The King of Comedy ★★★★★

Out of the three De Niro Scorsese character studies this may be the most timeless. While being about comedy the subject matter transcends many professions involving fame. If I get this artist my tape I can get big, if I get this director my script I’m going to make it. Rupert has promise but in the time he spends scheming to get famous he could’ve worked on his act, his delivery, timing, structure. He’s an ego-manic and that’s more universal than a lot of things. He’s not in it for the art of comedy. He just wants to meet recognizable names less for the impact they had on his life but for his status. Jerry Lewis’s physicality is funny and he has one or two good lines, but he’s no where close to as funny Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard were. I think that’s the point because as much as he pretends Rupert doesn’t see Jerry Langford as a person. He sees him as comedian with status and Jerry Langford is a whole human being more than that. De Niro’s performance is perfect and this is one of the most pathetic characters he’s played. Rupert Pupkin’s actions aren’t as heinous as most film characters, but what makes him so deplorable is how real he feels and how real he’ll always be.

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