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The King of Comedy (1982)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 42,130 users  
Reviews: 209 user | 79 critic

Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin wants to achieve success in show biz by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Rita
...
Ed Herlihy ...
Ed Herlihy
Lou Brown ...
Band Leader
Loretta Tupper ...
Stage Door Fan
Peter Potulski ...
Stage Door Fan
Vinnie Gonzales ...
Stage Door Fan
Whitey Ryan ...
Stage Door Guard
Doc Lawless ...
Chauffeur
Marta Heflin ...
Young Girl
Katherine Wallach ...
Autograph Seeker
Charles Kaleina ...
Autograph Seeker
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 »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1982 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

King of Comedy  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sandra Bernhard was allowed to improvise most of her lines as she had no formal acting training and Scorsese wanted her to be as natural as possible. See more »

Goofs

Camera/cameraman reflected in the closing glass door when the security guard escorts Pupkin out of the office. 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 At the Movies: 25 Years of Margaret & David (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Sixteen Bars
Written by Ray Charles
Performed by Ray Charles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Companion Piece to Taxi Driver
3 December 2000 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver" and Rupert Pupkin from "The King of Comedy" are not as unlike as they may first appear. They are men desperately searching for some meaning in their spiritually empty lives, neither man connecting with anyone else; the consequent strain has driven each to his own brand of insanity. Both can be likened to Lee Harvey Oswald-men leading lives of quiet desperation, wanting to do something-ANYTHING-to have SOME impact on the world.

Pupkin is further removed from reality than Bickle (actually Bickle's attitudes about his environment aren't entirely unreasonable) and it's unlikely he could ever be "normal", no matter how much therapy he had. He's lost in his own little world, a world devoid of any real substance. To him, Heaven would be a place where he would exist solely on TV. Real life is too messy.

"The King of Comedy" is the best satire I've seen about the vapidness of society's values and the public's obsession with celebrity. It has its share of funny moments but the overall effect is deadening. Even though things went about as well as Pupkin could have expected in the end, what has he gained? Nothing of any value, though in his delusional mind, he probably would disagree. Ah, Pupkin! Ah, humanity!


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ENDING- Real or Fantasy? fibrecement2000
Rupert Pupkin’s mother dead or alive? kenneymljken
De Niro's best performance? jeffheslop
Have photos on location si10312
did anyone else notice... woodzy72
What's the old movie Jerry's watching? rcrive
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