Is Comedy Dying? Reed College Students Protest Steve Martin’s King Tut Sketch as Racist

Hey 3.5 readers.

I’m late to the game on this as apparently it happened last Fall.

In a humanities course at Reed College in Oregon, a professor showed a class the infamous and hilarious “King Tut” sketch performed by Steve Martin in 1978 on Saturday Night Live.

I mean, if I’m a student I might protest that I’m being expected to borrow a shit ton of cash for a loan that I’ll never be able to pay back so I can watch a sketch that I could have just watched on YouTube myself for free, but that’s neither here nor there.

The students called this racist.  How dare Steve Martin appropriate Egyptian culture?  One student said that when a golden-faced King Tut pops out of his coffin to play a saxophone, this is the equivalent of “blackface.”  Read more in the NY Post.

Sigh.  When did kids become such squares?

Seriously.  Has everyone under 35 lost their cognitive functions?

OK.  Let me spell it out for you.  THE POINT OF THE SKETCH WAS TO MAKE FUN OF THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF KING TUT’S LIFE AND EGYPTIAN CULTURE!

That was what Martin was doing, through humor.  In the late 1970s, a famous King Tut exhibit toured museums throughout America.  Martin starts the sketch saying he thinks its ridiculous that King Tut’s life has been reduced to “toys and trinkets” and that money is being made off the pharaoh’s life.

Then he breaks out into a hilarious, over the top song and dance number.  Girls in Egyptian garb dance in the background.  Martin is using humor to make a point.  It’s as if the life of an ancient king has been turned into little more than a song and dance routine to entertain dopey tourists.

Goldenface?  No one had a gold face.  Tut was buried in a coffin made out of gold with a golden image of his face on it.

There’s just no critical thinking anymore.  How can anyone with a brain watch this sketch and realize anything other than Martin was making fun of the idea of taking an ancient culture and exploiting it for cash?  Ironically, if these kids would think for five minutes, they’d probably realize they and Martin agree on things.

Sad.  Everyone is dumb.

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One thought on “Is Comedy Dying? Reed College Students Protest Steve Martin’s King Tut Sketch as Racist

  1. Yep. The whoosh of the point completely flying over their heads.

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