De Niro offers a more personable version of the unhinged loner in 1982’s King of Comedy. Here he plays a wannabe stand-up comic, who, having practiced in his makeshift basement set, decides that he is ready for the big time. He goes about this unconventionally (to say the least), hounding Jerry Lewis’ talk show host for a break with a dogged determinism that eventually leads to kidnap. Fiercely funny and conceived with no little affection for its deranged lead character, this prescient take on obsession, fame and celebrity is certainly one of the stranger Scorsese-De Niro collaborations.
Screening as part of Vintage Sundays: Scorsese and De Niro at FACT