12 user 17 critic

Punching the Clown (2009)

Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this realistic comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the ... See full summary »


Gregori Viens

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1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Phillips ... Henry Phillips
Ellen Ratner Ellen Ratner ... Ellen Pinsky
Wade Kelley Wade Kelley ... Captain Chaotic
Matthew Walker Matthew Walker ... Matt Phillips (as Matt Walker)
Audrey Siegel Audrey Siegel ... Becca
Guilford Adams ... Fabian Mann
Mik Scriba ... Joel
Evan Arnold ... Don Chase
Mark Cohen ... Stupid Joe
Derek Waters ... Dave the Intern
Michelle Anne Johnson ... Jane Crown Jones
Chris Fairbanks ... Daniel
Conrad Angel Corral ... Mitchell
Beth Kennedy ... Booker
Eddie Pepitone ... Eddie


Winner of the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival, this realistic comedy tells the story of Henry Phillips, a hapless modern day troubadour who grinds his way through the heartland, living out of his car and singing his twisted satirical songs to anyone who will listen. After a booking mishap involving a Christian fund raiser, he decides he's hit rock bottom. Seeking to shake things up, he moves to L.A. where his luck changes overnight. Thanks less to his inept manager than to a wild case of mistaken identity, he falls backwards into a string of packed gigs, a record deal and even the promise of love. But he who lives by the whimsy of show business dies by it, and reality hits him like a fist in the face: an innocent miscommunication over a bagel brands him a neo-Nazi in the world of tabloid journalism. Luckily, somewhere between rock bottom and nowhere lies the perfect terrain for his dark and hilarious songs.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy is often misunderstood. See more »



Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Offical Site | Official site





Release Date:

22 October 2010 (USA) See more »


Box Office


$140,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Viens Films See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Matt: I had sex with Carrie today
Henry: Really?
Matt: No.
See more »


Followed by Punching Henry (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

So funny and sweet
25 February 2011 | by BrynnPSee all my reviews

I rented the DVD on netflix after reading some of the customer reviews and rottentomatoes. I laughed pretty much the whole way, except when I wanted to cry. It's a beautiful movie and also an intelligent comedy.

This movie is so funny and sweet to me. It doesn't go for the same old jokes. Well, sometimes it looks like it's going there, but there's a surprise at the last minute and it takes you in a totally new and crazy direction. I could just watch this kind of humor forever.

The weird folk songs are amazing. Not just funny, but really good songs. My roommate was eavesdropping from the kitchen and came in to join me during a funny song, even though we usually have incredibly different tastes in movies, especially comedy-wise.

Just had a great evening. Try to see this movie with friends, especially if you're feeling down and you need a real pick-me-up.

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