When Steve Martin cashed in on King Tut

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40 years ago this week, comedian Steve Martin performed a song on Saturday Night Live that was released a week later as a single which sold over a million copies. It was a comic take on the commercialism of a traveling exhibit featuring artifacts from the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun or King Tut.

Last year the video of Martin's performance of the song was shown during a first-year Humanities class at Reed College in Oregon. A group of students protested that the video is racist and demanded that it be removed from the curriculum.