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The King of Comedy (1982)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  18 December 1982 (Iceland)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 45,503 users  
Reviews: 213 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

The only film Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese have made together in which Robert De Niro's character has facial hair. 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

Come Rain or Come Shine
Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer
Performed by Ray Charles
Also performed by Sandra Bernhard (uncredited) to Jerry Langford during dinner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pupkin: A Name I Can't Forget!
2 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For some reason, I rarely count any movie in the past 30 years "a classic" but I think of this one as such, and that's a compliment. It has stayed with me since the first time I saw it almost 20 years ago.

In fact, I've never forgotten the name, "Rupert Pupkin," a strange name made famous by Robert De Niro as the leading actor in this unique drama/comedy/ crime film. De Niro was just outstanding, one of his best efforts in an illustrious career.

Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard also were really good here, in supporting roles. Comedians sometimes make great dramatic actors as Lewis has demonstrated in several films. I don't know, frankly, if Bernard has ever done anything remotely as good as this.

Biographies of eccentric people usually are interesting and this one more than fits the bill. This movie was not popular with audiences and a number of critics but I think it was superbly done with laugh-out-loud lines as well as subtle humor and great acting. It is a wonderful character study of obsessed fans of celebrities, a pitiful condition that exists even more today.

I am not particularly a fan of director Martin Scorcese. Almost all of his films are ultra profane, but not here. There has very little profanity, and none, ironically, by De Niro. The only negative I found was making a hero out of his character, who executes a kidnapping and is richly rewarded for his efforts. Puh-leeze!! I wish Hollywood would stop making heroes out of criminals.

If you have a warped sense humor, however, which I do, you'll love this film. I think it is perhaps the best-ever from Scorcese and De Niro.


35 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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ENDING- Real or Fantasy? fibrecementVHS
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Rupert Pupkin’s mother dead or alive? kenneymljken
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