Zahi Hawass, the only man living or dead ever to have made an archaeological discovery in Egypt, has announced that his
next project will see him playing the deeply unsympathetic lead character in a new sitcom, 'Chasing Mummies', to be screened on the History Channel
Following on from the recent launch of his spoof website, the move into comedy acting seems to confirm Hawass's intent
to expand his hitherto rather restricted media profile. As he explained in a recent interview with Egyptastic, he is starting out with a role that
is close to home, in some ways at least.
"I play a character who's in charge of all of Egypt's antiquities, but, hilariously, that's where the similarities
end!", he told us. "We tried to make the character as grotesque as possible. I love the sort of comedy characters who don't realise how monstrous
they are - David Brent from The Office is an obvious influence. These characters are dreadful but also kind of pathetic - you end up feeling sorry
for them. I mean, this guy I play is just a gigantic asshole, but he's totally lacking in self awareness. I think that's at the root of what makes
him so funny."
Hawass apparently worked closely with the sitcom's team of writers. "We had so much fun with the character," he told
us. "Some people might think it's a bit far-fetched, but we just went with it. For one sequence, we just thought "what's, like, the most
inappropriate thing a country's head archaeologist could do? And what would be most at odds with the majesty of incredible monuments like the Giza
pyramids? So that's how we came up with the scene where I hire a 'research assistant' and keep trying to sexually assault her, and then she's so
overcome by the whole thing that she pees herself - inside a pyramid!"
"I've heard some jealous people say that there are some things that should be sacred - wonders of the ancient world,
for example - but I've always thought you should be able to make a mockery of whatever you want. Especially if it increases ratings."
Hawass goes as far as to suggest he may have finally found his true calling in his latest career move. "This just
seemed like a natural thing to do. I have always said that being the most important antiquities official in a country with such a rich, varied
cultural heritage as Egypt comes with an awesome responsibility: the responsibility to entertain American TV audiences. And particularly the
easily-bamboozled medium-to-below-average-intellect demographic that makes up 87% of my fanbase."
Reacting to the news, improbably-named EES Spokesman Stan H. Unicorn said: "I literally cannot heap enough praise on
Dr. Hawass's latest project. I just thought this looked hilarious the moment I first heard about it. Even the title 'Chasing Mummies' is
wonderfully nonsensical. And the lead character must have been so much fun to play, especially for someone like Hawass who has to maintain such a
professional demeanour in his day job. From what I've seen, the character he plays is a venal, deluded, boorish sexual predator, whose knowledge
of ancient Egypt is sketchy at best, and distorted by an apparent addiction to a constantly escalating sensationalism. Can you imagine if someone
in Zahi's position was like that in the real world? Hah. It's so absurd, it can't not be funny."
Despite the leaking of a trailer online, some measure of secrecy still surrounds the airing of the new show. So much
so that, when contacted by egyptastic to comment on the programme, a spokesman for History told us that the channel has 'roughly a dozen'
projects in development featuring Hawass, but strongly denied that he plays a fictional character in any of them.
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