Johnny Cash and Elton John could not be more different regarding their looks. Cash was always dressed dapper and sharp, often sporting a collared shirt with a jacket of sorts or his all-black looks that got him the nickname “The Man in Black.” On the other hand, Elton John’s larger-than-life wardrobe featured everything from rhinestones to feathers.
Back in 1982, when Cash hosted Saturday Night Live, the two decided to have a little fun with the fact that they could not be more different. On the show, Elton John was the musical guest, so right before John took the stage, he and Cash swapped costumes.
Johnny Cash walks out on set with a pink and orange feathered and sequined matching set with a cape to introduce Elton John. The eccentric costume had the audience howling, as Cash was such a serious person.
“Working with our special guest has been a thrill for me. He’s a wonderful entertainer and you can’t work with a guy like Elton John without having his showmanship and flash rub off on you.
So, Elton, I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of borrowing these threads.”
Cash says as he re-introduces the music guest.
Elton John is then shown at his piano sporting the garb that Cash would typically wear. With a collared shirt and a felt black cowboy-inspired hat, the two did a full wardrobe swap.
While the clip is simple in today’s terms, it’s a rare occasion that we see Johnny Cash loosen up. His buttoned-up persona was carried from his music into his demeanor, and this short clip shows that he can have a little fun when needed.
It is SNL, after all. He had to make the crowd laugh a little, and this did the trick.