Finally, we’re back to good, old-fashioned, hard-hitting investigative reporting of lunacy! It’s the mummy’s curse! (Cue maniacal laughter and the sound of thunder.)
I don’t need to tell you about the curse of Tutankhamen (or is it the curse of Akhenaten?). Howard Carter, along with his friend and financier, the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, broke into King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. Soon thereafter, Lord Carnarvon was dead under mysterious circumstances as, one by one, the people in the expedition died — apparent victims of the mummy’s curse. Carter himself died just a short 17 years after opening the tomb.
Putting a slightly skeptical eye towards that, like the Bermuda Triangle, once you do the math, the deaths of the people involved occurred at statistically perfectly normal times for a group of people of that size. In short, no one’s life was shortened by the opening of the tomb.
One amusing thing about this episode is that, being shot in 1976 or 1977, the Sixth Earl of Carnarvon, his son, was still alive and recalled the events surrounding his father’s death. Interviewed for the In Search of… cameras, he was an obvious relic from another age. Sitting for his TV interview in his stately home with a cigar in one hand and a drink in the other.
Finally, the story shifts from the curse of Tutankhamen to the curse of Akhenaten.
Akhenaten, father of Tutankhamen, introduced a massive shift in the religion of Egypt, taking considerable power away from the priests. Upon his death, it’s said that his named was cursed. Cursed to be forgotten.
Finally, that manifests itself in the form an anecdote about a play, which named Akhenaten, in which there was hailstorm during rehearsal, and two of the actresses took ill. A quick google search on this produced… no mention at all. Was this made up whole-cloth by In Search of…?
Nimoy does his standups in a cemetery, which looks suspiciously like the same place the “re-enactments” of the doomed play were staged.
In Search of… the Mummy’s Curse first aired May 14th, 1977. Only 136 episodes to go…