night (All Keane hears is one station, on the western side of the US (she lives in the east), which plays one song), then suggests she get a canary to sing to her (a cat breaks in and eats the canary) then suggests Keane get a night light (Keane sees mysterious shadows, but by then the plot starts to get somewhat resolved). It is an Eric script so it moves (like several but not all of her others) like a tortoise on Sominex. However, I ended up enjoying it. If someone else hears this show, were you, too, expecting her to say at the end: "Tell him...tell him...I'll have to sleep on it."?

John Aljohn T.

I like Insomnia my favorite.


Just to first comment on John's comment about the last line of this story. The real ending is nowhere as good as "I'll have to sleep on it" would have been. Maybe Eric thought it is a little too bit cliche? I think it would have been great to hear Keane say those words. I found this story a bit sad. There are few things more heartbreaking to see than a marriage gone bad, especially one that has years behind it. Running off with a young woman after so many years of love saddens me. People should really think before they act. Anyway, I love stories about people who can't sleep so I was all in right from the beginning. I guess Eric's writing was good because I felt the desperation and cared for the main character. I was rooting for her to come to a resolution because it seemed that she had a son that cared for her and a neighbor who was understanding. I could never relate to a person that has trouble sleeping because when my head hits the pillow, I'm out like a light. That's why I thought the acting and writing was top notch in this story. If a story can take a topic I don't understand and make me care for the character, it more than did the job. I give this story 4 stars. Now, I'm going to sleep!

Vinny Viola

It's got Teri Keane in it so you know it's worth listening to. Keane sometimes gets stuck playing some pretty dumb characters, though, one must admit. The wife in "The Eavesdropper," for ex. ("Grease?! Ohhhh, Greece!"), and then there's this brainiac -- a woman who can't sleep, can't stand the darkness, and can't withstand the quiet as she lies in bed trying to find the arms of Morpheus -- but a woman who, strangely, never thought of, oh, you know, getting a night light or maybe turning on a freakin' radio! I had to laff. When her very helpful neighbor, whom she first meets by knocking on her door at 3AM, gives her the brilliant idea about turning on a radio, we hear Keane asking, "Do -- do people do that?" as if she has to have some sort of societal permission to turn that knob LOL Cracked me up!


I enjoyed this episode it was nice to hear a woman's voice without any accents or odd speech traits or hurried speech. One of the women points out how it is better to listen to the radio even if there is nothing on it that interests her. And of course the theme of insomnia is a good one for people who were listening to Mystery Theater back when it was on the radio or even now. Good background music and sound effects. This episode is already 34 years now.


Fantastic episode and one of Teri Keane's best performances, imo. I love her very realistic portrayal of an older person's loneliness and isolation. The story doesn't lose it's relevance because there is even more isolation now than there was in those days. I don't think you could go and knock on a neighbor's door late at night these days, especially just to talk. No one would answer the door, and if they did, they would probably tell her she's nuts and slam the door, or call the police, lol! It's amazing how much more friendly and open people were, even as recent as back when this show was made. Even though this show wasn't a typical mystery story, and there were no supernatural elements, it was still very interesting to listen to, mostly because of the amazing performance of Teri Keane. Some actors would have ruined it and made the episode a drag to listen to, but she made this episode great.


Suppose that everybody has different tastes. I found this ironically a snoozefest. Tried listening to it for 3 nights in a row and each time I fell asleep within the first 15 minutes. I can't remember anything past act 1. I suppose I should try listening in the middle of the day when I'm wide awake, there are a couple other previous Elspeth Eric episodes that I keep falling asleep to, oh well someday I might get inclined to finish listening.

D.C. Klinkensmit

I loved this one. I remember the night it aired. I taped it and listened to it over and over until the tape broke. I loved the fact that it mostly took place late at night. She goers next door for company, and the woman tries to help with of all things, a radio. it was awesome. This is another one where Elspeth Eric has a cat that chews something alive up. I loved the freaky radio stations. I loved Russell Horton with 3 voices. I thought actors could only do two due to the union. I could be wrong.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Elspeth Eric’s story was very entertaining, however, the 3rd Act was kind of a letdown. I kept thinking that the mysterious radio station, KYRB, came on the air just for the main character and it was going to give her a sleepless nightmare by playing songs of sorrow and heartache. And the ending would have her regain her peaceful slumber by contacting the station and figure out what are the root causes for her insomnia. The title of this episode is perfect, another way to title it would be “The Silence And Me.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s main focus was on insomnia. In ACT-1, quoting the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald. TYPO: E.G. Marshall made an error in that narration part. He said “4 o’clock,” but F. Scott Fitzgerald originally wrote “3 o’clock.” In ACT-2, wording the Bible about sleep from PROVERBS 24:33. Also, quoting others about sleep including British poets Samuel Daniel & Percy Bysshe Shelley. In ACT-3, point out that Silence, Solitude, and Darkness are the fears of infancy and can reappear in many years later. In his Epilogue, to follow up from his previous narration, his last words were “Somewhere in the deepest recesses of our minds, all of us are only grown up babies.” Our Host made 1 tiny error in a quotation, but all in all, his contribution to this episode was enjoyable. The sound effects of clock chiming, doorbells, howling wind, radio frequency, car engine, and night light switch were highly supportive in this. And the music very supportive, especially the tune they used from “The Invaders” episode from THE TWILIGHT ZONE. But the best part of all in this episode, was the cast: Teri Keane (as Anita Dwyer), Russell Horton (as Bill Dwyer, Radio Host, and Charles Dwyer), and Carol Teitel (as Sheila Corey and Anita’s Mother). Kudos to Russell Horton for playing multiple roles. Carol Teitel was terrific as the friendly neighbor. But Teri Keane was the dynamic one! She stole the show on this one. Anyone who is a fan of Teri Keane’s work has to check out this episode. SPECIAL BONUS: commercial of the CBS radio campaign for “Reach For The Stars” and a preview of #1201-THE HEADHUNTERS. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


Used to listen to this when I was like 12 years old and now I understand why. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. Doesn’t try to do anything more than just tell a good story.

John Knebels

it's Elspeth Eric again. It's not that I don't like her episodes, but I always have to brace myself for what is coming. She is the epitome of the 1970s. Everyone in touch with his/her feelings. I can just imagine being her neighbor, and seeing her coming over at 2:00 a.m. to talk. At first, it would be great, and I would gladly invite her in. But, the constant whining - and that everything is going wrong , and she can't get the radio to work properly, and the cat ate her bird, but it was her fault. She's the kind of person who demands that you feel sorry for her even when she claims she doesn't want the sympathy. it's exhausting. There has to be a lot of baggage in Elspeth's life, because I feel this way from almost all of her stories. And I'm one who suffers from insomnia - and I always have (even as a teenager). That's how I was able to listen to these shows as a teenager. I get the frustration of it. In college (in the 1970s, I would always be the one taking walks with people in the wee hours of the morning, as people would be spilling out their guts about the frustration of their lives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, classes, etc. I loved that role. I probably met enough people who were not unlike Elpeth. I probably thought I could solve their issues.

jim shane

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