The King of Comedy script
Synopsis: The King of Comedy is a 1983 American satirical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis and Sandra Bernhard. Written by Paul D. Zimmerman, the film focuses on themes including celebrity worship and American media culture. 20th Century Fox released the film on February 18, 1983, in the United States, though the film was released two months earlier in Iceland. The film began shooting in New York on June 1, 1981, to avoid clashing with a forthcoming writers' strike, and opened the Cannes Film Festival in 1983.

A number of people in the crowd hand in pieces of paper.

PUPKIN is standing next to a young couple, about college

age. The YOUNG GIRL has just sent in her paper.

PUPKIN:

(to the GIRL)

What are you going to do with

Jerry's autograph?

YOUNG GIRL:

I don't know. Maybe I'll sell it.

BOYFRIEND:

I'll tell you what she's going to

do with it. She's going to pin

it on her bulletin board and

have an orgasm.

The YOUNG GIRL laughs unself-consciously.

CUT TO:

LANGFORD's limousine waits directly in front of the stage

door. MAE has engaged the CHAUFFEUR who stands at the

door of the car in conversation.

CHAUFFEUR:

(wearily)

No, Mae.

MAE:

I don't mean now.

CHAUFFEUR:

No, Mae.

MAE:

I'll get right out.

The CHAUFFEUR, smiling, shakes his head.

CUT TO:

A plain-looking GIRL in a black raincoat and black, floppy

hat stands on the street side of the limousine,

carefully watching MAE and the CHAUFFEUR talk.

CUT TO:

MAE:

But I've never been in one.

We hear a cry as a celebrity emerges from the backstage

door. MAE turns and goes back towards the door.

CUT TO:

The POLICEMAN is handing out the autographs. Suddenly

LANGFORD emerges, flanked by three PAGES, husky young men

in their early twenties dressed in theater uniforms.

There is screaming and some yelling of LANGFORD's name.

LANGFORD pays no attention. Smiling nervously, he makes

his way towards the limousine. The CHAUFFEUR stands at

the rear of the car, holding the door. LANGFORD enters

the car and then suddenly springs back. The GIRL in the

black raincoat and black hat has hidden herself in the

back seat of the limousine. The three PAGES, who have

already turned and headed back toward the theater, hear

the commotion and swing around. The GIRL, who we shall

come to know as MARSHA, hides herself in the far end of

the limo, so two of the PAGES go around to the far side

of the car and start pulling her out while the third PAGE

moves into the limo from the street side. She fights

like a wildcat, but the PAGES slowly manage to drag her

out. During the struggle, LANGFORD stands amid the crowd,

a bit shaken. PUPKIN stands next to him, staring at him.

When finally catches LANGFORD's eye, PUPKIN smiles

pleasantly.

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Paul D. Zimmerman

Paul D. Zimmerman (3 July 1938 - 2 March 1993 in Princeton, New Jersey) was a screenwriter, film critic and activist. He was a film critic for Newsweek magazine from 1967 to 1975, and also wrote for television shows including Sesame Street but is probably best known for writing The King of Comedy (1983), directed by Martin Scorsese. He was also the co-writer of Lovers and Liars (1979) and Consuming Passions (1988) Zimmerman was the author of many other screenplays, mostly unproduced, as well as the books The Open Man, The Year the Mets Lost Last Place and The Marx Brothers at the Movies (1968). Active in the Nuclear Freeze movement, he managed to become a member of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican Party convention in 1984 in order to be the only person to vote against Ronald Reagan. Zimmerman died of colon cancer months after similarly voting against incumbent President Bush. more…

All Paul D. Zimmerman scripts | Paul D. Zimmerman Books

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