The King of Comedy (1983) 4.43/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 79.7
Genre: Comedy, Satire
Duration: 109 mins
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott

Robert De Niro turned his head to comedy in this pitch perfect satire of society’s fixation with fame. De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, an eccentric wannabe stand-up comedian who has an unhealthy obsession with celebrities in general and talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) in particular. When it becomes apparent that Langford isn’t going to help Pupkin with his career, he and fellow stalker (Sandra Bernhard) devise a ridiculous scheme to get what each of them want out of life. Directed with the usual visionary panache of Martin Scorsese and with a less familiar De Niro in fine form, this film remains an original, funny, and thought provoking satire. There are echoes of Network, especially in how the movie closes but ultimately The King of Comedy is a much lighter film. The eccentricities are more explicitly rammed home and it’s not as broad in scope. That said, The King of Comedy cuts far deeper than most modern satires and like Network, it has only become more relevant with passing years.

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