Monday, May 20, 2013

The King of Comedy (1983)

I wanted to watch this because I thought it would be a fun, lighthearted comedy movie. It's not. It's awkward. Every scene oozes with awkwardness and pain, like squeezing a neck pimple.  It's an overall unpleasant experience.

Rupert Pupkin (played by an unrecognizable Robert De Niro) desperately wants to be a famous comedian. He stalks his idol, a late night host named Jerry (played by Jerris Lewis).  Rupert is ambitious but doesn't know how to break into the comedy scene. He and his friend Masha kidnap Jerry and force him to let Rubert guest star on his show.

The performance by Sandra Bernhard as Masha was remarkable.  She perfectly executed a very creepy woman who seduces the tied-up Jerry. Her creepiness counterbalance's Rupert's awkwardness. The pair is unattractive, malicious, and overall makes me very uncomfortable.

Of course, Rupert's demand to be on Jerry's show is obeyed and the audience enjoys it. We don't actually get to hear the whole act. Does it matter?  Rupert is jailed afterwards, but bad publicity is better than no publicity at all. He writes a book about his experience, and later becomes a famous comedian.  So he had a dream, broke the law and endangered someone's life to achieve the dream, and then reached his goal. And what did we learn? Nothing at all. I'm giving this film a 7/10.


  1. I generally detest Jerry Lewis's comedies but I think he is quite good here, when he is bound and gagged!

  2. Lol, I agree, he is so awful!