Elvis has left the building

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"Elvis has left the building" is a phrase that was often used by public address announcers at the conclusion of Elvis Presley concerts in order to disperse audiences who lingered in hopes of an encore. It has since become a catchphrase and punchline.[1]

Origin[edit]

The phrase was first used by promoter Horace Logan at the Shreveport Municipal Memorial Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 15, 1956.[2] Elvis had appeared in the middle of the night's lineup, and Logan needed to quiet the audience so that the remaining performers could play. The full quotation was:

All right, all right, Elvis has left the building. I've told you absolutely straight up to this point. You know that. He has left the building. He left the stage and went out the back with the policemen and he is now gone from the building.[3][4]

"Elvis has left the building" is also heard at the end of Elvis' March 1961 Pearl Harbor Memorial benefit concert, after Elvis exits at the end of "Hound Dog" and a short coda from the band.

Throughout the 1970s, the phrase was captured on record several times, spoken by Al Dvorin.[5] In later years the phrase would be spoken by some of Presley's backup singers to calm down the audience after concerts.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The phrase has since become a catchphrase and punchline, used to refer to anyone who has exited in some sense. For instance, it might be used when someone makes a dramatic exit from an argument, to relieve tension among those who remain. Baseball broadcasters on radio and/or television sometimes use the phrase as a humorous way to describe a home run, which is typically hit over the outfield fence, leaving the field of play. Pittsburgh Penguins hockey hall of fame broadcaster Mike Lange uses the phrase after Penguins home game wins.[6]

  • In the early part of his original heel run, WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels's departure from the arena during live events would be announced by the announcers as 'Shawn Michaels has left the building'[7]
  • When singing the closing theme to the television series Frasier, Kelsey Grammer sometimes followed the last line with the statement "Frasier has left the building!".[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ George Plasketes (1997-07-18), Images of Elvis Presley in American culture, ISBN 978-1-56024-910-8 
  2. ^ Logan, Horace, and Bill Sloan. 1998. Elvis, Hank, and me: making musical history on the Louisiana hayride, p. 181-183. New York: St. Martin's Press.
  3. ^ The Straight Dope - What is the origin of "Elvis has left the building"?
  4. ^ Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
  5. ^ a b The Elvis Encyclopedia. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. 2008. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7156-3816-3. 
  6. ^ NYTimes blog mentions Mike Lange
  7. ^ "Flashback: How 1991 WWE Survivor Series Changed Wrestling". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 August 2018. 
  8. ^ "The meaning and origin of the expression: Elvis has left the building". Phrases.Org UK. Phrases.Org UK. Retrieved 12 August 2018.