The King of Comedy (1982)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


The King of Comedy (1982) Poster

Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

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7.8/10
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  • Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese at an event for The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Martin Scorsese and Jerry Lewis at an event for The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Robert De Niro in The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis in The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese in The King of Comedy (1982)

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3 December 2000 | Eclectic Critic
A Companion Piece to Taxi Driver
Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver" and Rupert Pupkin from "The King of Comedy" are not as unlike as they may first appear. They are men desperately searching for some meaning in their spiritually empty lives, neither man connecting with anyone else; the consequent strain has driven each to his own brand of insanity. Both can be likened to Lee Harvey Oswald-men leading lives of quiet desperation, wanting to do something-ANYTHING-to have SOME impact on the world.

Pupkin is further removed from reality than Bickle (actually Bickle's attitudes about his environment aren't entirely unreasonable) and it's unlikely he could ever be "normal", no matter how much therapy he had. He's lost in his own little world, a world devoid of any real substance. To him, Heaven would be a place where he would exist solely on TV. Real life is too messy.

"The King of Comedy" is the best satire I've seen about the vapidness of society's values and the public's obsession with celebrity. It has its share of funny moments but the overall effect is deadening. Even though things went about as well as Pupkin could have expected in the end, what has he gained? Nothing of any value, though in his delusional mind, he probably would disagree. Ah, Pupkin! Ah, humanity!

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