Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The King of Comedy 1982
"Everyone's mom was a big influence on them growing up. If my mom were here today, I'd say, "Mom--what are you doing here? You've been dead for seven years!" --The best joke of Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy
Leave it to Hollywood to create a film where fans go ga-ga over famous performers, and the average man can't make it in the biz. Rupert Pupkin, Robert De Niro's character, just wants to be a rich and famous TV star, like his idol, Jerry Langford, played by Jerry Lewis.
Rupert has to sneak his way into Jerry's car after the taping of a late night talk show to try and get an in in Hollywood. Jerry comes off as sick of his fans and their constant adoration, and Rupert wants to use him as a step on the ladder towards fame and fortune.
But, unfortunatly for Rupert, his stand-up act stinks. After repeated attempts to get through Jerry's office and grab a spot on his late night talk show, Rupert becomes a kidnapper and finally gets his act across the air. The problem is, the only funny joke is the one I quoted above (which could use some re-working).
Rupert's cohort in bad stand-up is Sandra Berhard, in perhaps the role which best depicts her whole career--a floundering wannabe. Problem is, Martin Scorsese's otherwise good film demeans the average underdog, and praises the Hollywood hero.
If you're looking for a side-splitting comedy, like the title would suggest, this ain't it. But, if you want a study of a delusional untalented comedian who performs to cardboard cutouts in his mother's basement, than this is it.