ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – K – The King of Comedy (1982) Movie Review

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Paul D Zimmerman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Loretta Tupper

Plot: 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.


Tagline – Nobody knows Rupert Pupkin, but by 11:30 tonight, the whole world will know he’s . . . THE KING OF COMEDY

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: The King of Comedy starts as we meet aspiring and unsuccessful comedian Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) who always tries to meet the more famous comedians at the stage door, with the man his idolises the most being host Jerry Langford (Lewis) who he ends up following home believing he will get a chance on the show.

When Rupert tries to visit Jerry, getting his assistant, trying to get his material to Jerry, while Jerry’s stalker Masha (Bernhard) is waiting for her chance to get to see Jerry to, as the two have always been competing for his attention, which eventually forces Rupert to finally break and go to an extreme level to meet his idol.

Thoughts on The King of Comedy

Characters – Rupert Pupkin is a struggling comedian who has yet to take his gig to the stage and wants to go straight to television working with his idol, believing meeting him will open doors, only for the dreams to be dashed, forcing him to team up with Jerry’s stalker to take his chance on the big screen. Jerry Langford is the most famous comedian on the television, he is used to dealing with obsessive fans, which includes Masha and Rupert, he has gotten into a stage of his career where he will say anything to get the people to leave him alone. Rita is the girlfriend of Rupert’s, he has promised her the world, while she is happy to be a woman with a job, that will find love in life, she learns just how corrupt Rupert is, getting embarrassed by his action. Masha is the stalker to Jerry’s, she has worked with Rupert to try and get his attention in the past, now they have come up with a plan to get what they want from him.

PerformancesRobert De Niro is fantastic in the leading role, proving he can give us comedic performance with ease. Jerry Lewis leads the supporting cast with ease, with Diahnne Abbott and Sandra Bernhard both being wonderful, proving the main four stars of the film are truly enjoyable in this film.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling comedian who goes to extreme levels to get his time in the spotlight, showing just how far somebody will go for stardom. This is a story that could still be relevant today, with the idea of having fans willing to do anything to either work with or be with their celebrity idols. The idea that somebody could well believing what they are doing is all working as part of a legal plan before learning the truth. The way this unfolds shows how everybody is prepared for this situation and how Rupert and Masha’s plan unfolds shows how they are desperately nervous.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film shows us how Rupert is in his own world, letting De Niro get so many laughs in the film through the film. The crime shows just how far people will go to get what they want in life.

SettingsThe film is set in New York where the crowds will always have a few people that are not stable in life.


Scene of the Movie – The cue cards.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant comedy that shows just how impressive De Niro is in comedy and gives us a story that could easily work in any generation of celebrity.

Overall: Essential Watching.

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