Pre-fame, he sang on soundalike budget compilations for department stores, and played piano on various sessions, including the piano part on The Hollies' hit, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".
His work as chairman of Watford Football Club, which began in 1973, also counts, as does his charity work for AIDS relief.
Leslie Nielsen Syndrome: In a non-acting sense, yes. Elton started out with an image and music more in keeping with the "singer-songwriters" of The Seventies like James Taylor, Jim Croce or Randy Newman. He wore regular clothes, hair and glasses, sang mid-tempo, often acoustical pieces heavy on orchestration, and released theatrical and ambitious albums like Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across The Water. His Self-Titled Album showed him draped in darkness with a sullen look on his face, and the most showmanship he exhibited on stage (usually as a piano-bass-drums trio with Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson) was kicking the piano stool and playing while standing up, Jerry Lee Lewis-style. Gradually, the glitz and camp (and a more commercial pop-rock style with electric guitars, synthesizers, brass sections, etc.) crept in, with more humor and showmanship, and Elton took to wearing crazy costumes, huge platform shoes and goofy eyewear by 1972 or 1973. Interestingly enough, his reviews became less favorableas he gained more fame. He only really toned down the flamboyancy (relatively speaking) by the beginning of The Nineties, though traces of the glam period can still be found.
Shrug of God: A notable amount of people have questioned why one of Elton's eyebrows seems to move so oddly whenever he sings. (He and David Furnish even brought it up in the commentary for "Tantrums and Tiaras".) Even he doesn't know why this happens, but he does know that it drives him crazy.
He, Rod Stewart and Freddie Mercury were considering making a band together. Things didn't quite work in their favor for that.
Elton was to record a hip-hop-flavored album in 2006 with friend Eminem's production crew assisting him. The death of another one of Eminem's friends and associates, rapper Proof, put an end to those plans. Elton instead recorded the more 1970s-retro Captain Fantastic sequel, The Captain And The Kid instead.