A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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 <email@example.com>
Actor-comedian Jerry Lewis played a character, Jerry Langford, with the same first name as his own. Jerry Langford was originally named Bobby Langford in the script. But Lewis suggested that the character be named after him so that they could film reactions from real passersby who recognized him. None of the other people in that scene were actors except for the cabbie and the woman on the payphone. See more »
The TV sets in the store display window near the end, where Jerry Langford angrily watches the end of Rupert Pupkin's TV appearance, are all tuned to channel 3. There is no TV station in New York City on channel 3 (two major stations, WCBS and WNBC, are on channels 2 and 4 respectively). However, channel 3 was (and is) commonly used for connecting video devices such as home computers and videotape recorders to TV sets. The film crew most likely rigged a videotape player to the TVs to mimic a network broadcast, thus requiring them to be tuned to channel 3--a small detail that most audience members wouldn't have noticed. See more »
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!
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This is one of the most memorable films I have ever seen. The first time I saw it in 1983, my dad took me to see it with my older cousin, who laughed hysterically throughout the film, then said afterwards how much he hated it. That was a memorable moment, but the film itself also made a very large impression on me. Despite the title, it is anything but a comedy, save for some amusing moments that could pass for dark comedy.
The story involves a 34 year old nerd (Robert DeNiro) who wants badly to be a standup comedian, but his only method of trying to attain this goal is by essentially stalking a popular talk show host played by Jerry Lewis. The performances are amazing, of course DeNiro can never fail at playing someone offbeat and deranged. Jerry Lewis is very good as the talk show host, and Sandra Bernhard is also well cast as a fellow stalker. The film is a tough watch as its tense and uncomfortable throughout, yet entertaining and intruiging enough so it never crosses the line into unbearable, which I imagine must have been exactly what filmmaker Scorcese was going for. Overall, the film is a combination of disturbing, entertaining, and unforgettable. What's more, it holds up extremely well seventeen years later, although it initially did not do well at the box office. Score: 9/10
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