The Fifth House on the Left, Part 1

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#278: “The Fifth House on the Left, Part 1”
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Matthew 6:19-21

19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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The Fifth House on the Left, Part 1

“The Fifth House on the Left, Part 1” is episode #278 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on August 20, 1994.


In Hollywood, Bernard and Eugene meet the Smith-Hammer family. Bernard tells a little girl about Jesus, and Eugene is cast to star in a movie.



Bernard and Eugene finally make it to San Diego. Bernard purchases his new truck, and Eugene figures out the expenses of their trip. Eugene finds that the trip has eaten up almost all of the savings Bernard supposedly made on the truck deal. Instead of driving straight back, Bernard wants to make a detour to see Hollywood and visit the stars' homes, especially the home of cowboy film star Hip Hobson.

Once they get there, they can't find the house or the star, who has long since moved. Instead, there is just a locked gate to a large estate. Bernard and Eugene walk up to it. Bernard is ready to give the owners of the house a piece of his mind. Suddenly, a car screeches around the corner. It heads straight toward them, nearly hitting Eugene!

After this experience, they are nearly instantly bonded with the owners of the house, a bigwig movie producer (Foster Smith-Hammer) and his two daughters. Eugene goes off with the oldest daughter Kelsey for a screen test and Bernard stays behind to tell the younger girl Tammi stories, while doing so discovers that their housekeeper/cook, Angela, is a Christian, but hasn't told the family about Christ before, for fear of being fired. Tammi is especially interested in the story of Jesus, but her father isn't impressed. Just as Eugene is telling Kelsey that he isn't interested in movies, they hear a loud rumbling: it's an earthquake! Everyone runs for cover.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were Kelsey and Tammi so spoiled?
  2. Why was Foster so opposed to Bernard telling Tammi about Jesus?
  3. Have you ever had a major emergency in your town?
    • How would you react if you did?


Role Voice Actor
Angela Luisa Leschin
Bernard Walton Dave Madden
Camera operator Will Ryan
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Foster Smith-Hammer Jerry Dexter
Dr. Keenan Corey Burton
Kelsey Smith-Hammer Maureen Davis
Lance Lincoln Unknown
P.A. announcer Corey Burton
Radio announcer Corey Burton
Tammi Smith-Hammer Rozlyn Roberson


  • Listen carefully: the background music heard in the Smith-Hammer house as Eugene and Bernard meet the family is the same "classical music" piece played previously by Bart Rathbone for his family's dinner together in #243: “Family Values”.


Bernard Walton: Just take a deep breath, Eugene. Aah, there's nothing like the smell of a new pick up truck. It's heaven.
Eugene Meltsner: Smells more like artificially-induced pine scent and upholstery cleaner.

Bernard Walton: Eugene, you're about as much fun as a root canal!

Bernard Walton: Put your calculator away, Eugene, or consider being stranded on the side of the interstate in your estimations!
Eugene Meltsner: Oh, then it's Hollywood, here we come.

Bernard Walton: Why don't they put names on these gates?
Eugene Meltsner: It's possible they don't want pesky tourists to know who they are.
Bernard Walton: I'm not a pesky tourist.

Eugene Meltsner: Caspio?
Foster Smith-Hammer: Yeah, he's a character in my new movie.
Eugene Meltsner: Is that Shakespearean?
Foster Smith-Hammer: Sort of; it's called "Biker Bimbos From Belview Go Bonkers."
Eugene Meltsner: Obviously a philosophical work.

Kelsey Smith-Hammer: Did you hear that, Eugene?
Eugene Meltsner: Yes, I did, Kelsey, but I'm still wondering how he got the x-ray machine in his van.

Bernard Walton: Dinner?
Angela: Mr. Smith-Hammer made it very clear that you're to be treated like a houseguest until further notice.
Bernard Walton: Oh? Wonder what that means?
Tammi Smith-Hammer: That means until he doesn't want you around anymore.
Bernard Walton: Oh, I see. Well, considering Eugene's people skills, I'd better eat fast.

Eugene Meltsner: Perhaps I'm uncomfortable with all of this... artifice, the fakery, the make-believe! Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that everyone in this town is acting—acting like a friend only so long as it serves a purpose, acting as though they care when they really don't, acting as though the entire world revolves around what happens here without any regard to the rest of the world!
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You got all of that from a day in Hollywood?
Eugene Meltsner: No, Kelsey—from a day with you! Frankly, I'm not sure how you cope with such a life.
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You cope by doing it the same way. You cope by becoming a big star, making tons of money so you can buy whatever you need, including friends. You cope by becoming powerful enough so you can create your own world, Eugene!
Eugene Meltsner: I think that's very...sad. To be so young, and so cynical. Couldn't it be argued that by creating your own world, you're actually missing out on the real world? True friendships? True feelings?
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You're quaint, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: Philosophically speaking, Kelsey, don't you ever wonder what would remain if the artificial world you've created suddenly collapsed? What would you have left?
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: No, Eugene, I don't wonder—I don't want to know.