In the Paul D Zimmerman-written and Martin Scorcese-directed 1983 film The King of Comedy, Robert De Niro brilliantly plays the character of celebrity autograph hound, aspiring stand-up comic, and extremely wannabe star Rupert Pupkin, who so desperately wants to achieve success in showbiz that he goes to such extremes as stalking his idol, a late night talk show host named Jerry Langford (played by Jerry Lewis). He eventually ending up kidnapping Langford with assistance from an equally deranged celebrity hound, Masha, played to perfection by Sandra Bernhard.
If you have not already seen this movie, I recommend you do. It is available on DVD and should be found at each of the three Amoeba Music locations. I hadn't seen it in many years and just recently re-watched and enjoyed the film as much as the first time I'd seen it --although not in a feel-good movie kind of way. To me, watching The King of Comedy is like some horrible car accident that you don't want see but at the same time cannot pull yourself away from. In the film, De Niro is the car wreck as he so effortlessly plays the desperate and totally delusional Rupert Pupkin character to a tee. He has you cringing in your seat as you witness him go to such lengths to convince the world of what he imagines his life to be -- or wills it to become. Most engaging are the scenes when the obsessive Rupert indulges in elaborate fantasies where he imagines himself and the talk show host, just hanging as the best of colleagues and friends.
And 24 years later, as society has become even more celebrity obsessed and fame hungry, this film strikes even more of chord.