The King of Comedy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The King of Comedy Reviews

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October 1, 2016
The King of Comedy (1983) C-109m. ??? 1/2 D: Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard. Fascinating black comedy narrative of social misfit who gets a chance to meet famed comedian Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis)--or does he? However he DOES kidnap the stand-up and force him to let him join his television program. Nightmarish, unpleasant beyond belief, but extremely well acted. Very good script by Paul D. Zimmerman; Bobby and Jerry are perfect.
September 27, 2016
Great film with super performances, about a guy who wants to be a star. Very funny and moving. Well done.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2016
A bleak and uncomfortable masterpiece that arguably goes to darker places than any of Scorsese's crime films. De Niro's performance is perfectly disconcerting while Lewis and Bernhard are equally great.
½ August 31, 2016
Kind of a fun black comedy, though a lot of the shocking elements have now become commonplace (pitch-black, punchline-free, heavily-improvised comedy of social awkwardness; a psychopathic anti-hero lead who neither learns nor changes and gets everything he wants and becomes famous for it) so you're left with Scorsese cruising on that without putting much of a mark on the style of the thing, so it's a bit lacking in energy. But it's still enjoyable to watch, and I laughed every time someone called him "Pumpkin".
August 29, 2016
I went into this film 'blind', basing only on merits of Scorsese and DeNiro, and came out very satisfied.
July 22, 2016
Man, I never want to see this film ever again. This is not a fun movie, in fact, it is an unpleasant and emotionally grueling experience. Rupert Pupkin is one of the most unsympathetic characters I've ever seen in a film, and Robert De Niro is absolutely terrific as the psychopath who does everything to be on a television show. This is very frustrating to watch and it should be. That's exactly what Scorsese was going for while making it and he succeeded. "The King of Comedy" is a smart, disturbing, and damn effective black comedy.
½ July 17, 2016
There's an underlying depth that you might miss the first time around. Worth seeing, as uncomfortable as it may be. This is comparably creepy with Robin Williams in One Hour Photo.
½ June 16, 2016
Smart, funny and very realistic, Scorsese's comedy debut applies his sharp humour and expertise to deliver a compelling character study that is highly elevated by Robert DeNiro's bravura performance.
June 9, 2016
Truly funny and witty satire absolutely underappreciated at the moment of its release. A little gem in the Scorcese's treasury.
½ May 19, 2016
Watched this on 17/5/16
Perhaps an unsung masterpiece. I can't decide whether this or Casino is the best film of Scorsese-De Niro duo. The King of Comedy is at times disturbing satirical black comedy with a fantastic performance from De Niro, not one that you would usually expect from him. The film is really funny, especially towards the end and supporting actors Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard do real good.
May 3, 2016
The King of Comedy is an overlooked Scorsese film and I can see why, it's a very good film though and does deserve more attention.
March 28, 2016
Too boring. Like many of Martin Scorsese's films it lacks true entertainment. And this is supposed to be a comedy? (First and only viewing - 3/23/2016)
March 17, 2016
How DeNiro and Scorsese could be involved in this garbage is a true mystery!
November 24, 2015
It is common knowledge that Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of all time but for some reason people seem to associate De Niro only with the crime genre and forget that he has a lot of acting range. This movie is what Taxi Driver would have been if it was on drugs. Another good movie from Martin Scorsese and I feel that few people even know that this movie exits.
October 25, 2015
What a movie. One of the best I've ever seen, no question. Eerie, hilarious, some absolutely perfect blackly comic scenes. DeNiro is exceptional. The direction, the tone, the writing, the editing, all spot on. Quite a trip. Absolute filmmaking gold.
½ October 15, 2015
It was funny but I don't think that it was the funniest movie ever made. A funny premise populated by less funny scenes with even less funny lines in them. As the movie is scrutinized under a more and more powerful lens, the humor shrinks proportionately.
September 12, 2015
Probably the most underrated Scorsese movie, ahead of its time. De Niro gave great performance, his Rupert Pumpkin is both funny and creepy.
September 11, 2015
This is the one of most underrated films of all time. This film is a classic. Brilliant from beginning to end. De Niros performance is so wonderful and mesmerising that it takes over the whole film.
August 24, 2015
"Good old fashioned, all American fun".

It's always interesting to see a film ahead of it's time. Whether it takes a couple of years or in this case more than 30. Predicting the obsessive nature of celebrity culture 'The King Of Comedy' is a dark comedic tale. One that's eerily real, one part hilarious the other disturbing.

Three years after 'Raging Bull' 'Scorsese' took on the black comedy (and later again with 'After Hours). 'The King of Comedy' is a largely forgotten film in his bibliography. But may be one of the most important. One that is only more relevant the years go by. 'Rupert Pupkin' (Robert De Niro) a huge fan of comedian and talk show host 'Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) and after a 'meeting' with him is convinced they are now best friends. It's not abundantly clear that 'Rupert' is a little off, his first encounter with 'Jerry' is that of an over-eager up and coming comedian. It's only when we see him back at his house talking to cardboard 'Jerry' and 'Liza Minnelli' that it's clear.

Even then there's something remarkably like-able about 'Rupert' even in the third act when some realisation hits home (well in a way). Eventually it becomes particularly clear that this man is obsessed with his hero 'Jerry Lewis' as his 'friend' 'Marsh' (Sandra Bernhard). Living in his own world their are some fantastically 'real' yet 'fake' scenes where we get to see inside the man's head. Going all out in his own head on how it would or will play out when 'Jerry' realises his talent. Initially trying to tell himself how humble he would be but quickly descends into self-indulgence. It's funny yet tragically sad - I was always pulling for him despite his ridiculous beliefs.

It consistently delivers the same tone throughout with neither the dark or comedic aspect fully taking over. Particularly with Pupkin's final and ultimately effective attempt at getting on his idols show in the form of a 10 minutes slot. Despite it being a stand-up routine it slowly descends into 'Pupkins' view on his bad upbringing. Is any of it true? who knows.

"Better to be a king for a night than a schmuck for a lifetime". He reaches his goal and is willing to live with the consequences. And there's some parity with Taxi Driver' - whether or not the 'end' (or as his act starts on TV) is real or a day-dream. I'm more incline (for both films) with the dream, an idealisation of what happens. The books, the early release and his own show. Living forever in his delusion, at least he's happy though.

'The King of Comedy' is part of the forgotten films of 'Scorsese' but isn't any less brilliant. A deft look at celebrity culture and the (sometimes) negative impact it can have on peoples view of their idols. And of all the films he's made this one has the most relevancy. This is something waiting to happen although it won't be as endearing or as funny.
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