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17th May 2024

Wayne Rooney says most important part of Elvis Presley’s legacy is Big Mouth Billy Bass

Ryan Price

The former Manchester United and England striker loves a singing fish on a wooden plaque.

Wayne Rooney has claimed that the ‘best thing to come out of Elvis’ is the novelty singing fish known as Big Mouth Billy Bass.

Rooney, who is now a regular feature on Gary Neville’s The Overlap podcast, joined in on a discussion that fellow former footballers Neville, Roy Keane, Jill Scott and Ian Wright were having about the ‘King of Rock and Roll’.

Ian Wright was in the midst of a rant about how the industry ‘heads’ back in the 60’s and 70’s inhibited the icon from being himself and accused him of cultural appropriation for singing versions of blues songs, which were synonymous with African-Americans in the Deep South of the United States.

United’s all-time top scorer then jumped in to say that the standout feature of Elvis Presley’s legacy is the playful, singing fish toy Big Mouth Billy Bass which, interestingly, never actually sang an Elvis number.

The 38-year-old said: “The best thing to come out of Elvis is them fish. You know, you get them on a wooden thing.”

Rooney makes the comment around the six minute mark in the video below.

For those who don’t know, Big Mouth Billy Bass is an animatronic novelty item first made in 1998 – 1999 and popular throughout 2000.

He resembled a realistic looking rubber Largemouth Bass mounted on an ordinary looking plastic plaque with a wood design.

When activated by pushing the red button, or passing by the motion sensor, Billy Bass will spring to life!

He flaps his tail, turns his head outward to face you and moves his mouth to the words of the song.

Billy Bass fluctuates between singing Take Me To The River by Al Green and Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin.

Rooney goes on to reference a great scene in the hit HBO series The Sopranos where the character of Paulie ‘Walnuts’ (played by Tony Sirico) shows a Big Mouth Billy Bass that he received as a gift from his godson to Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli).

While that is probably the most memorable cultural reference to the singing fish, good ol’ Billy Bass has cropped up several other times in the world of popular culture.

It was reported that Elizabeth II had a Big Mouth Billy Bass displayed on the grand piano of Balmoral Castle, and The Netflix drama The Crown incorrectly depicts Prince Andrew giving it to her as a birthday present in 1997.

Some of the device’s other notable appearances include The Simpsons, Family Guy, The Office, What We Do in the Shadows, and Barbie.

Rooney also disclosed that he was the proud owner of a Big Mouth Billy Bass himself when he was younger.

If anyone from Gemmy Industries, the company behind the iconic novelty item, is reading this article, please convince someone at your company to create a Big Mouth Billy Bass that sings a Wayne Rooney chant when you press the red button.

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