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The King of Comedy (1982)

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Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business 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:

It's no laughing matter. See more »


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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Martin Scorsese, there was a long search to find the right actress to play the character of Masha. See more »

Goofs

When Rupert and Rita are in the bar, the level of beer in Rupert's glass varies about half an inch between shots. 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

References The Misfits (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Rupert's Theme
Written by Bob James
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.


38 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Rupert Pupkin's Mental Condition coccosoids
The film is not funny at all.... boogiediggler
ENDING- Real or Fantasy? fibrecementVHS
The greatest of ironies... rpizzeghello
De Niro's best performance? jeffheslop
Rupert Pupkin’s mother dead or alive? kenneymljken
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