After hearing about the death of Jerry Lewis, I wanted to write something about this movie. Jerry's films are mostly comedies, movies he wrote and directed and starred in, but this film shows the other side: Jerry in a dramatic role where he did not write the script nor did he direct. "The King of Comedy" from 1982 is about stand-up coming Rupert Pupkin (Robert DeNiro) wanting so badly to appear on Jerry Langford's (Lewis) late night talk show (clearly modeled after Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show) that he's willing to go to any length to accomplish that...including kidnapping. It's really one of my favorite movies, very compelling as to how annoying Pupkin is and how self-absorbed Jerry is. Below are some interviews with the director (Martin Scorcese), DeNiro and Lewis after the film came out. Scorcese also revealed that the scene in which Jerry is approached by a fan to say hello to a sick relative on the phone--and refuses--was based on a real incident, and that Jerry directed the scene.
Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel review the film on their TV show
Here is the scene on the telephone:
Here is the movie as uploaded on YouTube
After one of his Vegas shows, Jerry takes questions from the audience and one fan asks about the film.