The King of Comedy

BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

  • Introduction

    Following the screening, J. Hoberman will sign copies of his new book Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan. Hoberman has written for Artforum, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and the New York Review of Books. For over thirty years, he was a film critic for the Village Voice.


Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Tony Randall, Sandra Bernhard,

In a review for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman called The King of Comedy the “richest, most intelligent Hollywood movie of 1983. . . . Between them, Scorsese, Robert De Niro and screenwriter Paul Zimmerman have created an American archetype: Rupert Pupkin . . . the celebrity-crazed would-be standup comedian who attaches himself to TV talk-show host Jerry Lewis. . . . The King of Comedy is a meditation on American celebrity but—dealing as it does with rampant aggression, pure megalomania, visceral embarrassment and pathetic humiliation—it’s a good deal more disturbing.” Sandra Bernhard makes an indelible appearance as Pupkin’s partner in obsession.

  • Paul D. Zimmerman
  • Fred Schuler
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 109 mins
  • Criterion Pictures