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]

Popularization[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]

  • Frank Zappa used the phrase on the opening track of the album Broadway the Hard Way, which satirised numerous contemporary figures.
  • Rahmeh Byouk used the phrase to inform her manager that she’s leaving the office.
  • The phrase is referred to in the Dire Straits song "Calling Elvis."
  • In the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, one of the film's main characters says "Elvis has left the building" as a code to indicate the beginning of their final job had started.[7]
  • In the film Independence Day, Will Smith's character says "Elvis has left the building", which is followed by Jeff Goldblum using another Elvis-related catchphrase "Thank you very much."
  • In the Eddie Murphy comedy film, The Nutty Professor, Murphy's character, Buddy Love, says, "Reggie has left the building." after an altercation with Reggie Warrington (Dave Chappelle).
  • 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!".
  • In Grand Theft Auto 2 a string of Elvis impersonators are sometimes spotted walking the streets. If a player can kill them in a short amount of time, he is awarded with a large money bonus, followed by the bold words "ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING".
  • After losing a match at Wrestlemania XXVI against The Undertaker and thus was forced to retire from WWE, on the March 29 episode of Raw, Shawn Michaels gave a farewell speech, departing with, "Shawn Michaels has left the building."
  • In "Elvis Is Dead" by Living Colour, the phrase is used to exhort fans to give up on the hope that he might still be alive.

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. ^ "The UsualSuspects(IMDb)". IMDb. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 12 September 2015.