I don't care what it says, I never laid a finger on him.
In common fiction, and in the minds of some in reality, Elvis Presley
is not dead. Whether through conspiracy, alien abduction
(and later return), or retirement
, he's still on Earth (or a variation thereof
See Also: Elvis Has Left the Planet
, where he is outside
This trope also has applied to some other musicians: for example, Tupac Shakur
both have rabid fans that insist both are still alive but just hiding
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- While never explicitly stated, in Cromartie High School, a man very strongly implied to be Freddie Mercury is hiding in a Japanese high school.
- In Preacher, Jesse gives a ride to someone who never gives his name, but wears blue suede shoes and looks like an older and fatter version of The King. What we hear of his life story sounds suspiciously familiar as well.
- In a Superman story about Lex Luthor's legacy when he was thought dead, one of the people claiming to have seen Lex is a familiar looking guy who calls himself Aaron Preston.
- Elvis Shrugged, an Affectionate Parody of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, reveals that the Elvis who everyone thought had died in 1977 was a clone created by Col. Tom Parker and that the real Elvis is living in "Blue Hawaii," having convinced many musicians to disappear from the scene.
- In Bubba Ho Tep, Presley retired to a East Texas retirement home. The person who died was an Elvis impersonator whom Presley switched with when he grew tired of the lifestyle, and the paperwork that proves it was destroyed in a fire. Or so the character insisted, anyway.
- In Death Becomes Her, Elvis is shown to be one of the many who took the immortality potions but had to fake his death to play the The Masquerade. He did come back occasionally to grab a headline or two.
- As discussed in Man on the Moon, Andy Kaufman's death was thought by many to be another one of his elaborate hoaxes, and played with when his alter ego Tony Clifton put on an appearance a year after he died. In Real Life, it was his friend Bob Zmuda, who took over the role from Andy long before he died; the movie twists this by having Zmuda watch the performance, thus begging the question of who's playing Clifton. On top of all this, Kaufman was reportedly Elvis's favorite impersonator!
- Inverted in a roundabout way in Paul: The titular alien claims his government-supplied pot is so strong that it killed Bob Dylan. The others point out that Dylan isn't dead, but Paul implies otherwise.
- Men In Black: Elvis isn't dead, he "just went home". (Maybe Kay was messing with Jay's head - with him it was kind of hard to tell.)
- Ghostbusters: Once the Ghostbusters become a media sensation, Ray Stanz is seen on a talk show where the host asks him "How is Elvis, and have you seen him lately?". Ray is amused, but sadly, we never hear his answer.
- Good Omens has a Brick Joke to this effect.
- First, a tabloid is described by saying that a typical issue would "tell the world how Jesus' face was seen on a Big Mac bun bought by someone from Des Moines, with an artist's impression of the bun; how Elvis Presley was recently sighted working in a Burger Lord in Des Moines; how listening to Elvis records cured a Des Moines housewife's cancer; how the spate of werewolves infesting the Midwest are the offspring of noble pioneer women raped by Bigfoot; and that Elvis was taken by Space Aliens in 1976 because he was too good for this world." There's a footnote saying, "Remarkably, one of these stories is indeed true."
- Shortly after, there's a scene set in a Burger Lord in Des Moines. The Burger Lord exec who's inspecting it (who happens to be Famine) makes a mental note to fire the cook, because he's singing "Love Me Tender" to himself and it's clashing with the franchise-mandated canned music.
- Finally, there's a scene in which a mysterious stranger is playing an arcade trivia game. The stranger reveals himself to be DEATH when the trivia game asks him "What year did Elvis Presley die in?" and he refuses to answer, saying the page quote.
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries holds that he did die, and was brought back by a vampire who worked at the morgue where they took the body. Only they botched it, so he isn't quite right in the head anymore...
- In Comeback Tour, a novel set in Games Workshop's Dark Future setting, Elvis is a Sanctioned Operative - a private law-enforcement officer - working in the backwater areas of the Deep South. At the climax of the novel, he ends up using his music to defeat the machinations of a Religion of Evil.
- Time Scout has the Church of the Living Elvis, which insists he's a living Messiah.
- One of the Highlander novels, 'Scotland The Brave', said he was an immortal who 'died' because he was getting too famous, also explaining the continuing Elvis sightings through the years.
- Elvis was discovered in Mostly Harmless working as a bar singer in an alien planet. Ford Prefect recognizes him while Arthur Dent doesn't, which is either ironic (because Arthur is from Earth while Ford is an alien) or makes perfect sense (because Arthur is British while Ford traveled the world).
- Robert Rankin's Armageddon Trilogy has Elvis alive and bonded to Barry The Time Sprout, granting him greatly extended lifespan and the ability to travel through time. He maintains several Paper-Thin Disguise identities such as Mr. T. H. E. King and Noah Never.
- An act of the omnibus novel The Tumbleweed Dossier pays tribute to this trope. It is strongly implied that Felix Faraday is Elvis Presley living under an assumed identity are being infected with the Curse of the Vampire in 1977.
- A popular recurring news item in the Weekly World News and other such tabloids. A typical headline is "WAX DUMMY FOUND IN ELVIS'S TOMB!" Other conspiracy theories included Elvis faking his own death, working at a supermarket in the midwest, planning a comeback tour for next summer, and having a secret long-lost twin brother.
- In Stephen King's The Stand, a conversation Stu has with Frannie has him describing an encounter he once had with a slightly maniacal, slightly familiar traveler. After the encounter, Stu was convinced he met Jim Morrison, some years after his alleged death.
Live Action TV
- The Swedish punk band De Lyckliga Kompisarna has a song where the singer reads a newspaper explaining that "Elvis lever! The king is still alive!" and mentioning he now lives in Härnösand, a small town in northeast Sweden. Link
- Living Colour wrote a fantastically scathing Take That about this.
- In Bush's song "Everything's Zen" contains the lyric, repeated several times, "I don't believe that Elvis is dead".
- The Swirling Eddies have the song "Outdoor Elvis", detailing the faithful few's search for the King. The lyrics make it sound a lot like the hunt for Bigfoot, or like Christians waiting and hoping for Jesus' return.
- Bloom County did a couple of strips about Elvis still being alive; in one, he's found working on a county road-crew, in another, he's a sort of beneficent genie, zapping around the world and bringing youth and beauty to selected loyal followers. ("Elvis fans! This is really happening! We swear!")
- Though never named as such, Williams Electronics' Earthshaker! (released in 1989) implies that the man on the backglass is Elvis. This was especially evident with the original backglass art, which showed him driving a pink Cadillac.
- Over the Edge has someone who obvously is (but is never referred to as) Elvis operating a bar in the non-Euclidian Al-Amarja Airport.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja - In the issue, "Punch Dracula," The king of vampires brings Dr. McNinja to his moon base, where the doctor discovers that Dracula has been collecting historical figures over the years, among them is Hitler. One room has Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Tupac rehearsing at a piano, where they make terrific music together. Elvis doesn't do shit.
- The titular character of King of the Unknown is a No Celebrities Were Harmed incarnation of Elvis. Ever since a supernatural mishap transformed him (into a fat slob) and forced him to fake his death, he dedicated his new secret life to a Men in Black-like Government Agency of Fiction known as the IRSU. In the all those years since his "death," he's been protecting a masqueraded world by kicking the collective ass of every supernatural evil imaginable (because All Myths Are True). Agent H, his Mission Control at IRSU, is a similarly still-living Jimi Hendrix.
- In Sam and Fuzzy, the universe's thinly veiled analogue of Elvis is called "Elton Priestly". He was kidnapped by his recording company and dumped on a deserted tropical island to "save him before he ruined his own image" in 1977 when he wanted to pursue his true musical passion — traditional reggae. The record company claimed he "died", because Dead Artists Are Better, and are trying to make him release "previously unreleased tracks recorded before his death" to make more money. He shares the island with (amongst others) similarly thinly veiled analogues of Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur and what appears to be Christina Aguliera or Britney Spears, who're all there for the same reason as him.
- The Fairly Oddparents plays with this trope a bit, with one notable instance being that Presley is currently residing in an underground night club underneath Dimmsdale's beach.
- Eek! The Cat: In the episode "Honey I Shrunk The Cat", Elvis is alive, if overweight... but this is offset by him being of microscopic size and battling germs mano-a-mano.
- In one Crowning Moment of Funny on Captain Planet, Wheeler reads a newspaper and goes, "Elvis is back!? From the army?"
- In Funky Cops, Aaron King (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Elvis) faked his death so the press would stop harassing him. His family's in on it and he still lives at their mansion, though.
- One of Animaniacs's many Spoof Aesops: "Elvis lives on in our hearts, in his music, and in a trailer park outside Milwaukee."
- In The Simpsons episode, The Debarted'' Bart turns on light in a photo developing dark room ruining pictures of things like a Flying Saucer, Nessie and Martin posing with Elvis.
- On The Spectacular Spider-Man, a lot of Mysterio's "spells" are actually just ridiculous Latin phrases. One, "Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere," translates to "I believe that Elvis is alive."
- There is an Elvis-themed slot machine, simply named "ELVIS." The lights behind the name first light up in proper sequence: E-L-V-I-S. Then, they light up in the order: L-I-V-E-S.
- There used to be an Elvis Is Alive Museum in St. Louis until it closed in 2007.