Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The King of Comedy

After safely guiding late night talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) through a racous crowd to his limo, amateur stand-up comedian Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) procures an audition which will hopefully lead to an appearance on his show and thus worldwide stardom. When it appears that Jerry was humoring him, after more than a few less than subtle hints, Rupert and his unhinged groupie crony (Sandra Bernhard) decide to kidnap the late-night host to at last attain that deeply desired appearance. The King of Comedy is an unusual film for Martin Scorsese, yet it is still one of the funniest and darkest of all his works, even if its message regarding celebrity fandom seems muted in today's culture. De Niro, himself in an atypical role, delivers a wounded and somewhat outrageous performance, one of his finest, and Jerry Lewis is excellent playing a character probably not too far removed from his own persona.