Top This!

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#313: “Top This!”
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Jeremiah 9:23-24

23This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.

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“Top This!” is episode #313 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on May 6, 1995.


Courtney Vincent gets into an intense rivalry with her cousin Hannah, and radio shock jock Cryin' Bryan Dern tries to outdo a competing radio station.


Courtney’s cousin, Hannah, has moved into town. Suddenly, Courtney is acting strange. She’s much more competitive than usual, mainly because Hannah is much more competitive with Courtney. The two cousins have been rivals for a long time. Hannah always feels she needs to top Courtney, which makes Courtney feel that she needs to top Hannah.

Things get even worse when Hannah visits Courtney’s Sunday school class. When Hannah learns that Courtney is in charge of a bake sale fund-raiser for the church youth camp, Hannah immediately springs into action. She comes up with an alternate idea, a car wash. Both ideas work well, but that’s not good enough for either girl. Soon they are both involved in a flurry of fund-raising ideas, everything from door-to-door gardening to five-mile runs to softball marathons.

Courtney and Hannah aren’t the only ones doing marathons, though. When Cryin’ Bryan Dern’s radio station decides to become a 24-hour, all-polka channel, Dern goes nuts. He takes over the place, doing a marathon session to save the station! Dern nearly kills himself on the air. But to no one’s surprise, the station’s change to polka and Dern’s on-air marathon are revealed to be publicity stunts, thought up by Cryin’ Bryan! The stunts work. The station manager thinks Dern is a genius. But Bryan is nearly dead with exhaustion!

Meanwhile, Jack tells Courtney that this constant competition with Hannah isn’t doing either of them any good. Courtney agrees, but isn’t sure how to stop it. Jack suggests a novel approach, let Hannah win. Courtney tries Jack’s idea. It seems to work, and instead of being constant rivals, they turn into fast friends.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were Courtney and Hannah so competitive with each other?
  2. Have you ever felt that way about someone?
    • How did you handle the situation?
  3. Jack suggested that the way for Courtney to stop the competition would be to let Hannah win. Can you think of another way?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Bryan Dern Corey Burton
Car wash customer Corey Burton
Casey Parker Barry Stigler
Courtney Vincent Sara Buskirk
Erica Clark Erin Love
Hannah Michelle Stacy-Hanna
Mrs. Hogan Mary Kay Bergman
Jack Allen Alan Young
Johanne Schmingee Barry Stigler
Radio Commercial Narrator Corey Burton
Newscaster Corey Burton
Odyssey 105 employee Corey Burton
Radio caller #1 Marshal Younger
Radio caller #2 Mary Kay Bergman
Radio caller #3 Corey Burton
Radio caller #4 Barry Stigler
Sales customer #1 Barry Stigler
Sales customer #2 Mary Kay Bergman
What is He Saying Contest Singer John Campbell

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mr. Stalling Casey Parker


  • The background commercial that plays while Dern is talking to Casey Parker in this episode contains the following dialogue:
How many times has this happened to you? You're happily eating spaghetti, twirling your fork into a nice ball of pasta... and suddenly... you run out of fork! You've got another three yards of spaghetti to twirl, and you have no fork to put it on. What can you do? (BEAT) Introducing Jumbo Fork--the biggest fork you'll ever see in your life! Get Jumbo Fork--and get it all in your mouth! Available at Pete's Gas n' Chow, your beef jerky co-op.
  • In the February 10th podcast, John Campbell says he has no idea what the man was really saying in the "What is He Saying Contest," even though John sang it. He was simply told to adlib. So if the guy singing it doesn't know what he was saying, nobody does!
  • In this episode, Bryan Dern complains that one of the polka songs has no words. However, in the episode, there are no lyrics heard in the songs Dern seems to like.
  • Listen carefully: at the moment Dern decides to "take over" the studio, the polka music fades out even before Dern pushes the button to end it.


Bryan Dern: You know, I was thinking about it, and I wonder if maybe that song needs something. I dunno, maybe, uh, WORDS?! And I think the accordion player could use A SEDATIVE!

Bryan Dern: Okay, we still don't have a winner in the ‘What Is He Saying contest’; I'll play the clip again. <John Campbell sings gibberish> What is he saying?
Caller: I think he said, “The monkey man has no place in the circle of confusion”?

Caller: If you really hate polka so much, you should turn to Q94. They got some great music, and you could win a big screen TV.
Bryan Dern: ...Oh, I think we have a winner! My friend, YOU are more annoying than this music!

Bryan Dern: I'm just gonna play another song. This one is called...'The Sheboygan Shuffle'. Somebody knock me out, I'd like to be unconscious for awhile.

Bryan Dern: And that was, once again, my favorite song. Stay tuned and I'll play it again in a couple of minutes. This is Cryin' Bryan Dern, making it up as I go along! I'm now in my 25th straight hour. It's been one day, and, oh, 30 cups of coffee since I took over the studio and I'm feelin' great! And if anybody tries to come in here and get me...that includes you, Casey, I see you out there, sneaking around...if you get any closer, I'm gonna take this coffee here and pour it into about $50,000 worth of equipment! People, there's nothing scarier than Bryan Dern when he gets his second wind! Lemme play my song again. I'm giving away polka CDs. Lots and lots of polka CDs. Be the seventh caller right now and you get a copy of 'The Best of the Schmitkee Trio!' What a fabulous edition this will be to someone's music library. Call now! Yes, congratulations, you're my seventh caller.
Johanne Schmingee: Alright!
Bryan Dern: What's your name, sir?
Johanne Schmingee: Johanne Schmingee.
Bryan Dern: Well, Johanne, you have just won hours and hours of polka fun! This CD, and I don't think I'm exaggerating here, could be the polka standard by which all other polkas are measured! The Schmitkee trio has always been a lighthouse in a sea of polka, well, for me at least.
Johanne Schmingee: Me, too! This is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me in my life!
Bryan Dern: Play it long, play it loud, Johann, and my deepest apologies to Johanne Schmingee's neighbors!

Courtney Vincent: We have forty-seven different kinds of cookies.
Jack Allen: Forty-seven? Oh, boy...maybe I should just pull up a chair.

Bryan Dern: This is Cryin' Bryan Dern goin' into my 94th hour of being on the air. Whaddaya wanna do? Maybe I should play a song.'s one. I can't tell you what it is, because my contact lenses have become a permanent part of my eyeballs and...everything's kinda blurry. I can't seem to get this disk in the player. Forget it. Maybe I should sing a little song...I'll do a little song that my mother used to I never knew my thumb could do this. I know. Let's have a moment of silence for...somebody. Are we at war or anything? Give me some ideas people, will...yes, we have a caller. We have a caller! You're on the air.
Radio caller #4: Yes, my hamster's been kind of sick lately.
Bryan Dern: Perfect. What's your hamster's name?
Radio caller #4: Binky.
Bryan Dern: Great! Let's have about an hour of silence for Binky. Wake me up when you're done.

Bryan Dern: I'm going home. I have no control over my left eyelid anymore. Look at that.
Casey Parker: Ew, gross.