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The King of Comedy Details


Martin Scorsese's satirical comedy/drama caustically explores the lengths to which a nobody will go to be as famous as his idol. Practicing his patter in his basement with cardboard cut-outs of his favorite celebrities, mediocre aspiring comedian Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) believes that one appearance on the evening talk show of the Johnny Carson-esque Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) will be his ticket to stardom. After he helps Jerry escape the advances of amorous fan Masha (Sandra Bernhard), Rupert takes Jerry's patronizing brush-off as a true promise for an audition and begins haunting Jerry's office. Provoked by Masha's needling and a rejection from Jerry's smooth production exec Cathy Long (Shelley Hack), Rupert makes a disastrous trip to Jerry's country house with embarrassed date Rita (Diahnne Abbott), then hatches an even more outlandish scheme to get ahead. With Masha's help, Rupert kidnaps Jerry and demands as ransom the TV appearance that he believes will turn his fantasy into reality. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi


Awarded by
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Paul D. Zimmerman Best Original Screenplay 1983 Winner


Robert De Niro
as Rupert Pupkin
Jerry Lewis
as Jerry Langford
Diahnne Abbott
as Rita
Sandra Bernhard
as Marsha
Shelley Hack
as Cathy
Tony Randall
as Himself
Ed Herlihy
as Himself
Margo Winkler
as Receptionist
Matt Russo
as Cabbie
Scotty Bloch
as Crockett's Secretary
Whitey Ryan
as Stage Door Guard
Edgar J. Scherick
as Wilson Crockett
Liza Minnelli
as Herself
Ralph Monaco
as Raymond Wirtz
Bill Minkin
as McCabe
Sel Vitella
as Man at Telephone
Loretta Tupper
as Stage Door Fan
Katherine Wallach
as Autograph Seeker
Catherine Scorsese
as Rupert's Mom
Charles Scorsese
as Man at Bar
Joe Strummer
as Street Scum
Martin Scorsese
as TV director
Marvin Scott
as Newsman
Frederick de Cordova
as Himself
Ellen Foley
as Street Scum
Marta Heflin
as Young Girl
Joyce Brothers
as Herself
Tony Devon
as Plainclothesman
Peter Fain
as Plainclothesman
Richard Dioguardi
as Capt. Burk
Ray Dittrich
as Giardello
Mardik Martin
as Men at Bar
Leslie Levinson
as Roberta Posner
Charles Low
as Man in Chinese Restaurant
Mick Jones
as Street Scum
George Kapp
as Mystery Guest
Thelma Lee
as Woman in Phone Booth
Kim Chan
as Jonno
Doc Lawless
as Chauffeur


Martin Scorsese
Arnon Milchan
Paul D. Zimmerman
Fred Schuler
Robbie Robertson
Musical Direction/Supervision
Robbie Robertson
Composer (Music Score)
Thelma Schoonmaker
Boris Leven
Production Designer
Edward Pisoni
Art Director
Robert F. Colesberry
Associate Producer
Robert Greenhut
Executive Producer
Daniel Robert
Set Designer
Richard Bruno
Costume Designer
Les Lazarowitz
Sound/Sound Designer
Scott Maitland
First Assistant Director
Cis Corman
Gil Rossellini
Production Assistant