Baz Luhrmann's Elvis movie sparked renewed interest in the King of Rock & Roll.
Fans will enjoy the rollicking followup, Agent Elvis, an animated 10-episode series co-produced by his wife Priscilla, currently streaming on Netflix.
Just to hear Matthew McConaughey voice Elvis is worth the price of admission.
A pretty conservative guy, Elvis took it seriously when Richard Nixon gave him a federal narcotics officer badge during his surprise visit to the White House in 1970. A movie, Elvis & Nixon, about their meeting, came out in 2016.
Agent Elvis picks up from there. A nefarious organization TCB recruits him to be an agent and perform stunts like Super Elvis. The Commander (Don Cheadle) functions as a sort of Col. Tom Parker, who managed his career.
The cast includes Elvis (with a McConaughey Texas accent, not one from Louisiana where the singer was born), Priscilla (herself), Commander, the spunky CeCe (Kaitlin Olson) and Berte (Niecy Nash) who both work for TCB, Elvis sidekicks Billy Ray (Johnny Knoxville) and Scatter (his chimp), oddball characters like Howard Hughes (Jason Mantzoukas) and Timothy Leary (Chris Elliott) and cameos from George Clinton, Fred Armisen, Kiernan Culkin, Gary Cole, Christina Hendricks and more.
It turns out Elvis' nemesis is none other than the least groovy guy in the business, fellow singer Robert Goulet (Ed Helms). For those who don't get the reference, Presley and Goulet competed for fans in Las Vegas in the early '70s. They were contemporaries who had very different musical styles – Elvis the hard rocker (he performs some of his hits in the series) and Goulet the smooth crooner.
The episodes take a tour of '60s and '70s counterculture history, stopping at Altamont (Jefferson Airplane sing "White Rabbit"), hitting the road on bikes like in Easy Rider, meeting Charles Manson and his disciples and helping rescue Leary when he was in Africa after busting out of a California jail thanks to the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. The back-to-back episodes (No. 7 and 8) with Leary are predictably trippy and pair him with another early psychonaut, George Clinton. Together, they tear the roof off the sucker. Despite his reservations, Elvis doses with Priscilla on Leary sugar cube LSD. This sparks encounters with Paul McCartney, Black Elvis and even Orthodox Jewish Elvis.
The other major druggy episode, "Cocaine Tuesdays" (No. 3), is a hoot. Scatter's a huge stoner. He smokes joints and inhales lines of coke. Elvis is concerned about his cocaine use and slaps a bag out of Scatter's hand. "You said you'd quit that shit."
Bobby Ray corrects Elvis: "Technically speaking, boss, he said he'd quit coke everyday except Tuesday,"
For the record Scatter can only grunt.
"Ooh, Cocaine Tuesdays," CeCe chimes in. "Love it. It's like Taco Tuesdays but for awesome people."
Elvis' goal is to break up the drug ring. "We need a plan," he says.
"Here's a plan," CeCe decides. "We don't give a shit."
The episodes are less than a half hour each, so it's easy to binge through this graphically compelling and hilarous send-up of Elvis Presley's life in the '70s.