'Glee': Pianist's facial expressions serve as metaphor for general viewing experience

I feel like “Mattress” was the Nameless Glee Pianist‘s breakout episode. (UPDATE: His name is Brad. Thanks, meg and Shannon!) Never mind that he does not speak. All he needs to do is smile. Like a LOT. And willingly receive a gentle caress from a high school girl with inseam issues. After paying way too much attention to him in this scene, I realized that his facial expressions perfectly mimicked my own experience, as a viewer who now fully embraces the insanity of the show, of the Five Stages of Gleef.

1. “I’m too old for this.”

2. “Uh….”

3. Exhaustion

4. Bemusement

5. Acceptance

Gleef achieved.

Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Elizabeth

    I listen to Absolute Radio and the piano player reminds me of one of the hosts, Geoff Lloyd.

    I’d like to see a piece on the musicians on Glee (hint, hint EW)

  • meg

    I believe that Nameless Piano Player was given the name “Brad” in the last episode

    • Winona

      Yep – he’s Brad Ellis, the musical director for the show. Yes, in real life.

  • Shannon

    The piano player’s name is Brad. We learned that a few episodes ago. However, I thought his facial expressions were hilarious.

  • mario

    that is scary….i think you spend too much time watching the episode in slow-motion. good catch though.

  • crispy

    When I watch Glee, I can’t help but compare it to Nip/Tuck. The piano player always reminds me of the nurse who never says anything, just makes facial expressions reacting to the main characters.

    • Ceballos

      Good call.

      And just like Brad Ellis is this show’s musical director, Nurse Linda on “Nip/Tuck” is a producer/technical consultant on the show.

      • crispy

        Wow, wiki says she’s also a registered nurse in real life! Interesting.

    • Aaron

      Ryan Murphy, who is Glee’s creator, also created Nip/Tuck. Just thought you’d like to know, hence the similarities.

    • Alex

      Totally agree on the Nip/Tuck comparison. People usually don’t have a clue what I’m talking about when I bring the two shows up in the same sentence.

  • gtrgrl

    this may have been mentioned in other posts, but thanks for noticing her inseam problems! i actually thought last night, “she’s gonna flash her panties!!” my mom made me do the ‘bend over’ test before buying me stuff… clearly her mom doesn’t!

    • Dave

      Rachel doesn’t have a mom only “two gay dads”, hence the problem…..

    • orville

      That’s because she has two gay Dads! You know, you’d think she’d be more fashionable because of it….

  • jack hart

    i’m still wondering about the black guy in glee club.. i don’t think he had any speaking lines yet

    • Maserda

      Or the Asian guy… I think they labeled him in one episode as “the Other Asian” or something like that (in the ballad episode)

      • Rod

        The “Other Asian” is Harry Shum Jr — coincidentally, he’s one of the choreographers for the “Legion of Extraordinary Dancers” performance that showed on SYTYCD right before this episode of Glee.

      • Josie

        Isn’t “Other Asian” Mike? I thought we heard his name when he was talking about pop locking. Am I wrong?

      • M

        I know he’s been an extra in a lot of dancing movies, but I don’t know if he can sing. That goes for all the other ones too.

    • mscisluv

      I can’t remember the black guy’s name, but he gets even less screen time than Mike (remember the week he was absent so Will coincidentally had to be Rachel’s partner). During Sue’s roll call, she called him “Shaft”.

      • jkp

        the shaft comment was so funny and im getting annoyed that they hvaent said anything. when “shaft” snickered in this episode i was like is he going to say somethin?! but fail. its kinda weird that these kids havent said anything yet

  • Doug

    Does anyone else kind of think the show has gone downhill since that heinous Mashup episode? It IS insane, but not in the over-the-top way. In the “why the heck is she marrying him for no reason?” way.

    • BlackIrish4094


    • crispy


  • Chlark fan

    LOVE the pianist.

    I also am crazy about Zach Woodlee.

    I’ve seen other people mention how great and fun he seems on the BTS videos and I can’t help but want him to somehow show up in front of the camera on the show.


    He’s got a great smile. Perfect for Glee.

  • catlin

    I loved that guys face lol
    Anyone else think Schuster was especially hot when he got mad?

  • HD

    I’m so happy that someone else caught his joy because I noticed it too while smiling myself!

  • cranky

    Glee suuuuuuuuucks! And it doesn’t have to ! It could be so great! But it suuuucks! >sobbing<

  • Snsetglaze

    His facial expressions were hilarious. I’ve also wondered as to how they just get other student musicians out of nowhere.

  • Ryan

    He looks just like Warren Zevon. Makes me miss him even more…

  • Ambient Lite

    Funny article, love creepy piano dude.

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP