May 30th, 2000 – Hugh Downs vs. the Mummy
One week ago, Fox took some time off filming cop cars crashing into gasoline trucks and televising home movies of cats clamping onto crotches to show us something different. A full camera crew led by actor Bill Pullman and undead Hugh Downs went into an ancient tomb to dig up 30 mummies. I guess it’s how rich people attempt suicide. Not like my neighbor who keeps trying to end it all by standing outside with a note and holding his breath really long. But Hugh, it does seem like for all the money you spent, you could have died a horrible death without desecrating graves. If you want a 5 million dollar suicide, how about buying Alyssa Milano, coating her in poison, and eating her?
Millions of people watched the show, and not because of our fascination with Egyptology. If we gave a damn about that crap, there wouldn’t be so many empty parking spaces at the museum. That place is more deserted than the makeout room at a Star Trek convention. Speaking of, here’s some free advice about museums and romance: If you need to fuck in your car, it doesn’t matter what time it is, the one place no one’s going to bother you is the museum parking lot. You can dump dead bodies in the middle of the museum parking lot. And even if someone actually does show up years later and finds them, they’ll just think it’s a couple of bodies that fell off the mummy truck. Remember — that’s exactly what you thought when you walked in on your grandparents in the bedroom.
We didn’t tune in to learn about the mysterious history of pharoahs, mummification techniques, and featurettes with actors that starred in movies about mummies. The people making the show thought we did, but they were as wrong as that time they invited Sonny and Cher on Scooby Doo. We only sat through that garbage to see the finale — when Hugh Downs is torn to pieces by the living dead angered by the desecration of their eternal resting places. We wanted to watch Hugh Downs’ last moments while he’s melting in front of the camera crew and screaming, “The mummy’s flame — it burns EVEN MY SOUL!!!!!”
UPDATE: It’s been a week since they desecrated the ancient tomb, and there’s still no word of Hugh Downs, Bill Pullman, or any of the crew being hit by meteors or spontaneously exploding. If no one dies of curse-related causes in the next 30 days, Fox promises to try again with their special, “Barbara Walters Takes a Dump on Indian Burial Ground with Jeff Daniels and Elton John.”
I think their decision on hosts was good. Hugh Downs may not be able to read a cue card anymore and has to be held up with strings, but he’s perfect for this show. Since he’s already half-mummy, he can translate.
To be honest, neither I or anybody I know watched it all the way to the end. After I saw a couple of mummies dug out of their graves, it was pretty obvious the only Secrets of the Mummy’s Tomb were that they are very old and very dead. Hey, Hugh Downs, I already knew that. You should have called me before you cameled over all that camera equipment. I could have saved you a trip, and you wouldn’t be stuck with a cargo plane full of dusty corpses and a deadly curse. Seriously, if Hugh Downs makes it another month without stepping in front of a bus or getting a hole dug through him by a fantastic superbaby, I’ll be amazed.
Actually, I have a better theory. Hugh Downs is already dead. He fell into piles of chunks on the flight back. He was probably sitting in his cushioned private jet with a glass of port saying, “You see, everyone! Ha ha ha! There’s no such thing as the curse of the RAAAAAGGGGGG!” His lower jaw detached and dropped into his glass, his legs turned into cobras, and then he noticed his chair was made out of flesh eating bugs. The Hugh Downs the senior citizen demographic is knitting in front of right now is an android. You know, I bet he’s been an android for at least three or four seasons of 60 Minutes. If he wasn’t, he’d be like 108. Not that it matters. They could prop a corpse up on that damn show and let it do the news. The only people that watch it can’t stay awake past the opening watching ticking anyway.
Back to the casting decisions — Bill Pullman might seem like a weird guy to lead a mummy excavation, but he was the best choice. Not because he’s a great digger, and definitely not for his broadcast skills, but because he might be able to fight them off when they snap to life and hunger for living brains. You saw him in that shitty movie Independence Day. He could probably kill 4 mummies. Five if he found a big stick or a torch. And if he kills them all, great. But if he doesn’t and they turn HIM into one of the mummified dead, no big deal. We can deal with a rampaging Bill Pullman mummy. If we sent Bruce Willis or Danny Glover in and one of them got turned into a mummy, we’d be fucking dead. Once those guys came stumbling at us, our only chance would be to get in a rocket and find a new planet. And even that wouldn’t work. While we’re taking off, the Bruce Willis mummy would be hanging on the outside of the rocket growling something in mummy that translates to “Nice rocket. You know what else is going to fly away from its home soon? YOUR FACE, PAL.” And the Danny Glover mummy would already be inside beating us to death with our own space helmets saying, “I was gettin’ too old for this shit TEN THOUSAND YEARS AGO!”
Now that I think it through, maybe our planet is a small price to pay to see that.