De Niro-Scorsese Comedian Rumors Beg Question: Is The King of Comedy Still Underrated?

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Rumor has it that Cannes jury focker Robert De Niro may work with Martin Scorsese, again, and star in The Comedian, a portrait of an insult comic written by producer Art Linson with help from Friars Club roastmaster Jeffrey Ross. Of course, De Niro and Scorsese collaborated on another comedian story, The King of Comedy, in 1982 -- and that's when I liked Jerry Lewis for a few minutes! Do you think that film still ranks among both De Niro and Scorsese's most underrated works?

What's more fun than an unhinged standup whose delusions lead him into mortifying confrontations with his idols and, eventually, some staggering success of his own? Well, plenty of things, really; the lasting greatness of The King of Comedy is that the story is so cringe-inducing, so palpably freaky and awkward, and so raw in its exploration of Rupert Pupkin's (De Niro) fame-driven insanity that it clenches you by the sides with its fingernails and doesn't lets you breathe. Worse, the insane Rupert Pupkin? Is sort of relatable. But I didn't tell you that.

Is The King of Comedy both De Niro and Scorsese's most underrated work? It was nominated for exactly zero Academy Awards, a fact that should ruin your day. Sound off below, sing the praises of Sandra Bernhard (or I'll do it for you), and try to survive this clip of Rupert Pupkin blithely invading his comedy hero's home.

· Scorsese could wind up directing De Niro again in 'The Comedian' [Showbiz411]


  • ZebedeeDooDah says:

    I can't remember if this is the first Scorcese film I ever saw, but I know it's the first De Niro/Scorcese flick. Loved it then, love it now.
    I like that it's underrated, or at least that it's not too well known. You can never show anyone Taxi Driver or Raging Bull for the first time, and with the former it's become so well-known and parodied that it's hard to get absorbed by the narrative (much like The Shining).

  • Joe McGaha says:

    Definitely way underrated! This movie is pure genius -- one of those movies that you can watch multiple times, and catch something different every time you do. Another underrated Scorsese flic in the same category would be After Hours. I highly recommend these films, that function both as comedies, and in some ways as absurdist dramas. Great stuff!

  • Absolutely a very underrated film. Showed it to my wife about a year ago and was amazed at how prescient it was regarding the power of media and how easy it can be to be famous, if being famous is all you want (to sort of paraphrase a line in Citizen Kane).
    In my book, it ranks right up there with Network and The Truman Show as far as forecasting our current fame-obsessed climate and is easily one of DeNiro's (not to mention Sandra Bernhard's, whom I'm not normally a fan of) most amazing performances.
    I'm very excited about the prospect of Scorsese & DeNiro reteaming!

  • Dimo says:

    Oh boy do I love this one! First time I saw it I despised it...but I don't think my 10 year old brain could really appreciate it. Over the years it has really grown on me and become my second favorite of theirs behind only Goodfellas.

  • blizzard bound says:

    Nothing beats Mean Streets in my book. With Raging Bull a close second. But I do remember liking The King of Comedy better than the critics did back when it first came out.

  • Lee Ann Helvenston says:

    Jerry Lewis as Jerry Langford was just sheer genius casting. And DeNiro as Rupert Pupkin is one of the best 'crazy' characters ever. I think everyone knows someone at some point in their lives who is similar to him--someone who could go off the rails at any time. And who quite possibly lives in his mom's basement with a bad imitation set of a talk show. I love the scene when Jerry Langford is telling Rupert Pupkin about how strong his one liners is just a tremendous statement overall about fame/celebrity worship/the power of the media.