starring Robert DeNiro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Chazz Palminteri
screenplay by Peter Tolan and Harold Ramis and Ken Lonergan
directed by Harold Ramis
by Bill Chambers Robert De Niro is not a comedian. He used this to his advantage in what is arguably his best performance, as The King of Comedy's Rupert Pupkin. In that 1982 media-age satire from Martin Scorsese, a film that becomes more prophetic with each passing year, Pupkin is a struggling comedian obsessed with talk-show host Jerry Langford (a self-parodying Jerry Lewis) and the thought of appearing on his program. Pupkin's routines, however, are painfully unfunny; moreover, he is blithely unaware of their mediocrity. That his jokes don't sound like they were written to bomb (they're like warmed-over Henny Youngman one-liners) is because of De Niro's desperate delivery--the actor has awful comic timing in his bones.