After Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” earned critical acclaim earning Robert De Niro an Academy Award for “Best Actor” portraying real life box Jake LaMotta, Marty’s next project was supposed to be “The Last Temptation Of Christ,” but decided to put it on hold to work with his buddy again in a black comedy film about a wannabe stand-up comedian who stalks his idol by trying to persuade him for a big break on his talk show so he can make a name for himself, in the hopes of becoming a beloved comedian. The premise I’m referring to is none other than the underrated film, “The King Of Comedy.”
The King Of Comedy was released in 1982. (same year Blade Runner came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Despite good reception, the film failed to recoup its expenses at the box office.
The film earned attention airing on HBO becoming a cult classic among movie goers and cinephiles as one of Martin Scorsese’s best works. Famous people including Paul McCartney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Edward Norton, Michael Shannon, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, & Todd Phillips cited The King Of Comedy as one of their favorite movies of all time.
Speaking of Todd Phillips, the director stated The King Of Comedy is one of the primary influences of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker alongside other Martin Scorsese films like “Taxi Driver” & “Raging Bull.” Marty is a producer of Joker & Bobby De Niro plays a stand-up comedian with connections to Joker’s origin story. As a fan of Batman & Marty’s work, I’d like to spread word of mouth for anybody interested in seeing the upcoming Joker film coming out this October. Don’t forget Marty & Bobby’s next collaboration in “The Irishman” streaming soon on Netflix.
The following review doesn’t contain no very important SPOILERS present. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Happy & Sad Aspects
Happy: Robert De Niro did a fantastic job for his performance as Rupert Pupkin.
The late Jerry Lewis also did a good job for his performance as Jerry Langford. A Johnny Carson-esque talk show host.
Fun Fact: Jerry was a mentor to Marty during the latter filmmaker’s early career. This means the student becomes the master. Similar to a Jedi Master teaching a Padawan the ways of The Force.
Martin Scorsese did an awesome job directing the film. He also makes a cameo appearance as a television director. He has a beard and he’s not wearing his glasses.
Cinematography was shot perfectly without suffering from Shaky Cam.
The Humor is has some good laughs, telling a depiction of an obsessed fan stalking a famous person willing to make it big by taking desperate measures. It’s shockingly relevant of an obsessive fan or paparazzi stalking a famous person.
Primary Themes listed are Obsession, Stalking, Ambition, Fame, Media, Worshiping & Fantasy. All themes are handled carefully for a dark comedy.
Rupert is similar to Bobby’s character Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.” Both protagonists are driven to insanity as they are obsessed with their goals resulting in losing grip to reality and becoming delusional. No longer stable in society.
A poster of “The Empire Strikes Back” is displayed at the 23 minute mark. Marty is very good friends with George Lucas. They watched a final cut of “Gang Of New York” together at Skywalker Ranch.
A cardboard cutout of Liza Minnelli is shown at Rupert’s home. Liza worked with Bobby in “New York, New York.” She also used to date Marty.
Rupert wearing a red suit (also used in promotional materials) influenced Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Todd Phillips mentioned The King Of Comedy is one of the main inspirations for Joker.
The film also features stand-up comedians in roles such as Tony Randall (Felix Unger from The Odd Couple show) & Sandra Bernard.
Sad: Product Placement featuring brands such as Sony, Budweiser & Coca-Cola. I’ll give this flaw a pass, because I couldn’t spot any other brand to shove down my throat.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
In my opinion, The King Of Comedy is a criminally underrated dark comedy considered as one of the best films directed by Martin Scorsese next to my personal favorites “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” The Aviator,” “The Departed” & “The Wolf Of Wall Street.” If you’re eager to see Joker & The Irishman, I strongly recommend this underrated gem.