When the Pharoah Tutankhammen exhibit toured the world in the late 1970s and captured the awe and curiosity of the public, comedian and song writer Steve Martin saw it has his cultural duty to bring some serious awareness to the artifacts and life of the legendary Egyptian ruler. Seeking to educate people about "King Tut"'s reign as pharoah, Martin composed a song written in the ancient melodies and modalities of the ancient era. The song, King Tut, swept up the disco charts in 1978 and eventually became a number one single as performed by Martin and his band, the Toot Uncommons. The arrow-headed comedian began performing the song live at his comedy shows and even performed it in full costume surrounded by backup dancers on Saturday Night Live on the April 22, 1978 edition of the show. The performance has since been immortalized on the album A Wild And Crazy Guy and on the DVD release Saturday Night Live: The Best of Steve Martin. The King Tut costume that Martin wore during the song's performance appears in a cameo on the December 14, 1991 edition of Saturday Night Live when Chris Farley brings the costume out of storage for Martin to autograph, which then leads to Martin's nostalgia for days gone by and, as a result of that, the cast then performs the original song Not Gonna Phone It In Tonight.

Born in Arizona
Got a condo made of stone-a
King Tut


King Tut is a 1978 comedy/novelty song by Steve Martin and a band credited as the "Toot Uncommons". The song was inspired by the exhibition of the mummy of the Pharoah Tutankhamun in the late 1970s, including in New York City. The song itself is an R&B/funk combination, with slight incorporations of "Middle Eastern" motiffs that were supposed to give it an oriental air. The lyrics are simplistic and non-sensical. The song is about 2 minutes long, and on my 45, had a B-side consisting of Martin's spoken "Excuse Me" routine.

Humor is subjective, and Martin's brand of absurdist humor is doubly so. Other than the topical allusion to the Tutankahmun exhibition, it is hard to say what this song is about, other than the absurd juxtaposition of an ancient Egyptian ruler with phrases like "he's my favorite honky" and "he lived in a condo made of stone-a". It is funny enough, but I want to know more. Luckily, along with being a musician, Martin is also an actor, so I will watch (not for the first time, but it has been decades), Martin performing the song live on Saturday Night Live. (Watches it). Okay, having watched that, I have to say that the song as performed is many times better than the song as recorded. While Martin is a professional musician, and the song has some funny bits in it, it comes alive in Martin's over-the-top performance complete with dancers and a backing band, all in "Egyptian" costumes.

Humor is subjective, but often it is the added bit of energy that makes it work.

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