King Of Comedy

( 4 )

Overview

Martin Scorsese's satirical comedy/drama caustically explores the lengths to which a nobody will go to be as famous as his idol. Practicing his patter in his basement with cardboard cut-outs of his favorite celebrities, mediocre aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin Robert De Niro believes that one appearance on the evening talk show of the Johnny Carson-esque Jerry Langford Jerry Lewis will be his ticket to stardom. After he helps Jerry escape the advances of amorous fan Masha Sandra Bernhard, Rupert takes Jerry's ...
See more details below
This VHS is Not Available through BN.com

Overview

Martin Scorsese's satirical comedy/drama caustically explores the lengths to which a nobody will go to be as famous as his idol. Practicing his patter in his basement with cardboard cut-outs of his favorite celebrities, mediocre aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin Robert De Niro believes that one appearance on the evening talk show of the Johnny Carson-esque Jerry Langford Jerry Lewis will be his ticket to stardom. After he helps Jerry escape the advances of amorous fan Masha Sandra Bernhard, Rupert takes Jerry's patronizing brush-off as a true promise for an audition and begins haunting Jerry's office. Provoked by Masha's needling and a rejection from Jerry's smooth production exec Cathy Long Shelley Hack, Rupert makes a disastrous trip to Jerry's country house with embarrassed date Rita Diahnne Abbott, then hatches an even more outlandish scheme to get ahead. With Masha's help, Rupert kidnaps Jerry and demands as ransom the TV appearance that he believes will turn his fantasy into reality.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Dreams of stardom become a star's nightmare in The King of Comedy, a sharp, surgically precise satire from director Martin Scorsese. Robert DeNiro plays Rupert Pupkin, an aspiring stand-up comedian who kidnaps his idol, a famous TV talk-show host Jerry Lewis, in a desperate attempt to get his big break. While this implausible plot might suggest farce, Scorsese opts instead for a darker tone: Lewis's Tonight-styled talk show is barely shown, and Pupkin's stand-up material isn't even heard until the end of the film. Indeed, neither comedy nor real-world celebrity is really of interest here; what matters are Pupkin's delusions of grandeur, and the film slips neatly into fantasy to get inside Pupkin's head, while honing an ominous edge reminiscent of Taxi Driver. DeNiro, who was the star of that film as well, is perfectly suited to the part of a not-so-average Joe whose obsessive compulsions are infused with an inscrutable air of menace. Meanwhile, show-biz legend Lewis is perfectly cast as the beleaguered victim of fan adulation, barely cracking a smile in a low-key performance that somehow anchors the film. By the end, although King of Comedy's portrayal of mass-media culture invites comparisons to a film like Network, it lacks that film's grand satirical scope. Instead, it triumphs as an intensely focused exploration of the perils of celebrity worship.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Despite favorable reviews and good business in a few big cities, The King of Comedy died at the box office; but this uneasily humorous examination of the bizarre relationship between stardom and fandom looks more disturbingly current with each passing year. Martin Scorsese reins in the technical verve of his prior work, so that The King of Comedy's bright, flat lighting and simple editing mimic the look of television, the film's subject; visual flourishes are saved for Rupert's fantasies, signalling how off-kilter he is. Rupert is just as obsessive as Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle, revealing the potential danger in an American cult of celebrity that idolizes stars, provokes resentment of fame's privileges, and turns deranged menaces into celebrities.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/17/2002
  • UPC: 024543064121
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert De Niro Rupert Pupkin
Jerry Lewis Jerry Langford
Diahnne Abbott Rita
Sandra Bernhard Marsha
Shelley Hack Cathy
Tony Randall Himself
Ed Herlihy Himself
Lou Brown Band Leader
Margo Winkler Receptionist
Matt Russo Cabbie
Scotty Bloch Crockett's Secretary
Whitey Ryan Stage Door Guard
Edgar J. Scherick Wilson Crockett
Liza Minnelli Herself
Diane Rachell Mrs. McCabe
Ralph Monaco Raymond Wirtz
Bill Minkin McCabe
Sel Vitella Man at Telephone
Loretta Tupper Stage Door Fan
Katherine Wallach Autograph Seeker
Catherine Scorsese Rupert's Mom
Charles Scorsese Man at Bar
Joe Strummer Street Scum
Martin Scorsese TV director
Marvin Scott Voice Only
Frederick de Cordova Himself
Jeff David Announcer
Ellen Foley Street Scum
Marta Heflin Young Girl
Dr. Joyce Brothers Herself
Tony Devon Plainclothesman
Peter Fain Plainclothesman
Richard Dioguardi Capt. Burk
Ray Dittrich Giardello
Mardik Martin Men at Bar
Victor Borge Himself
Leslie Levinson Roberta Posner
Charles Low Man in Chinese Restaurant
Mick Jones Street Scum
George Kapp Mystery Guest
Thelma Lee Woman in Phone Booth
Kim Chan Jonno
Doc Lawless Chauffeur
Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Richard Bruno Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert F. Colesberry Associate Producer
Cis Corman Casting
Robert Greenhut Executive Producer
Les Lazarowitz Sound/Sound Designer
Boris Leven Production Designer
Scott Maitland Asst. Director
Arnon Milchan Producer
Lawrence Miller Art Director
Edward Pisoni Art Director
Daniel Robert Set Decoration/Design
Robbie Robertson Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Thelma Schoonmaker Editor
Fred Schuler Cinematographer
Paul D. Zimmerman Screenwriter
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stand Out Performances

    Scorcese shows his skills as a director bringing top-notch performances from DeNiro, Bernhart, and Lewis. The scene with DeNiro in his mock studio with Liza and Jerry is both hysterically funny and excruciatingly painful to watch. It was under rated by critics and the public at the time of release. Their loss. It is a terrific movie and shows insight into the hazards of celebrity and the lunacy of the fringe fans that cling to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    DeNiro's best, bar none

    Out of print on video for years, this is truly a gem for anyone's film collection. For once DeNiro doesn't lapse into trite mannerisms, and even those who absolutely hate Jerry Lewis will enjoy his intelligent performance here. On repeat viewings you might want to give the final five minutes of Pupkin's stand-up comedy a pass, though; it really is awful. The extras on the disc are a welcome addition to a fascinating film.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    LONG LIVE THE KING

    After creating some of the best urban dramas the screen has seen, Marty Scorsese did 2 dark comedy gems in the 1980's: AFTER HOURS (1985) and THE KING OF COMEDY. Both never got the audience they deserved until both landed on cable and video. With another celluloid psycho in his vitae DeNiro is just as frightening here as he was in TAXI DRIVER or MEAN STREETS, only this time it's easier to laugh. The theme of ''At what price fame'' gets across with ease and dims the vicarious thrill of living the celebrity life. Jerry Lewis shines and the dining room scene with Sandra Bernhard is a riot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews