Mulder never made a secret of his love for Elvis Presley and references to The King crop up all the way through The X-Files. This week I looked at some of the best Elvis references found on the show.
First on our list is the most fleeting of all the Elvis references on the show. Mr Burt’s love of music is evidenced by the hundreds of CDs in his trunk (although apparently that love doesn’t extend so far as organising them in any way - imagine trying to find a specific disc in that mess) and he reels off a number of “classic” artists he loves. Elvis is among their number in a list that you feel could go on forever until an irritated Scully orders him to stop.
"You must really like music."
"Oh, I love it. The classics, of course. Mozart, Bach, the earlier jazz, Louis Armstrong, Sinatra, Doo-Wap, Elvis, marching bands..."
Mulder knows full well how insane his theories sound to anyone who isn’t used to his particular brand of insanity - and often even to those who do. When Spencer walks out on Mulder’s increasingly paranoid theory about this latest series of killings, Mulder brushes off the jibe by suggesting he also believes the official line regarding Elvis’ death.
"He's probably one of those people that thinks Elvis is dead."
Following on from that, Mulder can also sympathise with others when their more out-of-the-box theories are mocked or ignored, it’s something he’s very familiar with. When Doggett brushes aside Reyes’ theory, through fear or stubbornness, Mulder knows how she feels and uses his dry humour to attempt to lighten the mood.
"I saw Elvis in a potato chip once."
7. "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
Another minor reference to the King, this time from the cover of The Midnight Inquisitor (which is in no way a parody of The Weekly World News), appeared in one of the most beloved episodes of the show. At the very beginning Clyde reads a list of predictions made by The Stupendous Yappi including one that refers not only to the conspiracy theory surrounding Elvis’ death (which appears further down our list), but to Clyde’s personal backstory as well.
"I foresee the revelation that not Elvis, but rather Buddy Holly is still alive, having faked his own death so many years ago."
6. "Miracle Man"
Mulder’s dismissive feelings toward organised religion emerged early on in the show and is demonstrated perfectly here. After witnessing the disappointment from the crowd that their miracle-performing faith healer is not around, he jokes to Scully that Elvis will soon be appearing, in the process comparing the Miracle Mission to a sideshow performance designed only to part the gullible from their money.
"Maybe we should head backstage and see what the Reverend has to say."
"No, wait, wait, this is the part where they bring out Elvis."
Nearly every Elvis reference on The X-Files came from Mulder, in fact only one other recurring character every mentions him, and that person is Doggett. Upon discovering a room riddled with bullet holes, Doggett takes over from the currently absent Mulder to offer up an Elvis reference suitable for the occasion.
"You know, Elvis used to do this to his hotel rooms."
Most of the references on this list are Mulder’s attempts to mess around and lighten the mood during a case. This one stands out for the way it is used entirely seriously. Unsure of his next move in his quest to find Scully, he lashes out at a world that can spot a celebrity’s every move but fails to offer up any clues when it really matters.
"They see Elvis in three cities across America every day. But no one saw a pretty woman being run off the road in her rental car."
The first Elvis reference on the show came just six episodes in when Mulder suggested that he is the only man to have successfully faked his own death. The insinuation came with a brilliant impression of The King from Mulder, one which earned him a look of confused disbelief from Scully, although whether that was aimed at his statement or just the fact that her dorky partner is doing Elvis impersonations on the clock is never made entirely clear.
"Do you know how difficult it is to fake your own death? Only one man has pulled it off, Elvis."
David Duchovny’s facial expression are the stuff of legend (see: Mr Potato Head) and this one is no exception. His over exaggerated look of dismay upon finding an old newspaper with the headline “Elvis Presley Dead at 42” is so hilarious I’m amazed Scully managed to keep from giggling.
1. "Never Again"
"Never Again" is the pinnacle of Elvis references on the show because Mulder’s entire subplot revolves around his vacation to Graceland. The King is mentioned only once by name but is the focus of Mulder’s “spiritual journey” away from the X-Files. I like to imagine him playing Paul Simon’s Graceland very loudly in the car during the following weeks and annoying the heck out of Scully in the process.
"Nothing’s wrong. I’m just at that special place, and I wanted to share it with you. Did you know that Elvis bought all the furniture in just 30 minutes?"