Rod is a puppet-played character from the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Avenue Q. He was originally played on Broadway by puppeteer John Tartaglia, but is currently played by Howie Michael Smith.
Rod is a closeted homosexual, and is very uptight (his roommate Nicky complains about him "ironing his underwear"). Rod and Nicky are based on Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, and Rod's closeted homosexuality is based on questions about Bert's sexuality. In one of the musical's most popular songs, "If You Were Gay", Rod's straight roommate Nicky (based on Ernie) encourages him to come out of the closet.
The musical indicates that Rod is gay many times before he comes out, including one of the numbers, "Fantasies Come True", in which we find out he has a crush on Nicky, and the scene at Brian and Christmas Eve's wedding in which Nicky admits he thinks Rod is a closeted homosexual. This causes one of Rod's denial streaks, trying to prove he isn't a "closeted homo-whatever" by talking about his imaginary girlfriend, Alberta, who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Rod and Tartaglia also appeared alongside Michael Arden, Laura Benanti, Rosie O’Donnell, Ben Vereen and other Broadway superstars in a World AIDS Day benefit concert of Pippin held at the Manhattan Theatre on November 29th, 2004. Rod played "The Head".