Elkdom in Popular Culture



  • Classical composer Ferde Grofe won his first major commission courtesy of the Elks. He composed “The Grand Reunion March” for the 1909 Elks Club Convention in Los Angeles
    • In Fibber McGee and Molly, Fibber was member of the Elks. McGee is often referred to as being in charge of the Elks’ pool table committee, ostensibly because he is usually the person responsible for tearing the felt on the table. McGee was also perpetually behind in his dues. During the show’s 1949 season, a new character, Ollie the Elks’ janitor, was introduced.
    • In The Honeymooners, Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton are members of the Raccoon Lodge and in one episode they are both candidates to be voted the Raccoons’ “Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler”. This is likely a parody of the Elks and the Shriners as well as The Mikado.
    • In The Flintstones, which takes much of its inspiration from The Honeymooners, Fred, Barney, Mr. Slate and some less frequently shown characters belong to the male-only Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes Lodge No. 26 with a “Grand Pooh-bah”.
    • In Scene Nine of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, during the act “Brotherhood of Man”, with the lyrics “Now, you may join the Elks, my friend, and I may join the Shriners”.
    • In Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, the protagonist Milkman Dead III proclaims, “If this bath and this woman… are all that come out of this trip, I will rest easy and do my duty to God, country, and the Brotherhood of Elks for the rest of my life.” Page 285.
    • In Zora Neale Hurston‘s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, it is made apparent that Joe (Jody) Starks is a member of the Elks when ‘the Elks band ranked at the church door playing “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”‘ at his funeral.
    • In Curb Your EnthusiasmLarry David lies about being “a moose and an elk” when trying to get a membership in a Protestant golf club.
    • In “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, 1948. Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, Betty Garrett.
    • “It’s strictly USA” (reprise) Lyrics and music by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Roger Edens
    • Frank Barone in Everyone Loves Raymond was a member of the Caribou Lodge (a fictional organization that appears to be inspired by the Elks), although he left the lodge after being named man of the year.
    • In Babbit, by Sinclair Lewis, the main character, George Babbit, is an active member of the Elks.
    • Canadian indie rock group The Weakerthans have a song entitled “Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call”.
    • Members of the Elks Lodge are served reinvented American culinary classics in Bravo TV’s Top Chef.
    • In Chapter 37 of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden, Adam Trask considers joining the Elks.


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