09/01/2020 18:39 GMT | Updated 09/01/2020 18:44 GMT

Quentin Tarantino Says 'Golden Girls' Elvis Gig Led To Directing Career

The "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" director dished old times on "The Tonight Show."

Quentin Tarantino owes a debt to “The Golden Girls” for his legendary filmmaking career.

Well, “sorta, kinda,” he told host Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Wednesday. Then the “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” director and screenwriter launched into the strange but true story of him playing an Elvis impersonator on the 1985-92 sitcom.

Tarantino said the Elvis impersonator gig was one of his few roles in his “very unsuccessful acting career.” But it fit into his rockabilly fashion sense of the ’80s and the casting gods hired him simply on the basis of a photo.

He performed in a chorus of Elvises in a 1988 episode featuring Estelle Getty’s Sophia marrying Jack Gilford’s Max. But then that turned into two episodes, multiplying Tarantino’s pay. And the residuals kept coming because the episode made it into a “best of” collection.

The sum over three years added up to $3,000, Tarantino estimated.

“That kept me going during our preproduction time trying to get ‘Reservoir Dogs’ going,” Tarantino said.

“Reservoir Dogs,” a 1992 low-budget flick about a heist gone bad, became his calling card as he moved on to win a screenwriting Oscar for 1994′s “Pulp Fiction” (which he also directed). On Sunday, he won the screenwriting Golden Globe for “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” ― one of three the film snared.  

Thanks, Golden Girls!