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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.

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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:
...
...
...
...
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
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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:

Nobody knows Rupert Pupkin, but after 11:30 tonight no one will ever forget him. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of release, the pride and joy gag would have been universally recognized by American audiences because these two products were heavily advertised. Joy is a brand of dishwashing soap and Pride was a furniture polish. Since Pride has been off the market for many years and Joy no longer does as much advertising, this joke may be lost on audiences too young to remember these products. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Seven Year Itch (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Rupert's Theme
Written by Bob James
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A homage to the greatest actor of all: De Niro
28 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a film that would not be half as effective as it is, if it were not for the unbelievable performance by Robert De Niro. He is, without question the best actor to have graced our screens, and though I love the so many other varied genius performances he has become more famous for, I think this to be his finest work.

The character he plays draws inevitable comparisons with Travis in 'Taxi Driver', as in both roles he plays individuals so detached from reality, they feel the need to commit criminal acts in order to expel the frustrations they have at their lowly position in society, and how little they can do about it. Travis's frustrations are centered more on the decaying state of society and the streets he drives around, whereas Rupert is simply trying to achieve his life-long ambition of fame and fortune that celebrities on television enjoy. But Rupert is such a clever creation by de Niro. He is detached in a very different way to Travis. Whilst Travis is only too aware of what is going on in society, Rupert has his own little view of how the world works. He fantasises being a celebrated comic to such a degree he convinces himself of events that haven't actually happened (most notably when he starts believing his own lie, that he's been invited to Jerry Lewis' summerhouse, is actually true!) It is a magnificently subtle take on the insane and is the De Niro performance I enjoyed the most.

I felt compelled to offer my opinion on De Niro's 10 best roles, so here they are: 10-The Untouchables, 9-Heat, 8-The Godfather Part 2, 7-Midnight Run, 6-Awakenings, 5-Taxi Driver, 4-The Deer Hunter, 3-Raging Bull, 2-Mean Streets, 1-The King Of Comedy


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