Monday, January 7, 2008

Surrealism versus Realism in the Battle of Elvis....

Who knows how many Elvis impressions have been done? Above is what gets my vote for the greatest impression of all time. Will Sasso takes the last days of the king and comes up with a prescription drug-addled Elvis that is impossible to describe to anyone. It's like The Matrix of impressions - You can't tell anyone what the Will Sasso impression is, you have to experience it yourself.


Much better known but comparable was Andy Kaufman's Elvis. His is the younger, virile, 1968 Comeback Elvis.

Where the pleasure in Sasso's Elvis is in the build up of surrealism - the tension that arises from not having any sense of how far he will take it - the pleasure of Kaufman's Elvis is in the transformation of Kaufman's "foreign man" character into an unexpectedly accurate Elvis.

What results from these two impressions is a battle between a wildly surreal Elvis and hyper-realistic Elvis. Sitting here waiting for the New Hampshire primary, I thought it might make for an enjoyable interlude.

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