• The King of Comedy (2002)

The King of Comedy

Release Date: November 29th, 2002

DVD Release Date: December 17th, 2002

PG |1 hr 41 min

Plot Summary

Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is a failure in life but a celebrity in his own mind, hosting an imaginary talk show in his mother's basement. When he meets actual talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), he's convinced it will provide his big break, but Langford isn't interested in the would-be comedian. Undaunted, Pupkin effectively stalks Langford -- and when that doesn't work, he kidnaps him, offering his release in exchange for a guest spot on Langford's show.

Cast: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhard, Diahnne Abbott, Shelley Hack, Tony Randall, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown

Director: Martin Scorsese

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Embassy International Pictures

Distributors: 20th Century Fox

Keywords: Offbeat, New York City, Rise, Amusing, Friend, Mother, 1980s, Quest, Underdog

Ratings & Reviews

  • 75
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The King of Comedy is not, you may already have guessed, a fun movie. It is also not a bad movie. It is frustrating to watch, unpleasant to remember, and, in its own way, quite effective. show more

  • 88
    Bill CosfordMiami Herald

    Scorsese and Zimmerman seem to be building on Andy Warhol's proclamations about the nature of celebrity. What they've added is the sourness of it and the pointlessness, and their King of Comedy, for a while darkly funny, winds up being terribly sad. It's the most unpleasant fine film in years. [20 Mar 1983, p.L1]

  • 100
    The Telegraph

    This film about the cult of celebrity in America strikes me as a uniquely intelligent ironic masterpiece – though, witty as it is, it isn’t a comedy, despite what the title and the casting of Jerry Lewis might lead you to expect. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Awards

Nominated Supporting Actor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1983)
Nominated Direction
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1983)
Winner Original Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1983)
Nominated Actor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1983)
Nominated Editing
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1983)