Video Picks Archive

February 28, 2001
This Week's Video Picks
Back to Archive

Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are The Original Kings of Comedy (2000 - ) and The King of Comedy (1983 - ).

The first film this week was one of the most successful stand-up comedy films ever made. It's not surprising since it captured a show of the most successful comedy tour of all time: The Original Kings of Comedy, which brought Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac to the same stage. Spike Lee shot two of their shows on video and edited them together to make the feature film. The material is expectedly uneven, but there are laughs throughout. Overshadowing his co-stars, however, is Hughley, who delivers a brilliant, edgy routine. Actually, the film should be more enjoyable on television, and will no doubt find greater success in the video market.
Full review from August 22, 2000

I find the temptation to go after similar titles too great this week, and my Scorsese kick made it almost mandatory to make The King of Comedy my second pick. In the film, Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, a wannabe comedian that has an unhealthy obsession over a late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lewis. To get a spot on his show, Rupert kidnaps the host and demands his fifteen minutes of fame as ransom. While this film contains many of the dark elements of Scorsese's style, it is more comical and satirical than his other work. The ironic part is that De Niro plays the wacky, funny guy instead of Lewis. Also starring is Sandra Bernhard as Rupert's accomplice, who is even more insane. It's not among Scorsese's best -- it has the unenviable position between Raging Bull and After Hours in his filmography -- but it does make an interesting and enjoyable footnote in his career.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
The King of Comedy (1983)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
The Original Kings Of Comedy (2000) -- VHS
The Original Kings Of Comedy (2000) -- DVD
The Original Kings Of Comedy: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
The King of Comedy (1983) -- VHS Home
Review Archive
Guide to Star Ratings

Capsule Reviews © 2001 Matt Heffernan