mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

May 6, 2014

Episode 165: The King of Comedy (1982)

Special Guest: Shawn Levy

We're taking the stage and talking about Martin Scorsese's comic masterpiece The King of Comedy.

Joining us is our old friend Skizz Cyzyk to talk to us about his Pride & Joy.

Buy Shawn Levy's King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis
Buy The King of Comedy on Blu-Ray
Visit the official Jerry Lewis website
Visit the official Sandra Bernhard website
Visit the official Shawn Levy website
Visit the official Skizz Cyzyk website
Learn about The Film Foundation
Follow Martin Scorsese on Facebook
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Listen to our Last Temptation of Christ episode
Listen to our The Day the Clown Cried episode
Listen to the Mondo Film Podcast series on Jerry Lewis

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  1. 1) Pupkin is a messenger as we see him delivering packages early on, and all the envelopes next to him as he holds a pay phone hostage
    2) I'd say the fantasy scenes are restricted to scenes with Jerry glad handing him and the final shot of Pupkins introduction. The "it's all fantasy" idea is kind of boring.
    3) BTW -- compare the shot of Pupkin performing before the audience cutouts with Videodrome pullback as Wren wears the Accumulator.
    4) In terms of scandal and crime leading to stardom, Paris Hilton, Ollie North, Snookie, G Gordon Liddy, etc.

  2. I'd totally be down for an AFTER HOURS episode.

  3. Nice episode! My first ever.
    Since this interview, Levy has finished his Robert De Niro book. It's excellent, and I have it in my room now. It has a bibliography and is very complete. See if you can get him back on the show for it!

  4. Great episode, to me King of Comedy is the ultimate black comedy. Levy was also an interesting interview even though I'm not really a Jerry Lewis fan.

  5. Seems the perfect double-bill with 'King of Comedy' would be Martin & Lewis' 'Three Ring Circus' Jerry is basically the Rupert Pupkin in this one, an outsider who eventually replaces the clown he worships. There's even a scene where Jer acknowledges the applause of a non-existent audience. Even the ending, where the cast (and seemingly the entire population of the adjoining county)surround him, singing his praises.

    Also a worthy double-bill: "Inglorius Bastards' and 'Which Way to the Front?'

  6. Should have been a bit clearer on the 'Inglorious' / 'Which Way' combo
    It goes beyond the whole Jewish commandos assassinating plot - Tarantino also cops Lewis' odd choice to drop the opening credits deep into the movie (about 15 minutes into a 96 minute film in Lewis' case - can't recall how far in the titles drop in 'Inglorious')

    'Which Way to the Front?' is actually a film worthy of your attention. It opens well, goes painfully flaccid in the middle, and rallies a sustained comic climax that's among his best. All the material with Lewis undercover as a Nazi general are legitimately edgy and hilarious. The scene with Kaye Ballard is a screamy treat.