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The King of Comedy (1982)

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Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

Director:

Martin Scorsese
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3,591 ( 858)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Rupert Pupkin
Jerry Lewis ... Jerry Langford
Diahnne Abbott ... Rita Keane
Sandra Bernhard ... Masha
Ed Herlihy Ed Herlihy ... Ed Herlihy
Lou Brown Lou Brown ... Band Leader
Loretta Tupper Loretta Tupper ... Stage Door Fan
Peter Potulski Peter Potulski ... Stage Door Fan
Vinnie Gonzales Vinnie Gonzales ... Stage Door Fan
Whitey Ryan Whitey Ryan ... Stage Door Guard
Doc Lawless Doc Lawless ... Chauffeur
Marta Heflin ... Young Girl
Katherine Wallach Katherine Wallach ... Autograph Seeker
Charles Kaleina Charles Kaleina ... Autograph Seeker
Richard Baratz Richard Baratz ... Caricaturist
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Storyline

Rupert Pupkin is obsessed with becoming a comedy great. However, when he confronts his idol, talk show host Jerry Langford, with a plea to perform on the Jerry's show, he is only given the run-around. He does not give up, however, but persists in stalking Jerry until he gets what he wants. Eventually he must team up with his psychotic Langford-obsessed friend Masha to kidnap the talk show host in hopes of finally getting to perform his stand-up routine. Written by Andrew Hyatt <dres@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

. . and when it's all over one of them won't be laughing See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1982 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

King of Comedy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Rupert is talking to Rita in a restaurant, a man in the background is imitating Rupert's hand gestures. The man is played by Chuck Low, who also appeared in Goodfellas (1990) as Morrie Kessler. See more »

Goofs

In a wideshot Masha takes the tape off Jerry's mouth with her left hand, but in a close-up her right hand is pulling off the tape. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ed Herlihy: And now, from New York, The Jerry Langford Show! With Jerry's guests Tony Randall, Richard Dreyfuss, Rodney Dangerfield, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Lou Brown and the orchestra, and little old me Ed Herlihy. And now say hello to Jerry!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Neighbors (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Finer Things
Performed by David Sanborn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Scorsese and De Niro's underrated black comedy masterpiece.
21 April 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

'The King Of Comedy' is easily Martin Scorsese's most underrated and misunderstood movie. Scorsese and Robert De Niro's previous collaboration was the brilliant boxing biopic 'Raging Bull', generally regarded by most people as a masterpiece. Then the two made 'The King Of Comedy'... What a brave move! You couldn't find a more different movie, but one just as impressive and extraordinary. This movie is disliked by many, deliberately ignored by others. It's a very uncomfortable film. It's a (very) black comedy and is genuinely funny in places, but much of it is embarrassing to watch. Not because it is inept, but because of the believability of De Niro's obnoxious and irritating "loser" and wanna be comic Rupert Pupkin. De Niro has made a lot of disappointing movies in the last few years but 'The King Of Comedy' reminds you of just how brilliant he can be. I can't think of many actors who would be brave enough to play this part! Jerry Lewis is a performer I have always disliked, but he is excellent in this movie, probably because he is playing someone very close to himself in real life. The rest of the supporting cast aren't the most obvious choices, led by confrontational comedienne Sandra Bernhard and the "forgotten" Charlie's Angel Shelley Hack. Plus there are Tony Randall and a couple of other celebrities playing themselves, and a blink and you'll miss it cameo by The Clash (!). I really admire Scorsese for taking such a risk with this movie, which is one of the most original and provocative ever released by a major Hollywood studio. Bravo! This is must see viewing for not only all Scorsese or De Niro fans, but anyone who appreciates unusual or difficult movies.


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