Martin Scorsese Says Audiences ‘Hated’ the ‘King of Comedy’: It Was the ‘Flop of the Year’

Oct 8, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: IndieWire (by Samantha Bergeson).

Exactly 40 years later, and Martin Scorsese is laughing about the poor reception to “The King of Comedy.”

The 1983-released film, which has been critically redeemed as one of the best movies of the decade, was used by Scorsese’s daughter Francesca Scorsese as an example to explain something being “slept on.” Francesca used “The King of Comedy” to teach Scorsese modern slang in a TikTok video.

“People hated it when it came out,” Scorsese said. “No, it was the flop of the year. That’s what it was called on Entertainment Tonight, New Year’s Eve ’83-’84. It’s OK, it’s alright.”

The film followed wannabe stand-up comic Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) who becomes obsessed with a late-night talk show host (Jerry Lewis) and kidnaps him for ransom. “The King of Comedy” directly influenced the 2019 Oscar-winning film “Joker,” which Scorsese executive produced. Both films starred De Niro.

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