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Who`s idea was it with the tuxedo in the Steve Allen show

Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:32 pm

Was it just to present "the new Elvis Presley"..??
Was it a PR gag....who stood behind this idea..??
I mean singing to a basset "Hound Dog"..o.k...but I think Elvis looks quite
weird say it in modest that tuxedo..

Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:01 pm

According to Steve Allen it was his idea. He stated that there was much controversy over Elvis' appearance on the Berle show a month earlier and he said he did a family show and a comedy show. Steve Allen had a rather wacky screwball sense of humor. So it was decided to present Elvis in a comedy setting, but the joke was on Elvis. Kind of fore runner of many of his movies.

So they decided that this hip-shaking greaser would dress up in a tuxedo and the background would be greek colomns so as to look like the proper scene of a classical performer.

Then to make it even sillier, prop up a dog, and have Elvis sing to it.

I guess the 14 year olds at the time didn't "get it", because they were furious over this presentation.

It still ranks as the worst 50's tv appearance Elvis made albiet an unusual one.

Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:58 pm

I'd rather watch the playground scene in Clambake over and over again than to watch Elvis in a tux singing to a dog.


Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:56 am

Rob wrote:I'd rather watch the playground scene in Clambake over and over again than to watch Elvis in a tux singing to a dog.


Don't be so rough on yourself. :D


Sun Jun 04, 2006 5:45 am

actually in retrospect, it's a great moment, albeit an insult to elvis. but today, it's funny more than anything. it's as insulting as milton berle's hillbilly twin brother melvin jokes.

for some reason i think elvis looks adorable (read: gooey girl thoughts) in the too-big suit and tails.

let's face it though, that dog is one of the most recognizable elvis symbols.

i'm not a fan of the song hound dog, but among the various on stage/tv show performances of it, i'd be most likely to pick the steve allen one as my favorite of the bunch because it was different.

and elvis was never a hardcore greaser bad boy. he didn't really become "macho" until the late-'60s. even in his jackets/pants/turned-up collar combos, he ended up looking cute more than anything else... possibly due to his rather round tush and too-young-and-sweet-to-be-bad face.

com'on, don't try to tell me the gold lame suit and pink/black clothes were masculine. girl-magnet cutie was more his image than greaser bad boy, even if he was considered "dangerous" by the parent groups--moreso because of how the girls reacted than him being a rebel.

let me put it this way, he was probably tougher than he looked in the 50s, because his image comes off as a sweet, vulnerable, shy mama's boy. in the late-60s/early-70s is when he actually pulled-off the "tough" look--his voice got a lot more commanding for one.

a few years later, elvis in a tuxedo wasn't too shocking. do people feel that way about elvis in a tuxedo at the jaycees? of course, not.

though the steve allen tux needed to be a few sizes smaller. he looks like a little kid playing dress-up because he's just swimming in it.