03 March 2011

Tut Week: Steve Martin, 'King Tut'

"He gave his life for tourism"


First aired on Saturday Night Live. Steve Martin spoofs the Tutankhamun mania gripping the USA in 1978: one of the first true international blockbuster exhibits, 'The Treasures of Tutankhamun' attracted more than 8 million visitors in the US.  Between 1976 and 1979 the exhibit was shown at the Field Museum (Chicago), the New Orleans Museum of Art, LACMA, the Seattle Art Museum, the Met (New York), and the de Young (San Francisco) in 1978 to sold-out crowds. My parents took me to the exhibit at the de Young in late 1978 or early 1979, but I was too young to remember it. But I was fascinated by the poster they brought home, showing the boy king's golden sarcophagus, which kicked around our house through the 1980s.

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