★★★★ February 16, 1962, 1962 Season 3 Episode 22
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
A Piano in the House is not a well known episode but one of my favorites. It flies under the Twilight Zone radar. The episode highlights two things rather well…cruelty and justice. Fitzgerald Fortune played by Barry Morse is a despicable and sadistic theater critic who thinks he is above everyone. He buys a magic player piano that has the ability to reveal peoples inner selves and uses it to humiliate his wife (Joan Hackett) and many of her friends.
This one does show the artificial nature of everyday human interactions. The ways we will go to hide things about ourselves when with other people. I could relate to this one. Working in IT in the early days…I knew people like Fitzgerald Fortune who thought all the end users were idiots.
This show was written by Earl Hamner Jr. and Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, theater critic and cynic at large, on his way to a birthday party. If he knew what is in store for him he probably wouldn’t go, because before this evening is over that cranky old piano is going to play “Those Piano Roll Blues” with some effects that could happen only in the Twilight Zone.
Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune is looking to buy a different sort of gift for his wife’s birthday. In a curio shop, he buys an old player-piano. It’s delivered to his home, and when he starts it up, it has a strange effect on his manservant, a normally dour man who breaks into mirthful laughter. When he plays another song, this time for a guest, the man breaks down and admits he’s in love with Fortune’s wife Esther. He decides to have fun with his party guests that evening but Esther decides to turn the tables on him.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, a man who went searching for concealed persons and found himself in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling… Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Barry Morse…Fitzgerald “Jerry” Fortune
Joan Hackett…Esther Fortune
Don Durant…Gregory “Greg” Walker
Muriel Landers…Marge Moore
Cyril Delevanti…Marvin (the Butler)