7.8/10
60,254
239 user 82 critic

The King of Comedy (1982)

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.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
4,613 ( 509)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
After Hours (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Haunted by the patients he failed to save, an extremely burned-out Manhattan ambulance paramedic fights to maintain his sanity over three fraught and turbulent nights.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette, John Goodman
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An egotistical saxophonist and a young singer meet on V-J Day and embark upon a strained and rocky romance, even as their careers begin a long, up-hill climb.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ, his journey through life as he faces the struggles all humans do, and his final temptation on the cross.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Barbara Hershey
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently widowed woman is on the road with her precocious young son, determined to make a new life for herself as a singer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen
I Call First (1967)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young man struggles with the fact that his girlfriend was once raped.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Zina Bethune, Anne Collette
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a union leader and a young woman become criminals to exact revenge on the management of a railroad.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Barbara Hershey, David Carradine, Barry Primus
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A tale of nineteenth-century New York high society in which a young lawyer falls in love with a woman separated from her husband, while he is engaged to the woman's cousin.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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
...
Young Girl
Katherine Wallach ...
Autograph Seeker
Charles Kaleina ...
Autograph Seeker
Richard Baratz ...
Caricaturist
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 1982 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

King of Comedy  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Scorsese: The father of Director Martin Scorsese as the First Man at Bar where where Rupert Pupkin is watching his own performance on the television. See more »

Goofs

When Jerry Langford is kidnapped, he enters the car left leg first. From the inside view he enters head first. 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 Conversation (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Swamp
Written by Talking Heads
Performed by Talking Heads
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Pupkin: A Name I Can't Forget!
2 November 2005 | by 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.


46 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 239 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page