The Jerk (1979) Poster



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Followed by 

The Jerk, Too (1984) (TV Movie)


The Great McGinty (1940)
Numerous references, including the opening where the story is begun by the man who lost great wealth and power, though he started out with nothing. A character is also named "Iron Balls" McGinty to make the reference clear
Citizen Kane (1941)
Multiple references to it.

Referenced in 

Saturday Night Live: Martin Sheen/David Bowie (1979) (TV Episode)
'Reviewed' by Bill Murray on Weekend Update
Charlie's Angels: Harrigan's Angel (1980) (TV Episode)
Poster visible on billboard
The Killing of America (1981)
Title of this film is shown on a theater marquee.
Lights, Camera, Annie! (1982) (TV Movie)
Mentioned in reference to Bernadette Peters' career.
At the Movies: The Man with Two Brains/Superman III/Trading Places/Psycho II (1983) (TV Episode)
Referenced by Roger Ebert in his review of "The Man with Two Brains" (1983).
ALF: The Boy Next Door (1988) (TV Episode)
Referenced during the Tanner's charades game.
Caddyshack II (1988)
Siskel & Ebert: L.A. Story/Sleeping with the Enemy/The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (TV Episode)
Roger Ebert compares Robin Williams's career to Steve Martin's and mentions this movie.
There's Nothing Out There (1991)
Video case is shown in a video store.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Mighty Jack (1991) (TV Episode)
Crow (as bullets are fired): "They hate these cans!"
Saturday Night Live: Sharon Stone/Pearl Jam (1992) (TV Episode)
mentioned on Weekend Update
ReBoot: Talent Night (1995) (TV Episode)
The clown performing "Live Null Juggling" to Dot and Emma See's dismay is an allusion to 'Cat Juggling' scene.
Asylum: Episode #1.4 (1996) (TV Episode)
Adam guesses this in charades.
Flash Forward: Funny Like Me (1997) (TV Episode)
Tucker asks Roland if he plans to juggle cats for the talent show.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders (1999) (TV Episode)
"I'm taking the flashlight and the Longaberger basket, that's all I need."
Freaks and Geeks: Smooching and Mooching (2000) (TV Episode)
Sam imitates and quotes Navin Johnson: "there's something wrong with these cans" and "he hates these cans." He also says it is "the perfect movie."
Freaks and Geeks: The Little Things (2000) (TV Episode)
Bill tells Sam that it is playing at the discount theater. Also, Sam and Ken discuss how their girlfriends felt about the movie.
Joe Dirt (2001)
Gilmore Girls: Richard in Stars Hollow (2002) (TV Episode)
Lorelai suggests renting it.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Video case is shown in a video store.
Peep Show: Wedding (2004) (TV Episode)
The bit where Jeremy is starting his new job and gets excited about having his own desk and his own things is intended to be a homage to the scene where Navin gets excited about his new home in the storeroom of a gas station (confirmed in the DVD commentary).
Good Eats: Good Wine Gone Bad: Vinegar (2005) (TV Episode)
Alton quotes 'Steve Martin' from the movie about having "a special purpose".
Jeopardy!: Episode #22.9 (2005) (TV Episode)
correct response in "A Steve Martin Film Festival" category
The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) (TV Movie)
Makes the countdown, is talked about.
Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Prince (2006) (TV Episode)
Referenced in Hamas Celebration Party
Rhapsody (2006) (Short)
last shot is homage to The Jerk
House M.D.: The Jerk (2007) (TV Episode)
Episode title
Be Kind Rewind (2008)
Video case is shown.
Californication: The Great Ashby (2008) (TV Episode)
"You were born a poor black child"
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
It is referenced.
Talkshow with Spike Feresten: Carl Reiner and Bo Burnham (2009) (TV Episode)
mentioned by Spike
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) (TV Special)
Referred to by Steve Martin
Todd's Pop Song Reviews: Cooler Than Me (2010) (TV Episode)
Poster is shown.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Referenced in a game of charades
Midnight Screenings: The Hangover, Part II/Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) (TV Episode)
Brad compares Po's goose father to Steve Martin's black mother.
Bluegrass Diva (2011) (Short)
Steve Martin claims "The Jerk" was shot in one take
Conan: Die Hard 5: Let's Not Die Quite So Hard, I've Got Chronic Back Pain (2012) (TV Episode)
Title mentoined by Rebecca Romijn
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.132 (2012) (TV Episode)
Steve Martin displays a DVD of the film he starred in
Edición Especial Coleccionista: Candy Candy (2013) (TV Episode)
blu-ray release
The Cinema Snob: Caddyshack II (2014) (TV Episode)
Jackie Mason's character in Caddyshack II has the same surname as his character in this movie
The Cinema Snob: Black Love (2014) (TV Episode)
"Who invited Steve Martin's mother from The Jerk?"
The Cinema Snob: Who Reamed Rosie Rabbit? (2015) (TV Episode)
"...this dude is having sex with Navin Johnson's carnival girlfriend from The Jerk."
Home (2015)
The stack of cans at the gas station.
Difficult People: Pledge Week (2015) (TV Episode)
Julie mentions the film
TruInside: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (2016) (TV Episode)
Poster shown and mentioned in dialog.
Suits: To Trouble (2016) (TV Episode)
Mike and another inmate make a reference to "The Jerk"; the other inmate stating that he "wasn't born a poor black girl".
Jeopardy!: Episode #33.10 (2016) (TV Episode)
correct response in "The Movie's Title Character" category
Talking Dead: Hostiles and Calamities (2017) (TV Episode)
Mentioned by Chris Hardwick.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return: The Beast of Hollow Mountain (2017) (TV Episode)
Jonah: "They hate these tables! Everybody, stay away from these tables!"
Jeopardy!: Episode #33.162 (2017) (TV Episode)
Referenced in the category "Comedy Films of the 1970s".
Talking with Chris Hardwick: Jordan Peele (2017) (TV Episode)
Mentioned by Jordan Peele when talking about Steve Martin being an early influence on him.
The Cinema Snob: Song of the South (2017) (TV Episode)
"with a prequel to The Jerk"

Featured in 

Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) (TV Movie)
Steve Martin's head spins around
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies (2000) (TV Special)
This film is #89 on the list.
Freaks and Geeks: The Little Things (2000) (TV Episode)
Sam takes Cindy to see the movie in the theater and the cans scene is shown.
I Love the '70s: 1979 (2003) (TV Episode)
Footage from this film was edited into this mini-series
Learn How to Play 'Tonight You Belong to Me' (2005) (Video)
archive footage is shown
The 50 Greatest Comedy Films (2006) (TV Movie)
Clips are shown.
Best! Movies! Ever!: Airports (2007) (TV Episode)
a brief clip is shown
Whip It (2009)
They watch it in a movie theater
The Rotten Tomatoes Show: The Best of Science Fiction Movies (2010) (TV Episode)
Brett's Movie Gadgets segment
Brows Held High: Shortbus (2012) (TV Episode)
"I was born a poor black child."
Count It Down: Funniest Movies of All Time (2013) (TV Movie)
The Jerk (1979) is #16.
Aloha (2015)
A clip is featured in the satellite sequence.
TruInside: The Jerk (2016) (TV Episode)
References and clips throughout episode


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
When Stan Fox throws his glasses, "Thus Spake Zarathustra" plays as Navin catches them
The Exorcist (1973)
Navin's head makes a twist like Linda Blair's character.
Taxi Driver (1976)

Spoofed in 

Bowfinger (1999)
The West Wing: Drought Conditions (2005) (TV Episode)
Latino presidential candidate Matt Santos quotes the white main character's opening line, "I was born a poor black child" (adding, "No, that's not it ...") jokingly to show annoyance that his white campaign manager has reminded him, "Don't forget where you come from."

See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Soundtracks

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