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"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead."
—Johnny Carson

Most often can be found overseeing marriages in Viva Las Vegas, the Elvis Impersonator (a subtype of Celebrity Impersonator) usually dresses and acts like late era Elvis Presley: portly, with an exaggerated pompadour hairdo, wearing a ridiculously pimped out jacket, and fond of saying "thankyouyewverymuch".

A subtrope of this appears a lot in Dubs of Japanese media. Because the pompadour harido is associated with street punks in Japan, a lot of minor or comedic villains get that hairstyle. In the process of dubbing, they're often turned into the only thing westerners associate with pompadours.

The Other Wiki lists three types of Elvis impersonators -- Look-alikes, sound-alikes, and combinations -- who tend to be either professionals, amateurs, Just for Fun types, or those who do their routines for Comedy and/or Parody. They also state that the earliest known Elvis impersonator was a Canadian teenager who started making stage appearances in 1956.

Elvish Presley is the totally logical subtrope where the impersonater is an elf.

Examples of Elvis Impersonator include:


Advertising

  • One Progressive commercial ends with an Elvis impersonator as one of the customers.
  • A Dejope bingo casino commercial in Madison, Wisconsin area has several Elvis impersonators getting haircuts.


Anime and Manga

  • Digimon Adventure: the second arc's Big Bad Etemon. He had some rockstar traits even before the dub, but in english he's pure Elvis.
  • Giraffe from Rave Master. Although he looks rather young for one.
  • Both Sugarboys from Fairy Tail. They're blond though.


Comic Books

  • From the British comic magazine The Beano, Les Pretend's dad has Elvis Impersonation as a hobby.
  • Parodied in Incredible Hercules, when the titular hero and his sidekick traveled to Hades through a giant casino for dead people in Las Vegas.

 Elder Woman: You are the best Elvis Impersonator I've ever seen.

Real Elvis: Yeah...Impersonator.

  • And one of the villains in Gold Digger is an Elvis impersonator who learned magic and dubbed himself "SPELLVIS"
  • Though we never see him in his Elvis get up Sangrecco from Mesmo Delivery does this as a hobby and claims not only to have won a competition in the past but that he would have made "A better Elvis than Elvis"
  • One shows up in ABC Warriors and proceeds to hit on Morrigun, an Amazonian FemBot, it does not go well for him.
  • Likely taking a cue from Bubba Ho-Tep, the main character in King is a retired Elvis-themed luchador whose current career is a freelance bounty hunter specializing in dealing with the undead.


Film

  • Three Thousand Miles to Graceland concerned a robbery during an Elvis impersonator convention, with the perps dressed as Elvis (the better to blend in).
  • One segment of the film Aria has an Elvis impersonator lip-synching Verdi's "La donna è mobile", from the opera Rigoletto.
  • Bubba Ho-Tep: Bruce Campbell plays the real Elvis, who had become bored with his life so he switched with an Elvis Impersonator. It was the impersonator who died in 1977. (Same movie has John F Kennedy, whose brain was implanted into the body of a black man so people wouldn't believe it's really him.)
  • Honeymoon In Vegas had the Flying Elvises (Utah Chapter). There's also the Flying Elvi, which were the Elvises of the movie who decided to continue doing it for real.
    • Speaking of Elvis and Nicolas Cage, his performance in David Lynch's Wild at Heart is pretty much an Elvis impersonation played straight.
  • In Into the Night, Diana goes to her brother Charlie (an Elvis impersonator) for help, and he throws her out of his house.

 Diana: "Elvis wouldn't do this! And I knew him!"

Charlie: "You didn't know him. You may have fucked him, but you didn't know him!"

  • One shows up in the background in Redline.
  • Invoked in the US Godzilla, where French secret service agent Philippe Roche, played by Jean Reno, manages to pass for an American with a credible Elvis impression. "He was the King."
  • Cult film Six String Samurai had "The Red Elvises", a whole band of communist Elvis impersonators.
  • Quebec film Elvis Gratton has the titular character, a crass, boorish french-canadian Archie Bunker-type, used at the time as a satire of many Quebecois' lack of pride in themselves, contentment with mediocrity and self-loathing (most of us who are self-aware will freely admit how messed-up we are psychosocially). Of course, he takes part in an impersonator contest, which include among others a chinese impersonator (Elvis Wong), prompting a racist tirade from Gratton.
  • In Dudes, an impersonator who goes by the name of Dared Elvis is something of a Trickster Mentor to the lead characters.
  • An Elvis Presley-esque RV shows up at the Piston Cup races in Disney/Pixar's Cars.
  • Chanticleer from Rock-a-Doodle.


Live Action TV

  • An Elvis impersonator ends up as a murder suspect in CSI.
  • Albert (of all people) dresses as one as part of a scam in the Hustle episode "Big Daddy Calling".
  • If this didn't happen on Las Vegas, I'll quit tvtropes forever.
  • An episode of The Weakest Link had Elvis impersonators as contestants, including the Latino Elvis, "El Vez".
  • Sledge Hammer once had to disguise as one to solve a case, the case was about someone killing Elvis impersonators. 15 Elvi killed in three weeks!
  • Jarod met one on The Pretender when he was working at a casino.
  • Sort of a weird one: On Red Dwarf, "Waxworld", the crew pops into the middle of a war between good and evil waxdroids - wax androids originally intended to be part of a theme park, but who had broken their programming. A waxdroid Elvis was on the good side.
  • On Father Ted, Ted, Dougal and Jack won a contest by all impersonating Elvis at different points in his life.
  • There was an episode of The Twilight Zone where an impersonator got to meet the real (very young, not yet famous) Elvis.
    • And then he killed Elvis by accident and took his place.
      • Possibly inspired by Michael Moorcock's short story, later novel, Behold the Man - although that was not abot Elvis, but Jesus!
  • The short lived Canadian series Taking The Falls had an episode that strongly implied that the real (but not dead) Elvis was hiding out at a convention of Elvis impersonators.
  • One episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers involved a Halloween party, and Those Two Guys, Bulk and Skull, actually considered Elvis costumes; Skull as young Elvis and Bulk as "Vegas" Elvis. They wound up rejecting the idea and eventually went as "punks" instead (read: themselves - not that they realized this).
  • Showed up on one episode of The Golden Girls, when a mix-up had them accidentally invited to Sophia's quickie wedding. One of them was played by Quentin Tarantino (!).
  • A sheriff on The Adventures of Brisco County Jr bore a very close resemblance to Elvis, right down to the fried banana sandwiches and sunglasses he'd invented himself.
  • No big shocker that the pilot episode of Memphis Beat was crawling with these, to the point of being a visual Running Gag.
  • Really big Elvis fan Jesse Katsopolis briefly worked as one in an early Full House episode.
  • One of the Whammies on the original Press Your Luck was clearly modeled on Elvis (and injured himself during his hip shake). You can find him at the end of this collection of Whammies.
  • In an episode of Married... with Children, Peggy sees Elvis at the local mall. Several Elvis-sighting chasers arrive at her house to celebrate, accompanied by a line of Elvis impersonators-- "Asian Elvis, Black Elvis, handicapped Elvis..."

 Peggy: Look Al, Elvi!

  • Either an impersonator or The King himself makes an appearance in Good Eats in the cheesecake episode to explain that the dessert is actually a custard pie.
  • Played with in an early episode of Sliders. One of the Earths the group visits is a world where Rembrandt was The King instead of Elvis, but died young, and there are loads of Rembrandt Impersonators. Rembrandt-Prime reveals himself and almost stays on that world to live a life of luxury, but it turns out the Rembrandt of that world wasn't really dead; he just faked his death to get away from it all.
  • On an episode of Corner Gas, it's revealed that Oscar and Emma had never been married. Near the end of the episode, at their rehearsal dinner, it was revealed that they are married, but had lied to cover up their embarrassing "Elvis wedding". The townspeople all agree that being married by a guy dressed as Elvis isn't such a big deal and proceed to enjoy the dinner. Later, Oscar and Emma are seen burning their wedding photos in a fire. They're the ones dressed as Elvis. Both of them.
  • In a first-season episode of How I Met Your Mother, Marshall, Lily, and Barney end up hanging out with Korean Elvis one night.
  • On Sons of Anarchy Bobby Munson is an Elvis Impersonator in addition to being a Badass outlaw biker with a sizable body count. When another impersonator tries to steal his gig, he has the guy savagely beaten.
  • On Castle, in the episode "Heartbreak Hotel", Castle, Ryan, and Esposito are in Atlantic City investigating a murder during a convention. They get kicked out by the casino manager, and Castle's plan for sneaking back in involves going full Elvis.
  • Emil Hamilton of all people turns into one during a What Did I Do Last Night? plotline involving magically-spiked champagne on Smallville. Seriously.


Literature

  • Craig Shaw Gardner's short story A Planet Called Elvis takes place on a resort planet filled with Elvis impersonators.
  • Not really an impersonator, Robert Rankin's 'Armageddon Trilogy' featured the real Elvis traveling through time with a sprout, knowing Karate, which went with the 'sickle and an amazing rotary machine gun like Blaine had in Predator.
  • In Time Scout, Wagers of Sin, during a discussion of the Church of Elvis, Malcolm does a fairly good rendition of "Heartbreak Hotel", finishing it with "thankyouverymuch".
  • In John Grisham's novel The Firm, Tammy Hemphill's truck driver ex-husband actually believes he's Elvis come back to life. He even changed his name to Elvis Aaron Hemphill and moved the family to Memphis (the main setting of the story) so he could be closer to Graceland. His role in the book is more substantial than in the movie version where he is relegated to having little more than a cameo.

Music

  • Jimmy Buffett's song Elvis Imitators is sung in that Elvis Presley-fake-mumble and includes the lyrics:

 Well I'm an an Elvis imitator and I just can't stop

Imitating Elvis from the bottom to the top

I imitate the way he walked, the way he smiled

I throw away my scarf and make the crowd go wild

This imitation Elvis may not be the king

But baby I'm the next best thing!

  • Tortelvis, lead singer of spoof rock band Dread Zeppelin.
  • The music video for Waking Up In Vegas features Katy Perry and her Love Interest being married by an Elvis impersonator. The lyrics themselves also reference this trope:

 Did we get hitched last night

dressed up like Elvis--

why am I wearing your class ring?

  • Mitch Benn's Everybody's Elvis and If Elvis Were A Northerner. The former is based on the statistic that, if Elvis impersonators expand at the current rate, they'll comprise a third of the population before long; the latter is based on an Oop North Elvis impersonator who said "I'm just like Elvis would be, if he came from Yorkshire".

 If he did his quiff with chip fat and he couldn't really sing,

If Elvis were a Northerner, I'd be just like the king.

Newspaper Comics

  • In a show for the Army, Beetle Bailey, Sergeant Snorkel and General Halftrack became Elvis impersonators. Bailey was introduced as Young Elvis, Sarge as Old Elvis and General Halftrack as Dead Elvis.


Professional Wrestling

  • The Honky Tonk Man in the WWF

 Rollover Elvis! Let the Honky Tonk Man show you how to rock & roll!

Elvis who? He couldn't carry a tune if it had handles on it!

  • For a short time after it debuted, TNA had a stable of Elvis impersonators in their high-flying X Division. They were dubbed -- what else? -- The Flying Elvises.


Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • In the original Grand Theft Auto, you'd sometimes come across wandering rows of Hare Krishnas you could run over for a quick bonus. In the sci-fi sequel, GTA 2, they were replaced with... wandering rows of Elvis Impersonators.
    • In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, you can see plenty of Elvis Impersonators in Las Vegas Las Venturas. There is also a cheat that turns all pedestrians into Elvis Impersonators.
      • One in particular chimes in during the Madd Dogg suicide mission. "Jump! Look what dying did for my career!"
  • Maxi from the Soul Series dresses similarly to Elvis, but is otherwise a Bruce Lee Clone.
  • Shima Sakon as depicted in the Samurai Warriors series has the hairdo and a couple of Elvis-inspired lines, at least in the English version.
  • One of the Nice Hats you can now get in Team Fortress 2 is "The Hound Dog"--it turns the Heavy into an Elvis impersonator.
  • In Theme Hospital, this is a disease that is cured by a Psychologist.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, you can get an anthropomorphic dog with a Pompadour hairdo as a familiar. He is a Dance Battler. This is a direct shoutout to Elvis' song "You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog"
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the entire gang "The Kings" is like this, although only the head honcho (who confusingly enough calls himself The King) and his Number Two do the voice due to the fact that the holotapes of Elvis himself broke a good while ago. Because it's a couple hundred years After the End, nobody actually remembers who "The King" is, but after finding a school filled with memorabilia, instructions on how to act like him, and a metric ton of hair gel, they figured it must be a place of worship and they'd keep his memory alive. They're not wrong, per se...
  • Trauma Team has Hank Freebird.
  • An early villain in Fossil Fighters Champions is named Rockin' Billy, and talks in extremely exaggerated Elvis references.


Western Animation

  • Yakko Warner from Animaniacs did it in one scene (although he wasn't fat) where he was sitting at a piano and introducing something.
  • One is found in the episode of The Fairly Odd Parents where Timmy wished that he was the strongest person on the beach.
  • In an episode of Tutenstein, Tut visited a CONVENTION of Elvis Impersonators.
  • In the Veggie Tales cartoon Lord of the Beans, Larry the Cucumber does his traditional Silly Song, while playing the fearless ranger Ear-a-corn. He dons fake elf ears and sings "Silly Songs With Elves," while wearing a suspiciously familiar bouffant wig and sparkling jumpsuit. The song is interrupted by elven archer Leg-o-lamb, who pulls off one of the ears and declares, "I knew it! You're not a real elf -- you're an elvish impersonator!"
  • Johnny Bravo is Elvis in looks (except for the hair color) and mannerisms (though quite a bit less successful with the ladies).
  • One episode of Cyberchase had The Hacker take over Happily-Ever-After as their king, and couldn't decide on which historical king he should dress up as, so he decides to dress up as Elvis as a result of this.
  • One episode of Stunt Dawgs had Fungus buy a casino and hire Whiz Kid as an Elvis Impersonator. His act was of Elvis dying.


Real Life

  • Andy Kaufman, Elvis's favorite Elvis Impersonator.
    • To give an idea of how this worked in his act: Andy would go on stage already in his Foreign Man character and give a series of terrible impressions, mostly consisting of "Hello, I am [person x]" in the same "foreign person" voice. Then, just as he was about to completely lose the audience, he would announce his Elvis impression. When he turned around, Foreign Man was completely gone and replaced with a completely flawless Elvis.
    • Not only was his Elvis impression absolutely-spot on, but he also pre-dated the "impersonator" trend.

 Hey, Andy did you hear about this one? Tell me, are you locked in the punch?

Hey Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby. Are we losing touch?

  • TK-4321, the Elvis Trooper. Yep. There's an Elvis Stormtrooper; he's part of the 501st Legion, the Star Wars villain costuming group. Sometimes he's Indiana Elvis, Ghostbuster Elvis, or Elvis Solo.
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