Elvis has left the building
"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.
The phrase was first used by promoter Horace Logan at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum on the fairgrounds of the Louisiana State Fair in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 15, 1956. 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.
Throughout the 1970s, the phrase was captured on record several times, spoken by Al Dvorin. In later years the phrase would be spoken by some of Presley's backup singers to calm down the audience after concerts.
In popular culture
The phrase has since become a catchphrase and punchline, used to refer to anyone who has exited in some sense (even death). 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 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. Other examples or variants include:
- Former Pittsburgh Penguins hockey hall-of-fame broadcaster Mike Lange used the phrase after Penguins home game wins.
- In the early part of his original heel run, WWE wrestler Shawn Michaels's departure from the arena during live events would be announced as "The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels has left the building."
- "Elvis Has Just Left the Building" is a song by Frank Zappa, first released in 1988 on Broadway the Hard Way.
- Legendary Australian Football League commentator Dennis Cometti, on a skirmish between Essendon and Hawthorn great Paul Salmon and the more slimline St Kilda star Nicky "Elvis" Winmar: "Just as Winmar landed, big Salmon came crashing down on top of him. They're slowly getting up, and now I can report the building has left the Elvis."
- A bonus with this name in the video game GTA 2; the player must kill in less than 5 seconds Elvis look-alikes moving in single line through the streets to get it (the phrase is then spoken, as well as visible on the screen).
- Plasketes, George (1997-07-18), Images of Elvis Presley in American culture, ISBN 978-1-56024-910-8
- 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.
- Elvis has left the building Origin - The Idioms
- Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
- The Elvis Encyclopedia. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. 2008. p. 133. ISBN 978-0-7156-3816-3.
- NYTimes blog mentions Mike Lange
- "Flashback: How 1991 WWE Survivor Series Changed Wrestling". Rolling Stone. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
- "Centimetre perfect: 23 classic Dennis Cometti AFL commentary lines". the Guardian. 2016-09-28. Retrieved 2021-09-29.