The King of Comedyi is a movie from the 70s proudly displaying how so much cooler than the 80s the 70s wereii. In it, Robert De Niro plays nubbins`, the celebrated king of bitcomedies, coin-operated communities and two bit leaflets.
The role of nubbins` is not an easy one. People keep calling him mister for no apparent reason. Soft spoken blondy assistants conspire to prevent him from accessing "Jerry", the bizarre deity of the world he inhabits (a deity he somehow finds himself on a first name basis with, for no apparent reason). Nobody as much as introduces his malfunctioning head to the various pieces of furniture, a disinterest in his education very cruely mirroring the glacial neglect his own father showed throughout his sad, dysfunctional childhood.
The unapologetically ugly Sandra Bernhard does an excellent crazy trannyiii, and relentlessly builds up a to a surreal scene where a kidnapped guy in his 60s is supposed to have sex with something peeled off the cover of Cosmodyke. On the spot, just like that. They hadn't even invented Viagra yet!
The deep lack of substance, the ridiculouslyiv superficial image of reality that forms in the vermins' eyesv the deeply, profoundly cargo-cultish relationships they form with the world around themvi are mercilessly dissected, documented, laid out with a patience worthy of better material. For this reason the film is worth watching, especially if you're the sort that either liked Search and Destroy or otherwise are an Andy Kaufman fan. Also, being a film it can pretend like it all works out for nubbins`, which is, at least from a certain perspective, a marked advantage.———
- 1982, by Martin Scorsese, with Robert de Niro and, apparently, Jerry Lewis. I thought the ugly fat frog with an unpleasant voice and all the funny of chewed cardboard must be some random B lister impersonating that guy that spent his career trying to pretend he's Carson. Turns out that no, in the sense that exactly. [↩]
- No, seriously now, all that bad furniture, all those ugly buildings, all the shitty music and all the shitty pop-culture... No wonder Zappa was so angry. [↩]
- Yes really, at no point does the abomination on camera look like anything but a street urchin that fell through a heap of lipstick. [↩]
- I guess properly speaking it used to be ridiculous, now it's just common. [↩]
- To quote a splendid monologue from that repository of splendid monologues,
Autograph fiends, they're not people. Those are little beasts that run around in packs like coyotes...They're nobody's fans. They're juvenile delinquents, they're mental defectives, and nobody's audience. They never see a play or a movie even. They're never indoors long enough.
- Oh, talking into the telephone didn't "make one famous" ? Must be that you're not wearing the right disguise! Kidnap one of the famous guys, make him do it, then it'll work! [↩]