The Flintstones: “The Hot Piano”
Season 1, Episode 19
Original Airdate Feb. 3, 1961
Directors: Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera
Writer: Mike Maltese
In Short: Stuck for an anniversary present for Wilma, Fred learns a valuable lesson in economics–don’t buy a piano out of the back of a van. Especially if the seller is a guy named “88 Fingers Louie…”
(Minor edit, to correct a phrase that annoyed me. Changed the phrase “one of the things that endeared this cartoon to me” to “one of the things that made this cartoon endearing. “8/22/12–Rachel)
With any great TV show–even some that weren’t so great–one episode is often enough to make a viewer into a fan forever.
For Trekkies, it’s “City On The Edge Of Forever”–or perhaps “Space Seed” (the episode that introduced us to Khan, Captain Kirk’s greatest nemesis.) For “I Love Lucy” fans, it might be the “Vitameatavegamin” episode, or the one in which she finds herself submerged in a vat of grapes.
For fans of Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones, however, it’s usually this episode: “The Hot Piano,” from the show’s often brilliant (though critically panned) first season. It certainly was for me.
Looking at the show’s 166 episodes today can seem a bit like watching two different series. There’s the caustic adult sitcom of its first couple of seasons, “inspired” by The Honeymooners but more a sendup of every TV comedy ever known–I Love Lucy, Donna Reed and Ozzie and Harriet turned sideways and transported to the Stone Age.