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The King of Comedy
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The King of Comedy (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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The King of Comedy -- Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin wants to achieve success in showbiz, by resorting to stalking his idol, a late night talk show host who craves his own privacy.


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Paul D. Zimmerman (written by)
View company contact information for The King of Comedy on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 December 1982 (Iceland) See more »
. . and when it's all over one of them won't be laughing See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The world that we live in... See more (214 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert De Niro ... Rupert Pupkin

Jerry Lewis ... Jerry Langford

Diahnne Abbott ... Rita

Sandra Bernhard ... Masha
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

Catherine Scorsese ... Rupert's Mom
Cathy Scorsese ... Dolores
Chuck Low ... Man in Chinese Restaurant (as Chuck L. Low)

Liza Minnelli ... Liza Minnelli (credit only)
Leslie Levinson ... Roberta Posner
Alan Potashnick ... Man at Telephone
Michael Kolba ... Man at Telephone
Robert Colston ... Man at Telephone
Ramón Rodríguez ... Man at telephone (as Ramon Rodriguez)
Chuck Coop ... Man at Telephone
Sel Vitella ... Man at Telephone
Margo Winkler ... Receptionist
Tony Boschetti ... Mr. Gangemi

Shelley Hack ... Cathy Long
Mick Jones ... Street Scum

Joe Strummer ... Street Scum
Paul Simonon ... Street Scum (as Paul Simmion)
Kosmo Vinyl ... Street Scum

Ellen Foley ... Street Scum
Pearl Harbour ... Street Scum
Gary Salter ... Street Scum
Jerry Baxter-Worman ... Street Scum
Don Letts ... Street Scum (as Dom Letts)
Matt Russo ... Cabbie
Thelma Lee ... Woman in Telephone Booth

Joyce Brothers ... Dr. Joyce Brothers (as Dr. Joyce Brothers)
George Kapp ... Mystery Guest

Victor Borge ... Victor Borge
Ralph Monaco ... Raymond Wirtz
Rob-Jamere Wess ... Security Guard

Kim Chan ... Jonno
Audrey Dummett ... Cook
June Prud'Homme ... Audrey
Frederick De Cordova ... Bert Thomas (as Fred De Cordova)
Edgar J. Scherick ... Wilson Crockett
Thomas M. Tolan ... Gerrity
Ray Dittrich ... Giardello
Richard Dioguardi ... Captain Burke
Jay Julien ... Langford's Lawyer
Harry J. Ufland ... Langford's Agent (as Harry Ufland)
Scotty Bloch ... Crockett's Secretary
Jim Lyness ... Ticket Taker
Bill Minkin ... Clarence McCabe
Diane Rachell ... McCabe's Wife
Dennis Mulligan ... Plainclothesman

Tony Devon ... Plainclothesman
Peter Fain ... Plainclothesman
Michael F. Stodden ... Plainclothesman
Gerard Murphy ... Plainclothesman (as Jerry Murphy)
Jimmy Raitt ... Stage Manager

Martin Scorsese ... TV Director

Tony Randall ... Tony Randall

Charles Scorsese ... First Man at Bar
Mardik Martin ... Second Man at Bar
Bill Jorgensen ... Newsman (voice) (as William Jorgensen)
Marvin Scott ... Newsman (voice)
Chuck Stevens ... Newsman (voice)
William Litauer ... Newsman (voice)
Jeff David ... Announcer (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Allan Baker ... Audience Member (uncredited)

Margaret Briggs Brooks ... Girlfriend at Bar (uncredited)

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Extra in crowd scene (uncredited)

Mike Tremont ... Talk Show Contestant (uncredited)

Directed by
Martin Scorsese 
Writing credits
Paul D. Zimmerman (written by)

Produced by
Robert F. Colesberry .... associate producer
Robert Greenhut .... executive producer
Arnon Milchan .... producer
Cinematography by
Fred Schuler 
Film Editing by
Thelma Schoonmaker 
Casting by
Cis Corman 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
Art Direction by
Lawrence Miller 
Edward Pisoni 
Set Decoration by
George DeTitta Sr. 
Daniel Robert 
Costume Design by
Richard Bruno 
Makeup Department
Philip Goldblat .... makeup artist (as Philip Goldblatt)
Lyndell Quiyou .... hair stylist (as Lyn Quiyou)
Jay Cannistraci .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Robert F. Colesberry .... production manager
Barbara De Fina .... post-production supervisor
Tom Razzano .... assistant unit manager (as Thomas A. Razzano)
Thelma Schoonmaker .... production supervisor
Ezra Swerdlow .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lewis Gould .... second assistant director
Scott Maitland .... first assistant director
Jerry Olinick .... dga trainee
Art Department
Billy Bishop .... second props (as Bill Bishop)
Edward Garzero .... scenic artist
Carlos Quiles .... carpenter (as Carlos Quiles Sr.)
Jimmy Raitt .... property master
Dave Weinman .... set dresser (as David Weinman)
Joe Williams Sr. .... construction grip
Richard Shelton .... painter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Rebecca Einfeld .... sound editorial staff
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording mixer
Gary S. Gerlich .... sound editorial staff (as Gary Gerlich)
Vito L. Ilardi .... boom operator (as Vito Ilardi)
Les Lazarowitz .... sound mixer
Victoria Martin .... sound editorial staff
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording mixer
Frank E. Warner .... supervising sound editor (as Frank Warner)
Bill Wylie .... sound editorial staff (as William Wylie)
Ken Dufva .... foley artist (uncredited)
Bob Olari .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Gary Parker .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ricki-Ellen Brooke .... second assistant camera (as Ricki Ellen Brooke)
Sandy Brooke .... first assistant camera
Garrett Brown .... Steadicam operator
Norman Buck .... key grip
Ted Churchill .... Steadicam operator
James Fitzpatrick .... best boy
Deane Helms .... best boy
Dick Mingalone .... camera operator
Lorey Sebastian .... still photographer
William Ward .... gaffer (as Bill Ward)
Dennis Degan .... tape operator (uncredited)
Gábor Kövér .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jack De Palma .... principals casting assistant
Sylvia Fay .... extras casting (as Sylvia Faye)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
William Loger .... costume supervisor
Mary Ellen Winston .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Donah Bassett .... negative cutter
Louis Bertini .... second assistant editor
Richard Candib .... first assistant editor
Mary Hickey .... apprentice editor
Holly Huckins .... post-production coordinator
Susan Lazarus .... apprentice editor
Robert Raring .... color timer (as Bob Raring)
Music Department
Mark Del Costello .... music consultant
Robbie Robertson .... music producer
Transportation Department
Harold 'Whitey' McEvoy .... transportation captain (as Harold McEvoy)
Other crew
Jourdan Arenson .... production assistant
Marion Billings .... publicity coordinator: M/S Billings Publicity
Dominique Bruballa .... production auditor: Kathleen McGill Production Services
Sarah Carson .... assistant production office coordinator
Michael Dulin .... production assistant
William Goldberg .... controller
Peter Grossman .... production assistant
Roberta Hodes .... script supervisor (as Roberta O. Hodes)
Shelley Houis .... production office coordinator
Harry Litman .... production assistant
Loretta Lorden .... video consultant
Sheila Paige .... second script supervisor
Dan Perri .... title designer
Randee Post .... production assistant
Alan Potashnick .... assistant: Mr. De Niro
Sylvia Reed .... production assistant
Helen Robin .... assistant: Mr. Greenhut
Susan Rollins .... production assistant
Gil Rossellini .... production assistant (as Gil Rossellini-Dasgupta)
Valerie Sancoff .... production auditor: Kathleen McGill Production Services
Amy Sayres .... location coordinator
Hannah Scheel .... consulting script supervisor
Bill Scheffer .... production assistant
Deborah Schindler .... assistant: Mr. Scorsese
Jennifer W. Shore .... production assistant (as Jennifer Wyckoff)
Shawn Slovo .... assistant: Mr. De Niro
Laurie Spring .... production assistant
Todd Thaler .... production assistant
Marlene Willoughby .... stand-in (uncredited)
Dan Johnson .... dedicatee
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"King of Comedy" - Japan (English title)
See more »
109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Cameo: [Frederick De Cordova]The film and TV producer as the producer of the Jerry Langford Show.See more »
Continuity: Rupert is talking to Jerry in Jerry's limousine. Rupert bandages his hand with Jerry's handkerchief. In the next sequence in the car the bandage is missing. Following this Rupert's hand is again bandaged.See more »
[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 »
Sweet Sixteen BarsSee more »


What is the entire monologue that Rupert Pupkin gives on the Jerry Langford Show?
See more »
98 out of 110 people found the following review useful.
The world that we live in..., 22 June 2004
Author: Anthony Piggott from United Kingdom

I hate the celebrity culture. I hate the fact that people become famous, just for the sake of being famous. I hate the fact that just because a celebrity gets married or has a child, that's front page news. I hate reality TV. I hate shows like "Pop Idol" (or "American Idol"), where normal people seem to think they are destined for A-list status. The fact that this film (The King of Comedy) is as old as I am, is either an all too worrying statement on society, or proves that it was way ahead of its time. Maybe that's why I love it so much.

De Niro has always amazed me, but the fact that he seems to understand this character so well is a little overwhelming. Whether he is delivering cringeworthy gags to a cardboard audience, or embarrassing himself, obliviously, in front of Jerry Lewis, his consistency is amazing. His motives are understandable to anyone who's ever had a dream. Perhaps it's De Niro's early ambition as an actor, that fuelled this shamefully overlooked performance.

Jerry Lewis is perfect as the disgruntled TV host. A man who lives a double-life of hilarious TV personality, with a bitter persona off-screen. You can certainly relate to this man's motivations, his love for his work, but his resistance to allow it run his personal life.

The only character I can't totally emphasize with is Sandra Bernhard's Masha (her actions aren't justified as well as De Niro's Rupert). But maybe that just goes with my aforementioned hatred for celebrity culture. The scary thing is, I know that people like this exist, and I didn't for a second, question the feasibility of her performance.

As usual, Scorsese shows brilliant control, despite this being one of his most modest works.

"The King of Comedy" should be looked upon, now more than ever, as a very important film, that has a lot to say about the world we live in and the obsessions that we consume. 9/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (214 total) »

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