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The King of Comedy (1982)

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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:

Martin Scorsese
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Popularity
4,463 ( 167)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Rupert Pupkin
Jerry Lewis ... Jerry Langford
Diahnne Abbott ... Rita Keane
Sandra Bernhard ... Masha
Ed Herlihy Ed Herlihy ... Ed Herlihy
Lou Brown Lou Brown ... Band Leader
Loretta Tupper Loretta Tupper ... Stage Door Fan
Peter Potulski Peter Potulski ... Stage Door Fan
Vinnie Gonzales Vinnie Gonzales ... Stage Door Fan
Whitey Ryan Whitey Ryan ... Stage Door Guard
Doc Lawless Doc Lawless ... Chauffeur
Marta Heflin ... Young Girl
Katherine Wallach Katherine Wallach ... Autograph Seeker
Charles Kaleina Charles Kaleina ... Autograph Seeker
Richard Baratz 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1982 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

King of Comedy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film playing in Jerry's apartment just before he get's Masha's phone call is Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street (1953). See more »

Goofs

When Rupert and Rita are in the bar, the level of beer in Rupert's glass varies about half an inch between shots. 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 Blade Runner (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Sixteen Bars
Written by Ray Charles
Performed by Ray Charles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Scorsese's forgotten masterpiece
23 August 1999 | by djfosterSee all my reviews

From Jerry Lewis's subtle, deeply personal performance, to Robert DeNiro's amazing interpretation of a neurotic nerbish whose fantasy world collides with reality on late night talk TV, "The King of Comedy" is a true original that guts the glamour from showbiz and finds it cold and empty inside. Then there's the media, always ready to create another celebrity, even if he's an autograph hound and hack comic turned kidnapper who believes he's earned a shot in the spotlight. Cynical and melancholy, at times hilarious, it bombed when first released, but has been surprising video treasure hunters ever since.


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