T500FC, 398th: The King Of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)


This film is a wonderful and underrated Martin Scorsese film shown decades ago, about the happy and sad life of stand-up comics during the seventies and the early eighties. Loved by critics and ignored by the viewing public, despite an all-star crew and an awesome director, it ventures into a life of a stand-up wannabe who just wanted to make a name in Hollywood.

This is a story of a hopeful stand-up comic, played by Robert De Niro, who tries to endeavor and desperately finds a way to become famous, at least to show his ware on an evening show ala Late Show with David Letterman. De Niro pesters a known stand-up, played by Jerry Lewis, and when Lewis feels that De Niro is going out of line, De Niro kidnaps Lewis. And will it be possible for De Niro to end up as famous as he wants it to be?

I should’ve seen this Scorsese film, years ago, if only I found out what the movie is all about. There was a small disinterest for me when I saw a glimpse of it in MGM. I mean, I’m not saying MGM provides bad films but most of them are actually unheard of even though the talent that they provide, are the ones that are respected and known of today.

It was such as surprise for me when I found out what this film is. It wasn’t actually joy joy but the concept of the movie itself is such right and ripe for its time plus you can’t deny the fact that we have De Niro and Lewis in one setting. De Niro as a bad guy is all worth it actually and the wonderful bonus that we have is an aged Lewis who still tries to make this non-hysterical fun type of comedy.

I was actually surprised that this film bombed. People are actually aware of De Niro and Scorsese already having starred and directed Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and New York, New York. Probably people got tired of the duo and the concept of this movie declined to the success story provided by Raging Bull or the crazy scenery in Taxi Driver. Or probably the story wasn’t as interesting during the time it was shown.

I am one of the few people who are starting to discover Jerry Lewis. His Nutty Professor bit made me realize that this guy was really good when he made his rounds in Hollywood before. Despite a just okay acting in this film, I would still commend him for his inclusion in this film. The role was just perfect for him, and I think the next best person to replace his role is Andy Kaufman.

Enjoy. This is a film worth watching especially if you have no expectations. I know the title itself is a given but who would’ve known that the ride took us to the rocky and bright part of the street. In case of a future watching, I might just take a chance and watch this giddy film once again.


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