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Punchline (1988)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  7 October 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 6,274 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 13 critic

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Madeline Urie
Pam Matteson ...
Utica Blake
George Mcgrath ...
Singing Nun (as George Michael McGrath)
Albert Emperato
Barry Neikrug ...
Ángel Salazar ...
Rico (as Angel Salazar)
Joycee Katz ...
Mac Robbins ...
Billy Lane
Max Alexander ...
Mister Ball


Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The wages are lousy and everybody hopes for the big break. Lilah Krytsick is housewife with an ambition to be a stand-up comedian, however she doesnt seem to have the talent. Steven takes her under his wings and teaches her the art of comedy and humour. But when a TV station arranges a comedy evening at the club, Steve sees his opportunity for fame and stardom. Their friendship seems quickly forgotten and now it's every man and woman for him- or herself! Written by Mattias Pettersson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Punch Line  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$21,032,267 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actress Sally Field unusually sports red hair for her character in this movie. See more »


When Steven and Lilah are riding the #7 subway, the Manhattan terminus of the line is shown as Lexington Ave. The actual terminus should be 42nd St./ Times Square. See more »


Lilah Krytsick: I forgot my purse.
See more »


Referenced in Through the Eyes of Forrest Gump (1994) See more »


Saber Dance
(from ballet "Gayaneh")
Music by Aram Khachaturyan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Punchline (1988)
12 March 2010 | by (Kingsport, TN) – See all my reviews

55/100. David Seltzer's direction doesn't guide the film along as it should, he doesn't seem to know what direction to go in. . It jumps from comedy, to satire, heavy drama, romance and back again. Sally Fields and Tom Hanks try, but the material they are working with just doesn't know what it wants to be. The romantic angle is completely out of place, and overall the bitterness of the film is a turn off. Even the stand up comedy scenes shown in the film that are supposed to be good, simply aren't. The ending is not satisfying at all. It is a shame the stars didn't get better material, it could have worked so well in different hands.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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