What “Joker” Tells Us About Comedy Today

Matt Nagin
Apr 1, 2020 · 5 min read

In The King of Comedy, Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro), a bumbling amateur comic living in his mother’s basement, stalks Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), a talk show host, and, with the aid of a friend (Sandra Bernhard), eventually holds him hostage in an effort to do a late-night set. Shockingly, the execs put him on and he somehow with zero experience gets a ton of laughs. He is whisked off to jail by the authorities…