The King of Comedy
Another unusual pairing that you can find in your local video store is The King of Comedy starring Jerry Lewis and Robert DeNiro. While Lewis is best known for his slapstick comedy, he shows great talent for drama in this dark, frightening film.
Lewis stars as Jerry Langford, a Johnny Carson-type late night television host who is known as the King of Comedy. He is on top of the world, but isn't happy with the inconveniences his fame brings upon him. Langford can't walk down the street or exit his studio without people, many crazy, bothering him. He yearns to have a quiet life.
DeNiro plays Rupert Pupkin, an insane man with a fixation on Langford. Pupkin believes he could be the next King of Comedy if only Langford would have him on the show. He spends hours fantasizing about being a star and pretends to host the show in his basement. He meets up with Langford and thinks he has gotten his big break, but Langford just wants to get rid of him.
How far will Pupkin go to be on the show? Is Langford safe?
I was most surprised by Jerry Lewis' performance. We know him as The Nutty Professor or Cinderfella, but he becomes a cold hearted, sad megastar. Langford can't open up to anyone because he is used to being used.
Some say this was Scorcese's response to John Hinkley's (the guy who shot President Ronald Reagan to get Jodie Foster's attention) fascination with Taxi Driver. After seeing it, you will wonder if being a big star is all it's cracked up to be.
Directed by Martin Scorcese
Jerry Lewis . Jerry Langford
Robert DeNiro Rupert Pupkin
Sandra Bernhard . Marcia
Diahnne Abbott ... Rita
Fred DeCordova Bert
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