The King of Comedy

Satirical noir comedy directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Shelley Hack, Sandra Bernhard, Diahnne Abbott among others.


Rupert Pupkin (Robert de Niro) is a fan obsessed upcoming stand up comedian fully smitten by Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) a famous stand up comedian of that time. He is psycho obsessed to the point of stalking Jerry and getting into his car to ask him to give him a shot. He has got a friend Masha (Sandra Bernhard) who is similarly mad about Jerry but she only wants to love him.

A desperate Rupert imagines that he is having a conversation with Jerry and that he has been invited to Jerry’s office to meet him and give a demo. He also imagines that Jerry is mightily impressed with him and sees him as the next big wave. He somehow gets into Jerry’s office but unable to meet Jerry because he secretary Cathy Long (Shelley Hack) sees no appointment for him with Jerry.

Rupert thinks he loves his childhood sweetheart Rita (Diahnne Abbott) who works in a bar and convinces her that Jerry has invited them to his weekend home to spend the weekend there, only to realise that truth is something else. When they arrive unannounced at Jerry’s home, Jerry asks them to leave. Rupert being pig headed is unable to understand but Rita understands the situation well.

Showdown towards the end with a kidnapping, forced entry into the comedy show, arrest, incarceration and subsequent revival of Rupert’s life as the King of Comedy.

Jerry Lewis has acted brilliantly in this film, de Niro his usual self to perfection and others are OK. For Martin Scorsese its a different kind of genre from his usual intense movies, but there is a creepiness to the plot.

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