Aspiring comic Rupert Pupkin attempts to achieve success in show business by stalking his idol, a late night talk-show host who craves his own privacy.
**De Niro as yet another deluded psycho** De Niro is Rupert Pitkin, a comedian who seeks to be as famous as his hero, Jerry Lewis. Pupkin could be Travis Bickle's equally disturbed brother - both of them living in New York and both of them losing their minds in unison. After much rejection, the crazed Pupkin decides to kidnap his hero and hold him for ransom until a studio gives him a big break. Jerry Lewis is impressive as the total bastard that Pupkin so admires. A disturbing movie that is more relevant nowadays than ever since the advent of the Big Brother tv show which places national attention on people with no talent. - Ian Beale
Martin Scorsese's THE KING OF COMEDY was the lowest-grossing major studio film of 1982. It isn't difficult to see why: It's loaded with uncomfortable situations; there is no obvious protagonist; no sympathetic characters (the one that could potentially get our sympathy turns out to be a thief); and everyone is grating and/or unpleasant (even Tony Randall plays 𝙝𝙞𝙢𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛 as a demanding prick). This lack of popularity was the audience's loss, as Paul Zimmerman graced Scorsese with a screenplay which was just as prescient on the topic of fame as Paddy Chayefsky's NETWORK (1976) was on the future of television. In a day and age where television reality shows and online video platforms allow talent-bereft fame-seekers to offer their wares to an anesthetized public, De Niro's Rupert Pupkin displays an uncanny ambition just by leaving his mother's basement, much less his willingness to use crime as a means to his end.