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mmcirvin


Matt McIrvin's Steam-Operated World of Yesteryear


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Rupert Pupkin
mmcirvin
Kibo showed me the fine Scorcese flick The King of Comedy last night. I can see why this is Conan O'Brien's favorite movie.

But it gave me nightmares. Or not exactly nightmares, but worse: those obsessive half-awake thoughts that won't let you get entirely to sleep and won't shut up unless you become completely awake. Something in my head was telling me I was like unto Rupert Pupkin. Rupert Pupkin. Rupert Pupkin. The last movie that did this to me was Fight Club. I think it's pretty much a sign that the movie is good, in a particular dark way.

Rupert Pupkin is Robert De Niro's character in the movie, one of those obsessive losers he often plays, in a typically brilliant performance. Pupkin lives in his mom's basement and spends his days talking to cardboard cut-outs of Jerry Lewis and Liza Minnelli. He imagines that he is the greatest stand-up comic in the world. Eventually, with the help of a standard-issue crazy stalker played by Sandra Bernhard, he kidnaps Jerry Lewis's character, who is this Johnny Carson-like figure, so he can get on the show. Tony Randall ensues. Jerry Lewis, believe it or not, gives a fine dramatic performance as the guy who would really like to get rid of the annoyance of Rupert Pupkin. Sandra Bernhard is just Sandra Bernhard.

One of the things I liked most about the movie is that when we finally hear Pupkin's routine, it's pretty bad, but it's realistically bad: not completely over-the-top bad, but the kind of bad you'd hear from an actual really lame stand-up comic. Jokes about how crummy Passaic, New Jersey is. And he actually gets a few chuckles from dimwits in the audience.

I AM NOT RUPERT PUPKIN, DO YOU HEAR ME???


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me too

(Anonymous)
they've been showing it a lot on IFC this month. After writing on forums with comic book writers then seeing this movie, i thought that maybe i was just another rupert pupkin kinda like you were saying. I totally undestand what you are saying about these movies (fight club, the king and many others). Well I was just about to go crazy but i searched for the name rupert pupkin online and found that its just the movie not me. thanks for the soothing words man.


p.s adaptation freaked me out the same way

Rupert Pupkin

(Anonymous)
Brilliant movie! Saw it for the first time last week. The thing I liked about it the most was that the comedy wasn't over obvious. Scorsese is my favorite director.

Thought I was the only one who liked both Fight Club and King of Comedy. Saw both a long time ago and they(with the possible inclusion of Gattaca though not the same class as FC) have been movies that have haunted me ever since.I am not sure I'm happy to be in company here but glad to know King of Comedy has its fans

I quoted you on Mark Kermode's recent blog post about the movie, which I hope is OK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markkermode/2012/10/tv_movie_of_the_week_the_king.html

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