ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

The King of Comedy (1983)

US 109m, Colour
Director: Martin Scorsese; Cast: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhard, Diahnne Abbott, Shelley Hack

king_of_comedyA dark comedic drama about obsession and celebrity worship that features De Niro as Rupert Pupkin, a psychotic wannabe comedian who goes to extreme lengths to make his network television debut on the Jerry Langford Show, a fictitious talk show, styled after Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Aided by an equally deranged woman, the two terrorize Langford, a schmaltzy late night television celebrity played to perfection by Lewis. Years ahead of its time, The King of Comedy was an under appreciated and widely misunderstood film that blurs the line between reality and fantasy, and which is growing in importance in Scorsese’s impressive body of work (Klaus Ming November 2013).

4 comments on “The King of Comedy (1983)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    I love this movie. Great cast, sharp story, and you don’t really know how it’s going to end (or whether he’s going to turn out to be any good). Sandra Bernhard is amazing.

    I’ve heard that Scorsese wanted Carson to play the role himself, but Carson was worried that it would give people ideas. It worked out, though, because he couldn’t have been better than Lewis is.

    Rupert Pupkin — remember that name!

    • Klaus

      A great movie for sure – and Bernhard’s character is exceedingly creepy (which I get the feeling was not much of stretch for her – based on appearances I recall seeing of her – as herself).

      I’m glad that Carson didn’t want to do the role – I agree as you say, Jerry Lewis was perfect for the role.

  2. CMrok93

    Very dark, but also very insightful into the way the world of celebrity works. That ending, even to this day, still fools with me. Good review Klaus.

    • Klaus

      Indeed, Scorsese’s depiction of Pupkin’s fantasy world is what really makes this movie!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on 11/08/2013 by in 1001 List, 1980s, All and tagged .
%d bloggers like this: