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The King of Comedy

The King of Comedy (1983)

February. 18,1983
| Drama Comedy

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.


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Am i the only one who thinks........Average?

Humaira Grant

It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.

Portia Hilton

Blistering performances.


An absolute ridiculous farce. It's a good thing that Robert De Niro stuck to dramatic acting for most of his career.Of course, it was unusual to see Jerry Lewis in a rather serious part and he came through nicely as the kidnapped victim.The picture tried to bring out what the American people will accept as success, no matter how preposterous and asinine.De Niro comes across as a real nuisance as he sets out to literally hound the Lewis character to recognize him. Ignored at every turn, he resorts to the ultimate kidnapping and is able to go on television with his ridiculous monologue.Inane, that's really foolish.

Matt Greene

Much like Rupert Pupkin steadily working his way into Jerry Langford's life, The King of Comedy is making its way up my personal Scorsese list. It's study of loneliness, fantasy, and celebrity is so acute and palpable, with De Niro giving one of his best performances in a career full of best performances. As unsettling as it is hilarious, and that final comedy act…it's just everything.


this film is not a film that I'll likely revisit to watch again, but the meaning I derive from it will definitely linger on, and for this I'll highly recommend it. To me It's an disturbing movie about what terrible effects our society's warped idolization of fame can have on people who are utterly disenfranchised from the things in life that gives purpose and meaningIn this film it's obvious that neither the characters who lust for fame, nor the ones who have fame, derive true meaning and purpose from it. In this way, it's an ever relevant film, 35 years after its release, as our culture is ever more idolizing fame for fames sake. And even more of us are disenfranchised from purpose and meaning. I find two interesting sub-plots in the movie that gives it such a high score. The first is what adverse childhood experiences can do to a persons later dis-connect with self-worth, and how the desire to reclaim this sense of worth can lead out to worship false and terrible gods (i.e. Fame). The other is the lens we use to describe the haves, and the have-nots. Our anti-hero Rupert (DeNiro) meets a world where he amounts to nothing, and this drives his lust to attain the position of his idol (Lewis). But because he has not, his character is portray as utterly sad and delusional. If he had that elusive 'star quality', or perhaps more accurately- the means, social position and mental fortitude to manufacture it, we would see him as forceful and driven. The victorious writes history, after all. I'm no filmmaker, but I imagine that the execution of this film has had some effect on its poor reception and lack of status among the other Scorsese/DeNiro collaborations. It's gritty, and in many ways a better story than movie. However, even though the dark undertone and lingering discomfort of this film can make it an hard movie to stay with, as indeed is the quality of the main character himself, it's well worth the watch. The lack of breaks from discomfort makes the film almost nagging. It is also, in my view, thoroughly anti-climactic. There seems to be an ever present excitement building, but it's never truly released, it's only shifted and twisted by small revelations with great impacts on what the movie has to tell us. Nevertheless, these are the qualities that makes this movie for me, and it reminds me to return to films from way back, when in need for movies filled with substance paired with some true grit. In short, an intelligent, relevant and interesting film that you should definitely see.


Perhaps I had too high expectations, but this movie really disappointed me.I love the setting, and both Deniro and Lewis knocks their performances out of the park. Every scene they have together is brilliant, and I would to be in the room during all the improvisation that went on. Especially Lewis is fantastic in this movie, even though it probably was not hard for him to play this character.I also like how dark this movie is. I knew it was a dark comedy, but I expected it to be dark in a different way. But here also lies the problem I have with this movie, because there's literally no character in it to relate to or root for. During the first half of the movie, "Jerry" is the closest you get to sympathetic. I don't mine that Pupkin is, well, crazy - and not really that he goes as far as he does. But somehow there's no joy in watching him do his thing, even though Deniro plays the part really well. Maybe he plays it to well? Movies like that as meant to be uncomfortable, but there's also meant to be something there to latch on to, and I just couldn't find it in this movie.The last part of the movie, which I won't spoil, redeems is and makes it worth watching. That's more a straight forward comedy though, with several funny scenes and some good character moments. I'm not skilled enough as a watcher to know what went right in the last part, or what I'm missing in the first, but either way the movie disappointed me. Despite all it has going for it.