The King of Comedy (1982) Script

HERLIHY: And now, from New York, The Jerry Langford Show... with Jerry's guests: Tony Randall, Richard Dreyfuss...

Rodney Dangerfield, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Lou Brown and the orchestra... and little old me, Ed Herlihy.

And now say hello to Jerry!

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

(AUDIENCE CHEERING)

Thank you. Good evening. You look like a great audience.

Louis, how are you? Lou Brown and the marvelous Langford orchestra.

Group.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Um, Ed, how are you tonight? Very well.

Wonderful. I'm sorry I woke you.

(ALL LAUGH)

I shall adhere to your request, sir.

You want Jerry's autograph? Give me the books.

Give me the books, give me the books. Okay.

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

MAN 1: Have him write something personal. Half an hour. Goodbye.

RUPERT: I'll give you Mia Farrow for it.

I'm not gonna give you anything else. I'm not wasting my time going in to get it.

WOMAN 1: Hi, Rupert. MAN 2: Hello, Rupert.

MAN 3: Who'd you get? RUPERT: Nobody.

MAN 3: I got Rodney Dangerfield. I'll trade for Barbra.

You're wasting your time. MAN 3: Robin Williams.

Sidney, it's not my whole life.

That supposed to mean it's my whole life?

It's not my whole life. It's not my whole life, that's right. It's yours, but not mine.

(PEOPLE CLAMORING)

WOMAN 3: Jerry, it's me! I love you!

Don't go, Jerry! No! No!

Will you stop shoving, please? Will you stop pushing?

I'm not gonna take this, Jerry! No!


WOMAN 3: Jerry! Jerry!

Please.

Okay! Stand back! Stand back! Please let Mr. Langford get some air!

Didn't you get my message?

Come on, people.

Jerry, I'm sorry. I don't mean to disturb you. I just wanna talk to you for a minute.

This is not the time. If we could just drive away.

You can drop me off anywhere.

No, I have a very strict rule about people getting in the car.

I hate to bring this up, and I don't mean to be rude, but I did put myself on the line for you.

Go ahead, Harvey. Hit it. Jerry! Jerry!

(CAR HORN HONKING)

Here.

Thanks.

Is that your initials? Yeah.

I just wanna tell you, my name is Rupert Pupkin.

I know the name doesn't mean very much to you, but it means an awful lot to me, and...

Calm down. Take your time. I'm a little nervous.

You might have wondered who I am. I've been outside your show many times.

I'm in communications now, but the point I'm trying to make is, by nature I'm a comedian.

You're gonna say, "Not another one." But, believe me, I'm very good. I'm dynamite.

I wouldn't take one minute of your time if I wasn't convinced I'm dynamite.

You're probably wondering, "if he's so good, how come he hasn't caught my act?"

That's a very good question, and I'll tell you why. You know why?

I've been biding my time, slowly and carefully, so that when my big break came...

Like the night when Jack Paar got sick? Your big break?

That was the night that convinced me I wanted to be a comedian.

I walked out of that show like I was in a dream.

After that, I caught all your guest appearances on Sullivan.

I studied everything you did. The way you built to your one-liners, nice and relaxed.

How you delivered the jokes without leaning too much on them.

How you didn't say, "Hey, folks, here's the punch line."

You know, Jerry? You know what I'm talking about?

You don't say, "Folks, here's the punch line." You just do the punch line.

Exactly. That's what I loved about what you did.

So, what I'm trying to say is that, you see, now I'm ready.

I'm ready, and I've finished the course.

And I'm thinking as I'm sitting here now, maybe this is my big break, my big chance.

You know what I mean?

What do you think?

(SCOFFS)

What'd you say your name was? Rupert Pupkin.

All right, look, pal. Gotta tell you... this is a crazy business, but it's not unlike any other business.

There are ground rules.

You don't just walk on to a network show without experience.

It's an old hackneyed expression, but it's the truth: you've got to start at the bottom.

That's where I am, at the bottom. That's a perfect place to start.

I know that, but there's gotta be a...

Ah, it looks so simple to the viewer at home, those things that come so easily... that are so relaxed and look like it's a matter of just taking another breath.

It takes years and years and years of honing that and working it and...

There's only one problem. I don't mean to interrupt you. I'm 34 years old.

That's why I'm asking you if you'll listen to my act and tell me what you think about it.

I'll tell you what. Why don't you call my office?

All right, okay. I could do that. You ask for Cathy Long. She's my secretary.

And we'll make time to listen to you. Uh...

You know how many times I've had this conversation in my head?

Did it always turn out this way? Yeah, it did, heh.

I really believe this.

I think once you get over the initial shyness, you're gonna be okay.

Yeah? Yeah.

I hope it works out for you. Thanks, Jerry. Thanks a lot.

It's a pleasure meeting you, Jerry.

Jerry?

I'm short on cash, but if you don't mind just appetizers, I'll take you to dinner sometime.

I got people waiting. I don't know what my schedule is. Maybe we can.

Thanks, Jerry, thanks.

Jerry! Jerry.

Let me show you a picture of my pride and joy.

That's good. It is. That's good, isn't it?

Hey, Jerry, take it.

Take it. Go ahead. Take it. Consider it a gift. It'll work for you.

I will. Not that you need the help, heh.

Jerry. Seriously, you ever want lunch, my treat.

Call my office. Okay, okay, okay.

Okay. Jerry, you're a prince.

Hey, Rupe, before I forget, I really appreciate you meeting me for lunch.

I know how busy you are and how tired you are.

What are friends for, Jerry?

(JERRY SIGHS)

You're the one who looks tired.

Yeah, I know. It's the show.

The pressure, the ratings, the same guests, same questions.

I'm just not enjoying it anymore. That's... the worst.

Listen, I really wish you would think about it again, okay?

You're starting again. You're starting up again.

It's not that big a deal to think. I am thinking. I'm thinking.

That's all I do, is think day and night.

How can I not think about it? I'm here at lunch with you... which I knew was the reason you invited me... and all I'm sitting here for is to get guilty with you, right?

I'm asking you to take over the show for six weeks. I mean, what's six weeks?

Anything, but don't ask me to do six weeks. I can't take over the show for six weeks.

I can't even take over my own life for six weeks.

And you're asking me to do something that's impossible!

It's impossible. WOMAN: Rupert!

What? What are you doing down there so late?

It's impossible! I'm trying to tell you that.

You want the tears to come out of my eyes?

There's gotta be a way you can work it out. It's just six weeks.

DOLORES: Excuse me, uh, Mr. Pupkin? Do you think you could...?

Yeah.

Sure. What's your name, dear? Dolores.

Dolores? That was my father's name.

"To Dolores, who sensed greatness."

There you go, sweetheart.

Thanks, Mr. Pupkin. Don't mention it.

WOMAN: Rupert! Rupert, who are you talking to?

Mom! What is it?

Please stop calling me!

It's terrific. It's great. There's only one problem, though.

He made you bigger. Will you give me an answer?

All right, you got the six weeks. I'll give you the six weeks.

Don't bother me. I'll give you six weeks. What can I say? Are you happy now?

You're a tough man, Rupe.

You gotta be in this business.

(LAUGHS)

(LAUGHING)


(PHONE RINGING)

Hello. MASHA: Hello. It's Masha, Jerry.

- Did you get my note? Who is this?

MASHA: It's Masha. Did you get the note? I left it on the back seat.

I dropped it there before they dragged me out of the car.

Those guys really hurt me. I think that was a bit much. I really do.

How did you get this number? MASHA: Don't be angry with me, Jerry.

I said, how did you get this number? MASHA: I didn't know what else to do.

(UNHOOKS PHONE)


How have you been, Rita?

Do I know you? I think you might.

Rupert.

Rupert Pupkin, right? Right.

I brought you a little present.

Oh, yeah. I remember. Mr. Romance, heh.

RUPERT: Put an aspirin in that. It'll last longer.

So, what are you up to these days?

You're looking as beautiful as ever, Rita.

Well, here I am. Local cheerleader makes good.

You know, it's funny, but I... I, uh, voted for you, Most Beautiful.

Did you? That was sweet.

I didn't have the nerve to tell you then, but...

Yeah, now you can tell me. It's okay, we're both adults.

When you're younger, you're afraid to say those things... but when you get older, 15-, 20 years later... you can say all those things that you should have said 15-, 20 years ago.

Isn't that the final irony of life? Isn't it?

I guess.

Are you happy in this place, Rita?

Why? You got something better? Maybe.

Oh, really? Like what? Well, what are you doing tonight?

What am I doing tonight? Yeah. What's so funny?

(CHUCKLES)

It only took you 15 years to ask me for a date. Don't you think it's a little late?

(LAUGHS)

Really? Well...

Waiter? Can I have a fresh one?

Rita.

Who is your favorite movie star?

(CHUCKLES)

This some kind of a game? You gonna tell me something about my character, my future?

You'll see. Tell me. Everybody has a favorite movie star.

Well, I better come up with somebody or we'll never get out of here, right?

(BOTH CHUCKLING)

That's a little test, heh. Let's see. Marilyn Monroe.

Perfect.

Talent register, huh?

That's her name.

She signed this when she was in New York on her publicity tour for The Misfits.

That was her last movie, you know. Yeah?

She wasn't a great actress, but she did have a real gift for comedy.

She died tragically alone, like many of the world's most beautiful women.

I don't wanna see that happening to you.

(SCOFFS)

Who's this? Burt Reynolds.

This? Mel Brooks.

He's what you call "on" funny. Others are just regular.

That's Sid Caesar. He's remarkable. I really like him. He's great.

Woody Allen. He's a personal friend of mine.

Of course he is. Ha, ha. No, he is.

That's Ernie Kovacs. He was wonderful.

He was a great comedian, a great innovator, and it was a great, great loss.

Oh, I bet some of these are worth money.

Oh, yeah. Especially this one. Just hold it.

Who's this? Well, just take a guess.

Heh, it looks like a retard wrote this. RUPERT: Ha-ha-ha.

The more scribbled the name, the bigger the fame.

That might be true, Rupert, but who is it?

"R" is the first letter.

Come on, Rupert. Who is it? I'm tired. Well, I'll give you a little hint.

R...? Robert Redford.

(RUPERT CHUCKLING)

No.

No, no.

That's Rupert Pupkin.

Rupert Pupkin.

I surprised you, didn't I?

Take this as a gift.

Take good care of that. In a few weeks, everyone's gonna want one.

Rupert, you have not changed.

Just a couple of hours ago, do you know who I was talking to? Guess.

Your shrink? Heh, that's very funny.

No. Jerry Langford. That's right. The Jerry Langford.

He gave me the go-ahead, Rita.

(RITA SIGHING)

You know what? Don't tell anyone yet, but you're looking at the new King of Comedy.

(RITA CHUCKLING)

Why not me? Why not?

A guy can get anything he wants, as long as he pays the price.

What's so funny about that? I mean, crazier things have happened.

You don't understand what a shot on Langford means.

That's coast-to-coast national TV... a bigger audience than the greatest comedians played to in a whole lifetime.

A shot at a free ticket on the comedy circuit.

A comedy show of my own. The Rupert Pupkin Show. Everything.

All that leads in one direction: Hollywood.

A beach house in Malibu on the ocean. And we'll keep a suite at the Sherry.

Everybody stays there when they make it big. Up top, so we can look down and yell:

"Hey, tough luck, suckers! Better luck next time."

Come on. What do you say?

It sounds wonderful, Rupert, and I wish you the best of luck.

But it's getting late and I'm a working girl. I gotta go home.

I don't get you. Here I am offering you a way out.

Rita, every king needs a queen.

I want you to be mine.

(CHUCKLES)

This is a nice street. Nice building.

Thanks for your jacket, Rupert. Oh.

I guess you're entitled to come up and have some coffee.

Oh, no, I wouldn't wanna impose, really.

I know I can be... What do you want, Rupert?

What?

What do you want? What do I want?

Rita, you still don't understand? I love you.

I wanna help change your life, if you'll just give me a chance.

What if I set something up between me, you and Jerry?

What if we went out to dinner one night? What do you think?

You know what's even better? We'll go to his summer house for a weekend.

He wouldn't wanna meet me. That's not true.

Jerry is a very nice guy.

He's a very, very nice guy, and we had a terrific meeting.

You shouldn't sell yourself short.

You have too little faith, and you're a wonderful person.

Why don't you go to sleep and get a good night's rest, okay?

Okay.

Good night, Rupert. Good night.

Go to sleep right away.

RUPERT: I'll tell you, boy.

Hi, Liza. Good seeing you.

Jerry, good seeing you. Jerry. Don't get up.

Ah, oh, boy, I'll tell you.

Every time you come back from a tour... there must be something in the air or the tour, it really becomes you.

It's like you become rejuvenated. I don't know what it is.

Isn't that so, everybody? Isn't that so?

Heh, that's the truth. I'll tell you. It's amazing. You look wonderful.

Yeah, I know. You look wonderful too, Jerry. I wasn't leaving you out, heh.

What? Yeah!

(LAUGHING)

Oh, Jerry. I love this guy. Always coming up with these great lines.

I love him. I love him. He's wonderful. You're wonderful.

I don't know what I'd do without you.

MOTHER: Rupert! The bus is here. It's early. Try to be on time for once!

I can't believe this. Ha, ha, I gotta go now. Yeah, I gotta catch a bus.

Jerry, take care of yourself. Baby, be good. Good luck in Rio.

Good morning, Rupert. Good morning.

How are you? This is for you.

Work.

What time is it? It's 10:00.

Is it 10 o'clock? Could I use the phone for one second?

Is it local? Yeah.

Sure. Just dial 9 first, and make it short.

(DIALING)

Hello. Jerry Langford, please.

Rupert Pupkin.

Thank you.

Yes, uh, is Jerry there, please? Rupert Pupkin.

Yes.

Well, just tell him it's Rupert calling, and he'll know what it's about. Thank you.

Oh. Oh, he is? Well, that's okay. I'm in a meeting myself.

Uh, just tell him I called. Thank you very much. And I'll call later. Thank you. Bye.

Was that the Jerry Langford?

I'll see you, Roberta. Sure.

RUPERT: Hello. Jerry Langford, please. Rupert Pupkin.

Yes, Rupert Pupkin calling. Jerry Langford, please.

Which, the first name or the second name?

P-U-P-K-I-N. It's often mispronounced and misspelled, so that's why... Yes.

Jerry knows I'm calling. He knows what it's about. Sure.

I see, I see. I see. Yes, you can call me.

I'll be here for the next hour and a half.

I'm at my office, and the number is JL5-4321.

I am waiting for a phone call. It'll only take a few minutes.

All these phones don't work. The phone does not work.

I cannot make a call. I am expecting a call.

Let me try. I'll make a call. It doesn't work.

Wait. Let me just slide in and make a call. Let me just make a call.

It's important. This phone don't work either!


I can't do that. Because we're gonna be working late. Hold on.

Yes, sir? Yes, Jerry Langford, please.

Your name, please? Pupkin. Rupert Pupkin.

Rupert...? Pupkin. P-U-P-K-I-N.

People often misspell it and mispronounce it.

There's a man here by the name of Rupert Pumpkin who wants to see Mr. Langford.

I'm sorry, Mr. Pumpkin, but Mr. Langford's secretary has no record of your appointment.

Pardon me?

We have no record of your appointment.

Oh, well, technically speaking, I don't have an official appointment... but he did ask me to call him personally, and I was in the neighborhood.

I was having trouble calling for some reason.

The line seemed to be busy.

He has no appointment.

His secretary wants to know what this is in reference to.

Mr. Gangemi, go right in. Hello?

Yes. Jerry and I discussed my being on the show last night. He told me to call. Yes.

No, sure, sure. Sure.

I'm supposed to wait.


Is that cork?

I don't know what it is. Is it dripping on you?

No. I was looking at the patterns. Uh...

You know, cork is good for sound.

It's very quiet in here.

(PHONE BEEPS)

Reception.

No, you got an hour or so before they come in. Yeah.

He hasn't come back from the meeting yet.

Mr. Pipkin? Pupkin.

Sorry. I'm Cathy Long. Can I help you? You are...?

I'm Bert Thomas's assistant. He's our executive producer.

Oh, I'm sorry. I've already spoken to Jerry directly about my being on the show.

He told me to get in touch with him personally. I'm here to follow up on that.

What is it exactly that you do? I stand-up comic.

Oh. Where are you working now? Right now I'm working on new material.

Well, as soon as you do start working again, why don't you give us a call... and we'll send someone to check out your act. Thanks.

Jerry and I went over this last night. Does Jerry know your work?

Yes. I don't think he does.

Do you have a tape I could listen to? A tape? Oh, naturally. Whatever you'd like.

Why don't you drop me by a tape?

I will. I can see where Jerry would need that.

Of course. Nice meeting you. Nice meeting you too.

This is really what's right.

This is great. This is...

See you again. Nice talking to you. Bye.

MASHA: Rupert. Hey, Rupert.

I gotta talk to you. What happened last night in the car?

Did he talk about me? No, he didn't.

He talked about me, as a matter of fact. He must've said something about me.

What's he gonna say about you after what you did in the car last night?

You must be really loving this. You were schmucko supremo last night.

Hold on a minute. I'm the schmuck? Me? You're wrong, buddy. You're very wrong.

If I hadn't gotten in that car, you'd never even have had the chance to talk to Jerry.

What? I don't wanna be cruel, but we're in front of Jerry's building.

God forbid he should see me with you. Jerry and I have a real relationship.

No fantasy world. After what you did last night, I don't even wanna see you anymore.

Fine! That's the way you want it? See if I care! Just get it to him.

I'm not giving him anything. No way.

You're the one who's so friendly. You give it to him.

We're having a communication problem, and I need you to get this to him.

Is that what you call it?

You're always bragging about how you broke bread with Jerry.

Just do this for me, Rupert. I've done things for you.

You haven't done anything for me. What are you talking about?

How about Howard Johnson's?

I bought you food. I bought you coffee night after night.

You got your mind screwed up. I bought my own coffee.

You never bought anything!

What about things I did for you that no money can buy?

What about the time I gave you my spot? I let you get right next to Jerry!

I waited for eight hours and you went right next to him because you were crying to me!

And what about the time I gave you my last album of The Best of Jerry? What about that?

I didn't even ask you for money, and I can't even pay my rent!

What are you talking about? I live in a hovel! And you live in a townhouse!

I can't believe this girl!

Here, I got money for you.

I can't believe how long I've been your friend and listened to your tired, stale, boring jokes!

Here's $900. Will you be quiet?

Take this and give it to Jerry.

All right, this is the last time. This is the last time.

When are you gonna get it to him? You're a wacko.

You make sure. I'll know if you don't. I know where you are, where Jerry is!

I cover the waterfront! Remember that!

(PEOPLE CLAMORING)

What are you looking at? Beat it! You scum! You're street trash!

First, Miss Long, thank you for your help at the office and for passing this on to Jerry.

I appreciate it more than you know.

Jerry, thank you for listening to this material and for the opportunity you've given me.

Lots of people think that guys like you, people who've made it... lose their feeling for struggling young talent such as myself.

But now I know from experience that those people are just cynics... embittered by their own failure.

I know, Jerry, that you are as human as the rest of us, if not more so.

No point in going on about it. You know how I feel.

So let's get on with the show, The Best of Rupert Pupkin.

Jerry, I've sketched out this little outline in order to save you a bit of time.

It's a little introduction. So close your eyes and imagine it's exactly 6:00.

You're standing in the wings, and we hear the orchestra strike up your theme song.

(MUSIC PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS)

HERLIHY (OVER SPEAKERS): And now from New York, it's The Jerry Langford Show... with Jerry's guests: Richard Pryor, Ben Gazzara...

Elizabeth Ashley, Carol Burnett...

And the comedy find of the year, making his television debut...

...Rupert Pupkin, the new King of Comedy! MOTHER: Rupert! Rupert!

Are you crazy? What's the matter with you?

RUPERT: Come on, Mom! MOTHER: People are sleeping. Lower it!

What's the matter with you? Mom!

Take it easy. Lower it.

I'm not gonna lower it! I have to do this now!

I don't mind you playing it, but lower it.

Now, you come on, Jerry, and do your monologue.

When the time comes, this is how I see you introducing me. Something like this:

"Will you please give your warmest welcome to the newest King of Comedy...

Rupert Pupkin!"

(PEOPLE APPLAUDING OVER SPEAKERS)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Rupert Pupkin.

I was born in Clifton, New Jersey...

(PEOPLE LAUGHING OVER SPEAKERS)

Is there anyone here from Clifton?

But the fact is that no one's allowed to be...

Because once you fall below a certain level...


CATHY: Mr. Pipkin. Pupkin.

Pupkin. Sorry. You'll get it right one of these days.

I'll bet you have a tape for me. Right here.

Got your name on it? We'll listen to it and get it back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you very much. When Jerry finds a moment. Good. When will that be?

Uh...

Actually, you can try me tomorrow. We might know something by then. Otherwise, Monday.

Monday?

Hmm. Miss Long, what I might do is just wait here a while. Maybe Jerry'll find a minute.

CATHY: You're wasting your time. We won't know until tomorrow at the earliest.

That's all right. I don't mind. I'm not wasting my time. I'm glad to do it.

It's important to me, so I really don't mind.

CATHY: It'll probably be Monday. Monday?

Well, I'll still wait.

Really, I don't mind. It's okay.

I'll tell you what. Why don't you try me tomorrow afternoon for sure?

Tomorrow? What time tomorrow? CATHY: Mm-hm.

Four thirty. Four thirty. I'll be here. Thank you.

You're welcome. And thank Jerry.

I will. Okay.

RUPERT: Goodbye.

Goodbye.

At least once in his life every man is a genius.

And, Rupe, it's gonna be more than once in your life for you.

It's gonna be a number of times, because you've got it.

From what I've heard here, you've got it and you're stuck with it.

I don't care if you wanted to get rid of it, you couldn't. It's always gonna be there.

Now, I know there's no formula for it. I just don't know how you do it.

And I'm not curious, mind you, because I wanna use the material.

I'm just curious to know how you do it. I really have to ask you. How do you do it?

I think it's that I look at my whole life, and I see the awful, terrible things in my life... and turn it into something funny.

It just happens.

Were the first few one-liners strong enough?

If they were any stronger, you'd hurt yourself.

They're marvelous. Leave them alone.

I remember a man... A man said... Listen to me. Listen to me.

A man said something very profound some years ago, which I later originated.

(BOTH CHUCKLING)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You wanna know how I know it's so good?

Yes.

Because I envy you. I hate you, but I envy you.

Because it's purity, it's marvelous, it's humor based on you.

No one else could do it but you. I wouldn't lie. I wouldn't lie to you, Rupe.

Now, look, this weekend would be a perfect time for you to come out to the house... if you care to, and we can hash it around. Only because I wanna know how you do it.

There'll be people there, but we can still work.

It sounds great. Terrific.

I would really like to come. Wonderful.

Could I bring somebody?

A young lady? A very special young lady.

Of course. I'd like to meet her.

Heh, hey, Jerry, how you doing? How are you?

You're looking good. You should see me in my white taffeta.

(MAN LAUGHING)

You're doing some great shows, Jerry. Thanks a lot.

How about putting me on your show? Yeah. I could've used you last night.

(MEN WHISTLING)

(MEN CHEERING)

Come on down!

MAN: Hi, Jerry. How are you? Hi there.

WOMAN: Morris, you will not believe who's coming down here.

Jerry Langford, right? Morris, please hold on.

Jerry, could you please sign my magazine for me?

You're just wonderful. I've watched you your entire career.

Would you say something to my nephew Morris on the phone? He's in the hospital.

I'm sorry. I'm late. I hope you get cancer!

Jerry?

I can't. I'm late.


(HORN HONKING)


Yes, sir? Oh, hi.

Hi. How are you? Not bad.

Good, good. I'm fine.

Can I help you? Yes. I'd like to see Jerry, please.

You are...?

Pupkin. Rupert Pupkin.

Mr. Potkin is here. That's right.

Okay.

She'll be with you in a minute.

Who's that? Miss Long.

Oh, well, I'd prefer to see Jerry.

Miss Long will take care of you.

Okay. I'll wait right here.

And as a surprise to Rupert for being on the show with us tonight... we'd like to present to you someone in a form that we've never presented before.

A mystery guest. Would you please welcome our mystery guest? Let's hear it for him.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Jerry, this is the mystery guest?

This is the mystery guest.

Let me see if I can place him. I think I know.

Don't you remember me? No, I don't.

I'm George Kapp. George Kapp. My high-school principal!

You guessed it. Well, how are you?

You used to fail me. What do you have him on the show for? He's an enemy, heh.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Only because you deserved it. Oh, thank you.

But I'm a justice of the peace now.

I perform weddings. Do you?

Jerry.

Jerry, what are you doing? I can't believe this.

Believe it. It's part of the surprise.

How would the audience like to see the King of Comedy marry his queen on the show?

I can't believe it. I don't know what to say!

He's too much. He's too much.

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)


(PLAYING WAGNER'S "BRIDAL CHORUS")


KAPP: Dearly beloved, when Rupert here was a student at Clifton High School... none of us... Myself, his teachers, his classmates.

Dreamt that he would amount to a hill of beans.

But we were wrong. And you, Rupert, you were right.

And that's why tonight, before the entire nation... we'd like to apologize to you personally... and to beg your forgiveness for...

For all the things we did to you.

And we'd like to thank you personally, all of us... for the meaning you've given our lives.

Please accept our warmest wishes, Rita and Rupert... for a long and successful reign together.

We'll be back to marry them right after this word.

Mr. Pupkin.

How are you today? I'm fine.

Good, good.

I wanna thank you for your tape. We listened to it with great interest.

Oh, good. I'm glad.

We see a lot of good things in what you're doing.

We think you have potential, which is why I'm gonna be absolutely honest with you.

That's the way you should be. Absolutely honest.

We don't think you're ready yet. Don't think I'm ready.

We don't feel that you're right for Jerry. Right for Jerry. Mm-hm.

Some of the material is good, but some of the one-liners, for instance, are not very strong.

They're not very strong. You didn't like some of the jokes. Is that it?

That's right. Good. I can take care of that.

Just tell me the ones you don't like, and no problem.

Actually, that's a great help. Great.

We think you have a good potential. Your timing is excellent.

But you should keep developing your act.

You ought to test it in a few live situations.

I think that'd be very good for you.

There are a number of clubs that you can try.

When you start working in one of those, give us a call. We'll send someone down.

Thanks. You're welcome. Bye-bye.

Thank you.

Miss Long, may I ask you a question? Are you speaking for Jerry?

Yes, I am. You are?

He has complete faith in our judgment. Well, I'm sorry to have to say this.

But I have to tell you, I don't have faith in your judgment.

I'm sorry that you feel that way.

But I guess there's nothing we can do about that.

No, I'll have to disagree with you again, Miss Long.

That's your privilege, Mr. Pupkin.

Now, would you excuse me? I have a great many things to do.

Miss Long, when will Jerry be back?

Mr. Langford won't be in until very late this afternoon.

Mr. Pupkin, we mean what we say when we thank you for stopping up.

And we mean it when we tell you that you can call us when you start working.

Goodbye. Goodbye.


(RUPERT CLEARS THROAT)

(RUPERT CHUCKLES)

Is there anyone else you'd like to see?

No. That's all right.

I don't mind waiting.

Which reminds me about the man who waited so long, he forgot what he was waiting for.

Well, would you mind waiting outside, Mr. Pupnick?

This is a reception area, not a waiting room.

I understand.

(CLEARS THROAT)

Did you ask him to leave? Yeah, but he won't go.

What's his name? Rupert Pumpkin.

Hi. I'm Raymond Wirtz, in charge of security for the Langford organization.

Why don't we go outside and talk? Is this your bag?

Yes. I'm waiting for Jerry. It's personal.

We'll talk about that outside. I know he's expecting me.

Listen, we'll talk about that outside. Please take your bag.

I'll explain company policy to you on the way, okay?

Now, I'm pretty sure you understand that we have certain rules here... that are essential to the smooth functioning of our operation. Right?

If I could just say that... Now, just listen, please. Okay?

And that without these rules, we really wouldn't be able to function at our best.

You follow my point? I get the point, except...

Please, Mr. Puffer. After you.

After you, sir, please. If I could just say that Jerry is...

Just listen to me. I checked with Miss Long. You do not have an appointment.

Now, company policy is that only authorized personnel... and those persons with official business with our organization... are permitted on our premises.

In other words, you want me to leave the building?


MASHA: Well? Did you get it to him? RUPERT: What?

Did you get my letter to him? He's not in there, okay?

Now that you're so in with him, you can't do me a favor? Don't bother.

Just give me the letter. I'll find somebody else.

He wasn't there. I saw him go in myself.

Who? Jerry!

He's up there right now. Wanna see him? That's impossible.

They assured me that he was out.

And you believed them? Mm-hm.

You're so naive. I would expect that from you.

So inexperienced. You're such a chump.

He went up there just now? Of course. Go back up.

Assert yourself a little bit. He's up there right now.

Oh, no.

Would you tell Jerry I'm here? I'm sorry, he's not in.

I know he is. Would you tell him I'm here? I'm sorry, he's not in.

You're putting your job on the line, lady. You hear me?

Security.

You too.


CATHY: Mr. Pupkin, what are you doing here?

Mr. Pupkin?

Mr. Pupkin.

Get security on the telephone.

WIRTZ: There he goes.

Hold on. Grab his other arm. Hold on to him.

Right. All right, right out the door.

You wouldn't listen, huh?

Jerry? Jerry?

WIRTZ: Nobody's gonna help you.

You're gonna have a lot of explaining to do.

WIRTZ: You had your warning, Krupkin. My lawyer'll be calling you.

WIRTZ: Make sure he gets my name right.

Say goodbye to our guest, Miss Long. Wait till Jerry hears about this.

WIRTZ: I will mention your name to Jerry, Pupper.

Listen good, because if we see your face again, we're gonna call the police.

Thank you. Thank you very much, heh, heh.

Terrific. I suppose that you got the letter to him?

No, but I'll get it later. Great.

You just got thrown out of the building. I didn't get thrown out.

What do you call that? I didn't.

Excuse me. I wasn't thrown out of the building.

You're a constant embarrassment. They walked me outside.

You can't handle the simplest things. I'll tell you something else. I'm going...

Jerry invited me for the weekend. Great. I'll go with you.

Do I look okay?

Wonderful. Does this look all right?

That, I'm not sure about. What do you mean?

You look wonderful. What's wrong with it?

Nothing. I just don't think you need it.

You don't think it looks nice on me? No, it looks wonderful.

Hello.

RUPERT: You must be Jonno. Uh, yes.

My name is Rupert Pupkin and this is Rita Keane.

Would you let Jerry know we're here? Mr. Langford asked you to come?

No, we just thought we'd drop in uninvited for the weekend.

(RUPERT & RITA CHUCKLE)

Come on in. We'll be staying in separate rooms. The blue bag is mine.

But Mr. Langford's not here. Where is he? Out playing golf?

Yes. Yes, of course.

I hope he's finally gonna break 100. A hundred?

Perhaps better you come back. No, we'll just wait.

But Mr. Langford is not here. That's okay. We'll just wait.

That's okay. We don't mind waiting.

Isn't this lovely?

Table's only set for one.

How do you like it? I could live here.

Mr. Langford, I'm sorry to disturb you, sir.

Uh, what's wrong? Everything's wrong. There are a couple over here.

His name is Pumpkin. Pumpkin, yes. Do you know a name Pumpkin?

Didn't you tell him what time we'd get here?

We didn't have time to iron out the details. We're the first guests.

But that butler wasn't even expecting us.

Jerry does have more important things to think about than what to tell his houseboy.

Really? Well, excuse me.

He knows everything. He knew you were playing golf and everything.

Uh, I don't know what he want. He wanna spend the weekend over here. Yes.

And you better come back. He's touching everything. He's ruining the house.

And I'm getting a heart attack already.

Here's a famous one with the youngest clown in the world, Zippo. Clown for a day.

Remember this one with Ray Charles on Jerry's special?

That's famous. I know. There it is.

Here's a famous one when he was a kid, 12 years old.

Someone sent this in as a part of the show, "I Knew You When" section.

They thought they were playing a joke. Now Jerry shows it to everyone on the show.

RAY CHARLES (SINGING ON STEREO): If I should take a notion...

RITA: Let's get a little life into this place. It's like a funeral parlor.

Jump off into the ocean You should really turn that off. You shouldn't put that on. It's not polite.

How about a little spin, handsome? We shouldn't be dancing.

A little fun never hurt anybody. What if Jerry walks in?

He'll be happy to see us having a good time.

What if he walks in? So? You're his friend. He won't mind.

Ain't nobody's business if I do

Oh, one day...

I wonder what the rest of this place is like.

Well, I'm sure it's very nice.

No, Rita, I wouldn't go up there.

Rita? Rita? RITA: Come on.

I don't think it's a good idea.

Rita, they're watching us. Rita, I don't think you have the right to go upstairs.

Rita, please don't go up there.

(DOORBELL RINGS)

(LOCK CLICKING)

Would you open the goddamn door? I was standing out there eight minutes.

What was with the door? Jesus! Where are they?

JONNO: I was gonna call the police, but I wait for you.

Hi, Jerry. Hi, Jerry. How are you? We were just freshening up upstairs.

Rita, I want you to meet the Jerry Langford. Jerry, I want you to meet the Rita Keane.

Come on down. Don't be ashamed. Attagirl. Come on down.

What's your pleasure, Jerry?

It's hot out there.

I wanna get something nice to drink. Jerry, what would you like? Jer?

Jer?

Excuse us, but it's not every day that a girl like Rita meets a man like you.

I mean, this is part of your success. You have to live with it.

How was your golf game? Was it good? Did you finally break 100?

JONNO: I told them you were not here. COOK: That's right, he did.

Yes, they did. They were really very helpful.

We took an earlier train. There wasn't anything else until after 1, so...

Anyway, I brought the work. It's right here. All ready. All ready and set to go.

So... where is everybody?

What everybody? Heh, what everybody? The guests, Jer.

To tell you the truth, we're getting a little hungry.

You know I could have the both of you arrested?

(LAUGHS)

He could have us arrested. Of course you could have us arrested.

There's no way we can prove that we belong here.

He's great. When he comes up with an idea, he's terrific.

Really, I never thought of that. You should have.

We can set up a story where you invite all your friends out and you throw them all in jail!

(LAUGHING)

That's terrific. That's terrific.

What's the matter? Lighten up. Let's get to work on that. After this, of course.

How did you get here?

We walked in the door. What do you mean? What's the matter with you?

How did you get here?

I think you're upset. I'm gonna leave my material here.

We'll talk later. You've got more important things to worry about.

We'll just stroll around, wait till lunchtime.

Did anyone ever tell you you're a moron?

You know, Jerry, I wanna tell you something.

Ordinarily I wouldn't allow anybody to speak that way about Rita.

But since it's you, I know you're only kidding. He's a real character.

Rupert, he's saying he wants us to go. No, he's not saying that.

Jerry, tell her that. You're not saying that. He's not saying that at all.

Call the station, Jonno. Where are you going? Rita?

There'll be a cab here in five or 10 minutes. Wait at the gate and use it.

Why? You going someplace, heh?

JERRY: No, you are.

Did I say something wrong, Jerry? Because if I did, could we chalk it up to inexperience?

Rita?

I have my stuff right here. We could do it in a half an hour.

Then you'd have the rest of the afternoon to yourself.

I want you out of here. I want you out of here now. Is that plain enough?

I understand. Is that clear?

Yeah, yeah. I understand. Look, you're tired. That's okay.

I'm gonna leave the stuff here. Read it and let me know what you think.

Don't be so dopey. Use your ears. The man is telling us to go.

He is not telling us to go. Will you stop?

Mr. Langford, I knew nothing about this. Tell her she's wrong, Jerry.

I don't even know him. I haven't seen him in years. He told me you were friends.

RUPERT: Rita!

I feel terrible. I'm so humiliated. If there's anything I can do...

Don't listen. She works in a bar. She wants to spoil everything.

Come on, Rupert. Let's go.

Jerry... Okay, come on. Come on, come on.

Let's go. Sorry, Mr. Langford.

Here you are. Take your things and go! All right, I can take a hint, Jerry.

I just want you to listen to my stuff for 15 minutes. Is that asking too much?

Yes, it is. I have a life, okay?

I have a life too. That's not my responsibility.

It is when you tell me to call you. I told you to call to get rid of you!

To get rid of me? Okay, I can take a hint. That's right.

If I didn't tell you that, we'd still be on the steps at my apartment!

All right, so I made a mistake. So did Hitler!

All right. This is the way it is when you're famous.

You understand? Now I see. That's how you guys are, huh?

Not them. Me. Yeah! That's how you are.

When you reach the top. No, I was that way before.

Now I know how people like you are. JERRY: Goodbye and good luck!

RUPERT: Goodbye.

And, Jerry. Jerry, I just wanna say one more thing, Jerry.

I'm glad what you did to me today. Because now I know I can't rely on anybody.

Not you, not anybody. And I shouldn't rely on anybody.

And you wanna know something else? I'm gonna work 50 times harder... and I'm gonna be 50 times more famous than you.

Then you're gonna have idiots like you plaguing your life!

That's right. Yes. Come on, Rita. We're wasting our time. Goodbye, Jerry.

Jonno, lock that door.

You did good, Mr. Langford. Thank you.

It looks real.

That's the whole point.

(MAN WHISTLING)

RUPERT: Is that him? MASHA: No.

RUPERT: You sure? Sure, I'm sure. It looks too much like him.

What do you mean? When it's him, it doesn't look like him.

God, it feels like it's taking him forever.

How much longer?

It's him.

RUPERT: Yeah, that's him.

Don't go too fast. MASHA: Okay, okay.

RUPERT: Stay on this side so you're not all over him.

MASHA: I'm getting over as soon as I can. Get in the next lane.

MASHA: Okay, okay, okay.

RUPERT: Not yet. There are too many people. I know. I'll keep going.

He walks in the most crowded areas. You'd think he'd wanna stay away.

Well, because he doesn't wanna be alone.

Why? Tell me why. I know. You tell me why.

Don't get an attitude with me.

Explain it to me, because you know so much about him.

Fill me in. Let me learn from you.

All right. Because when he walks on crowded streets, he feels safe, that's why.

Is that what it is? Thanks for telling me.

Okay, go past him and stop.

Okay, Jerry. Get over. Get in there. I'm not fooling around.

What are you doing? Are you crazy? Get in, Jerry. Get in.

Hi, Jerry.

(TIRES SCREECH)

RUPERT: Take that. She's gonna hold a gun on your head.

Don't make any false moves. I'd hate to do anything drastic.

Now, if everything works out, you should be out of here by the very latest 12-, 12:30.

Well, maybe 1-, 1:15 at the very latest.

What I want you to do is call your producer.

Call what? Bert Thomas. I want you to call him.

I'm gonna give you a phone right now.

Get him on the phone, and I'll tell you exactly what to say, okay?

Now, if you don't do it, I don't know what to say.

There could be a problem.

Watch your eyes, Jerry. I'm gonna take these off now. It's a little bright in here, okay?

Okay.

Are these yours?

Jerry, these are yours? Yeah.

Do you mind if I have one? I don't mind.

Thank you.

Masha, do you want one? Save it for me.

RUPERT: You want one? I'd love one, but will you save it?

It's a little bit inconvenient at the moment. Thank you, Rupert.

Do you want one? No.

I'll just take one for later then.

There's no reason to get mad. I'm just trying to ease the tension.

Even though this is a strange situation... there are moments of friendship and moments of sharing or whatever.

Okay, let's go.

Jerry, I mean business.

Get on the phone. Let's go. The fun is over.

Let's go. Come on.

(JERRY SIGHS)

(DIALING)

Bert Thomas, please. Jerry Langford.

What happened? They hung up.

Call them again. Why did they hang up?

Probably thought it was a gag. We get that all the time.

Well, I find that strange, you know.

But it's typical. Because that's the way they treat even you.

Because I'll let you in on a little secret.

That's the way they treated me.

And now look where we are.

Bert Thomas.

Audrey, this is Jerry Langford. Get Bert Thomas on the phone, and quickly.

Martino, I know it's you. I'm too busy for games today.

Did you hear what I said? This is Jerry Langford. Now, get Bert Thomas.

I'm not kidding. It's not a gag. It's serious. Now, move it!

Why don't we have somebody else? Like what?

It's Mr. Langford. He says it's urgent.

Tell him I'll call him back. I'm busy.

It's that Martino kid, the impressionist. He's a pain in the neck.

Will you do what I tell you? And do it quick.

I'm sorry, Mr. Thomas, he insists on talking to you. I cannot get rid of him.

Okay, I'll take it.

Martino, you know better...

Bert, I said this is Jerry. Jerry Langford. And I'm in deep trouble.

Now you'd best pay attention. Yeah, I am listening, uh...

Would you give me that again?

Now, wait a minute. Uh, I wanna ask you something.

What do we call our second cameraman?

We call our second cameraman Helen Keller.

His favorite color is plaid.

Helen Keller? Plaid? What is that?

When someone does an impression of me on the phone... the only way they're gonna know it's really me is by that clue.

If I didn't know what we called him, then he would know it's not me.

Say no more. I understand.

Now, listen, Bert. Listen carefully.

"I have a gun...

at my head.

If a man who identifies himself as...

the King..."

Card's upside down.

Sorry.

"...Is not allowed to be the first guest on..."

You got a blank card there.

Hold on, Bert. I'm reading from cue cards.

"...tonight's show...

you will never see me..."

Go back.

"...alive again."

It's not grammatically correct, but I think you have the idea.

It's clear, but let me break in for a minute. Let me talk to you. Don't do anything silly.

Okay. I'm okay.

I'm okay, Bert. Just get it done.

He wants you to call at 5:00. I have the private number.

They'll do whatever you want. Okay, that was very good, Jerry.

MASHA: Turn around, let's see how it looks.

Oh, I love it. I'm sorry. The sleeves aren't quite right.

Do you like it on him? What do you think?

I think it looks pretty good.

To guess on it and have it turn out like this, I'm very pleased with it.

The color's great, and I like to see him more casual for a change.

This is a look I like to see on him. Not so uptight, not so...

Okay. I gotta get started here. What do you think?

It's wonderful. It's very good. Be honest with me.

I'm being honest. Would you wear it?

I like it. I'm so glad I went with red. It looks so good on him.

It looks good, Jerry. Gorgeous. Mm.

RUPERT: Come on. MASHA: What?

RUPERT: Take it off and let's go. MASHA: Oh, okay.

You want me to take it off? Why can't he wear it for a little while?

Will you take it off, please?

I know he's in a meeting, but this is an emergency and I gotta talk to him.

You'll interrupt him, or I'm gonna come busting into that meeting.

No. Forget calling me back. I'm on my way.

Why didn't you listen to the tape when I asked you to? It wasn't that hard, was it?

A few minutes of your time to listen to something that I worked on my whole life.

If that's what's behind all this, let's go to my office and we'll play the tape right now.

Are you crazy? You know what would happen to me if I went there now?

I'm not stupid. Nobody's calling you stupid.

You pulled this off. That makes you smart.

You know, Jerry, I'm gonna tell you something.

Friendship is a two-way street.

You know that? And you couldn't have cared less about me.

Am I gonna hold this till next Shavuoth? You gonna make some decisions here?

You gonna knock off the talking for two minutes?

When you put the sweater on, was I bothering you, huh?

It took one minute. You have a long night ahead.

RUPERT: I have something to say. You've got more than enough to say.

You're driving me nuts. Can you be quiet for one goddamn minute and let me rest?

With this gun? You're driving me crazy!

You have not shut up since we walked into my house.

This is my house. This is my domain.

Jerry is my guest and you're my guest, and you're lucky to be here!

You get to change in my house, you get your head together for the show tonight.

Why don't you give me a little break? Why can't you give me a break? Shut up!

RUPERT: You shut up. I did give you a break. I listened to you talk about that sweater.

Worrying about the sleeves, the color. Did I say anything?

I didn't make it for you. I made it for Jerry. It looks fabulous.

Whose idea was this anyway? If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't even be here.

Why didn't you listen to the tape when I asked you to? Was that so hard to do?

I'm sure you can understand, doing the kind of show I'm doing, it's mind-boggling.

There's so much stuff that comes down, you can't keep your head clear.

And if that's the case, I'm wrong.

You're right, I'm wrong. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

I'm just a human being, with all of the foibles and all of the traps.

The show, the pressure, the groupies, the autograph hounds, the crew.

The incompetents behind the scenes you think are your friends... and you're not sure if you're gonna be there tomorrow because of them.

Wonderful pressures that make every day a glowing, radiant day in your life.

It's terrific. Okay. If all of that means nothing... if I'm wrong, in spite of all that... then I apologize, I'm sorry.

If you accept my apology, I think we should shake hands and we'll forget the whole thing.

I won't press charges. You two could be in deep trouble, but I will not press charges.

Ahh, that's easy for you to say, Jerry. JERRY: But I mean it.

I mean, I'll go to the office and tell them all it's a gag.

They'll understand that. If I tell them it's a gag, they're gonna buy it.

And then we'll put the tape on and listen...

Sit down! I said, sit down.

You heard what he said.

Yeah, right. All of a sudden with a gun on him, he wants to be friends?

What happens when he walks out the door? What happens then, Jerry?

You get to his office, and they jump you. Is that what happens, Jerry?

Not if I tell them not to. They won't jump you. No one's gonna jump you.

If I tell them to do something, they do it. No one's gonna jump you.

Now, that's the truth. You have to take my word for it.

If you think I'm not telling you the truth, then don't respond.

If you think I'm telling you the truth, then let me get the hell out of here.

He gives me his word. And what else?

And what else, Jerry?

There is nothing else. Just my word.

Isn't my word good enough?

I'm sorry, Jerry.

Suppose we tape him, he doesn't talk, it gets to be 11:30.

Do we put him on, no matter what?

You can go ahead and tape him. It, uh, won't hurt anything. You always can erase it.

We may learn something from it and, uh, it'll also buy us time.

Under no circumstances will we put this man on the air.

This lunatic is threatening Jerry's life and you're not gonna put him on the air?

Let's not get too excited. I don't think you understand. We'll tape at 7.

We won't have to make a decision about putting him on the air till 11:30.

This gives us four hours. Hopefully, by that time, we'll have Mr. Langford back safely.

Harry, that's it. We're suing. We're going to sue. We're gonna sue everybody.

Who is this man? Jerry's lawyer.

What do you mean, who am I? I'm the one who's suing. I'm the lawyer.

Jay... JAY: Don't "Jay" me, please. Do me a favor.

Jay, who are you going to sue?

You. We're suing you, personally!

HARRY: Who else are you suing? The FBI.

We have a serious situation and I want it dealt with rationally.

Unless we start talking politely, there's gonna be serious consequences.

JAY: There is nothing polite about kidnapping.

It is one of the most stupid offenses ever.

Where's the defense of kidnapping? How can you say "I was crazy"?

"I didn't know what I was doing. I did it on the spur of the moment"?

Jay, who cares?

JAY: Only an idiot kidnaps. And only an idiot decides to do what you guys are doing.

Jerry, I'm gonna go now.

Pretty soon you'll be able to go. About 12-, 12:30, as I said. Have a good time.

I know you will, heh.

Bye.

First of all, we don't know whether we're dealing with kidnappers or terrorists.

Terrorists? Terrorists? What do you mean, terrorists?

You might have this man go on the air, deliver a coded message... and possibly 50 people around the country would lose their lives.

You're out of your mind! I'm not out of my mind.

That guy is gonna be taped, and we'll listen to what he says.

Unless something horrendous is on that tape, we're gonna put that tape on the air.

All we're dealing with here is 10 minutes of talk-show time against a man's life... and I don't see that as any argument.

Hello. How are you today? Well, I'm calling...

Mr. King calling collect long distance for Mr. Thomas.

Mr. Thomas, there's a long-distance call.

THOMAS: Let's go.

MAN: If this is it, remember, keep him talking.

Uh, hi, there. Who is this?

RUPERT (OVER PHONE): This is Mr. King. I'm calling for Mr. King.

Uh-huh. Well, you're right on time.

Yes, of course. We're always punctual. We're fine, thank you.

I wanna make it brief, and I wanna tell you...

Could I break in and ask you, could I speak to Jerry?

No, Jerry's not with us. We're at a payphone. Don't have the call traced.

I noticed you just did. I heard the sounds. I do know those sounds.

It's kind of important, so that we know that he's in... What'll I say?... your care?

We've taken care of that by bringing along an article of clothing that you will recognize.

It is not as easy as you think just to walk in the studio, go right on the show...

No, Bert... If I could call you, uh...

Well, if I could just say, there is no problem. The material is clean material.

Do you know of Standards and Practices? RUPERT: No, but that can be discussed.

All I can say is don't have any press leaks.

You must keep the audience there until 11:45 or 12:00, after it has been aired nationally.

Thank you. We'll discuss the other things. That's your problem. Nice talking to you.

Boy, he's shrewd. He just, uh, wouldn't buy anything.


(SIGHS)

I feel completely impulsive tonight.

Anything... Anything could happen.

I have so much to tell you. I don't know where to start.

I wanna tell you everything about myself, everything you don't know.

Do you like these glasses? Crystal. Beautiful. I bought them just for you.

There's something about them. Just the simplicity of them.

But if you don't like them, if there's even an inkling, even a doubt in your mind...

(GLASS SHATTERS)

Sometimes during the clay I'll just be doing the simplest things.

I'll be taking a bath and I'll say to myself:

"Heh, I wonder if Jerry's taking a bath right now."

And I just hope, you know, you're not drowning or something, heh.

I just get really worried about you, like something terrible's gonna happen.

And I have these daydreams that I'm out with you at the golf course... driving your cart, just driving around.

"You need a putter, Jer?" You know? Heh-heh-heh.

"Need an iron?"

I don't even know how to play golf.

I played with my parents once, my dad, but...

I love you.

I've never told my parents that I love them.

They never told me they loved me either, which was fine with me.

But I love you.

Want some wine? No? Okay.

I'm not in the mood to drink either though.

But I'm sure in the mood to be alone with you.

Why don't we just clear off the table?

I was thinking why don't we go upstairs, but that's so predictable.

Let's just take everything off the table and do it right here.

That would blow your mind. It would blow my mind. I've never done anything like that.

I've never even had anybody over for dinner, let alone made love on the table.

(CHUCKLES)

But I just wanna do that. I just wanna dance. I just wanna, like, put on some Shirelles.

I wanna be black.

(CHUCKLES)

Wouldn't that be insane?

God. You know who I wish I was tonight?

I wish I was Tina Turner, just dancing through the room.

(LAUGHING)

(PEOPLE CHATTERING)

USHER: Thank you. Please have your tickets ready.

Good evening. My name is Clarence McCabe. I'm the writer.

Are these people with you? Yes. This is my wife.

These people here? Her parents, from Cleveland, Ohio.

I'll check your name, sir. I'm gonna be on third.

I'll check your name, sir.

I'm sorry, sir. I don't see your name, sir. You just went past the M's.

I'll go back again for you, sir. There it is again, sir.

Let me just check. This isn't possible.

Did Miss Long call you? No, sir, she didn't.

She didn't tell you about my book and that I was gonna be on?

Not according to this list. She told me to be here at a quarter to 6.

It's now 10 to 6. I've only got 10 minutes.

Only authorized personnel are allowed in. That's the rules and regulations.

You never heard of the book? The Vanishing Siberian Tiger?

Can I call Miss Long? You cannot call Miss Long at all.

Can you call Miss Long? No, sir.

Your name is not on the list, so I cannot let you in. That's the rules and regulations.

I'm gonna try to get her. Miss Long? MAN: Stop him.

Miss Long?

McCABE: Hey, hey. What's going on? Let go of me!

WOMAN: Clarence!

McCABE: Miss Long! WOMAN: Clarence?

What is this Clarence McCabe? That's who I am.

Is that your real name? Well, technically, it's my real name.

No, it's a pseudonym, actually. An alias. Why do you use a pseudonym?

I'm an author. That's my business. Author of what?

I told you. I wrote a book called The Vanishing Siberian Tiger.

I spent two years in Russia, two years in China, researching it.

Two years in Russia, two in China? Right. Does that make me a Communist now?

(PEOPLE SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

We have one more light to preset. That'll be number 47.

Hello, I'm the King. What?

The King. What can I do for Your Highness?

Really, I'm the King.

Your dressing room's backstage. Your throne is in there also. You'll recognize the door.

Very funny.

There's a half-moon, stars. Ls there someone in charge?

Mr. Ding. He's a little fella with an ice-cream cone nose, a couple of bells.

Miss Long. Mr. Pipkin?

No, it's Mr. Pupkin, Miss Long. Mr. Pupkin. How are you?

What are you doing here, Mr. Pupkin?

I'm the King.

I think you're expecting me.

Yeah. Yes. Mr. Thomas around?

(SIGHS)

(SINGING) You're gonna love me Like nobody's loved me Come rain or come shine Happy together Unhappy together And won't it be fine?

Days may be cloudy or sunny

We're in and we're out of the money I'm with you always

I'm with you Rain Or shine

Mr. King? RUPERT: Yes.

I'm Inspector Gerrity from the FBI.

Do you understand? Mm-hm.

GERRITY: What is your name?

Rupert Pupkin. What is your real name?

That's my real name. Rupert Pupkin.

Well, Mr. Pupkin, are you gonna tell us where Jerry Langford is or not?

Are you from the show? No, I'm not in the show.

This is my assistant, Agent Giardello, and Captain Burke of the New York City Police.

I'd like to meet someone from the show.

You don't get to see anyone with the show until I get to see Langford.

I'd like to see someone from the show first.

You won't see someone unless you tell us where Langford is.

Well, then Jerry Langford is dead.

Get Thomas.

I'm Bert Thomas. Are you Mr. King? Yes. How do you do?

Uh, did we talk on the phone today? Yes, we spoke a few moments ago.

And then Jerry spoke to you earlier. Uh...

Where did you get this? That's Jerry's, as you can see.

What's that? That's my blood, not Jerry's, heh.

I'll buy this. What have we here?

This is my introduction, and I'd like Mr. Randall, if he could, speak it word for word.

Randall's introduction to your monologue? Could I have a copy of your monologue?

Uh...

Actually, I have it memorized, so I don't have a copy of it.

There are reasons I need a copy. We have to make sure you don't say anything obscene... or anything that could cause a problem in the audience.

No, it's all right, really. It's a wholesome monologue.

You guarantee it? Nothing obscene. I guarantee it.

Make sure you got that audience till after 11:30.

The man's gonna get everything he asks for. Thank you. It's nice meeting you.

GERRITY: Sit down, Pupkin.

Mr. Pupkin, I gotta tell you this.

From this point on, you have the right to remain silent.

You understand? RUPERT: Mm-hmm.

Because anything you say from here on out... might be used against you later on in a court of law. You understand?

Say you understand. RUPERT: I understand that.

Did you participate in the abduction of Jerry Langford?

Yes, I did. I abducted him.

You abducted him? Do you know where Mr. Langford is now?

Yes, I do.

Will you lead us to Mr. Langford? No, I won't.

At this time, Mr. Pupkin, I want to advise you to consider yourself under arrest.

Fine. I think I should get made up.

You need some make-up. Put some color on his face.

I'd like to put some color on your face.

(LAUGHING)

Really, I should get made up.

MAN: "... sad news for you." Turn the card. "I have some sad..."

Tony, did you wanna see me? Have you seen this stuff?

I've gone over it. I think it's fine.

This is fine? "My writing staff was executed in Central Park by the network firing squad."

I think it's good. You're laughing at that?

Do me a favor, please. Why do I have to say this?

Exactly as it's written. It'll play for us. It'll be good for you. Trust me.

You're the director. Can you help me? Take the tissues out and let's go.

A few more minutes. Let's go. Turn the cards fast. Are you listening?

Turn the cards fast. Okay.

Let's do something crazy tonight. Just get insane. I wanna be crazy!

I wanna be nuts! I wanna have some fun! Goddamn it.

My doctor says, "Don't have any fun. No, you're not allowed to have a good time.

You can't get crazy." See, I have to be in control.

And I like being in control.

But for one night I'd like to see myself out of my head! Wouldn't you?

Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't it be fabulous?

I'm having a good time.

I'm having fun.

Fun is my middle name. I'm having fun.

That's right. Having some fun. Never had this much fun before.

That's right.

Good, old-fashioned, all-American fun.

(ORCHESTRA PLAYING)

HERLIHY: And now, direct from New York, it's The Jerry Langford Show... with guest host Tony Randall and his special guests:

Shelley Winters, Gore Vidal, Tony Bennett... as always, Lou Brown and the orchestra and little old me, Ed Herlihy.

For now, say hello to Tony!

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

(ORCHESTRA PLAYING)

(ORCHESTRA STOPS)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. I have some sad news for you.

AUDIENCE: Aw!

Earlier today, my writing staff was executed in Central Park by the network firing squad.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

So there will be no sensational Randall monologue this evening.

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

No embarrassing display of emotion, please.

Instead we're going to do something a little bit different this evening. A lot different.

We're going to give you a glimpse... Turn it over, please.

AUDIENCE: Ha-ha-ha. ...Into the future.

It isn't often you can call someone a sure thing in the entertainment business.

After all, the verdict is always in your hands, isn't it?

But I think tonight, after you've met...

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING) my first guest... you'll agree with me that he's destined for greatness, in one way or another.

So will you please give your warmest greetings to the newest King of Comedy...

Rupert Pupkin!

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

(ORCHESTRA PLAYING)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Let me introduce myself. My name is Rupert Pupkin.

I can't believe I'm gonna kiss you.

Masha.

Take the tape off.

Really?

Go on. Take it off.

I'm ready now. Take him back down.

With pleasure.

Why did you do this? Tell me why and then maybe I'll be able to believe in you.

Why did you do such a thing? Do you know what time it is?

It's five minutes to 11. I think we better go.

Because otherwise-I don't like to say it like this... Jerry's gonna be unavailable.

You'll understand when we go. I'll understand? Why will I understand?

Where are we going?

Well, that's part of the bargain. Part of what bargain?

That's my understanding. Now, I just want to see it in this other place.

And once I see it, that's it. I'll give you Langford.

But you don't understand my position. Uh-huh.

I have you right now.

That's true. If I have you, I have a shot at Langford.

But you don't have Jerry. I understand that.

I'm getting it off as fast as I can.

That's good, Masha. Yeah?

You all right? I'm doing fine.

I know you are.

Come on.

One more thing, please. I can't walk in here with you. If you could both... if you could just wait here and let me walk in by myself, that's all.

I'll break your ankles if you make a wrong move.

I promise. I promise, okay?

But make believe you don't know me too.

Go ahead.

(CLICKING)

(GUN CLATTERS)

Jerry, you seem a little bit...

(JERRY GRUNTS)

Jerry! Jerry, wait!

Jerry! Jerry!

Jerry, come back here!

Jerry!

(GUNFIRE ON TV)

RITA: Oh, God.

What do you want now?

What are you doing? I'm watching that. Just a minute.

HERLIHY (ON TV): And now, direct from New York, it's The Jerry Langford Show... with guest host Tony Randall and his special guests: Shelley Winters...

What's going on here? Do you know him?

Unfortunately, yes. Just sit tight. Relax-Everything" be okay.

My first guest, you'll agree with me that he's destined for greatness... in one way or another.

So will you please give your warmest greetings to the newest King of Comedy...

Rupert Pupkin!

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Let me introduce myself.

My name is Rupert Pupkin.

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDS)

I was born in Clifton, New Jersey, which was not at that time a federal offense.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Is there anyone here from Clifton?

Good, we can all relax now.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Now, I'd like to begin by saying that my parents were too poor... to afford me a childhood in Clifton... but the fact is that no one is allowed to be really too poor in Clifton.

Once you fall below a certain level, they exile you to Passaic.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

But my parents did put the first two down payments on my childhood.

Don't get me wrong.

But they did also return me to the hospital as defective.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

But like everyone else, I grew up in large part thanks to my mother.

If she were only here today, I'd say:

"Hey, Mom! What are you doing here? You've been dead for nine years!"

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

But seriously, you should've seen my mother. She was wonderful.

Blond, beautiful, intelligent, alcoholic...

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

We used to drink milk together after school. Mine was homogenized, hers was loaded.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Once they picked her up for speeding. They clocked her doing 50.

All right, but in our garage?

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND APPLAUDING)

And, you know, when they tested her, they found out that her alcohol had 2 percent blood.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND APPLAUDING)

But we used to joke together, Mom and me... until the tears would stroll down her face and she would throw up! Yeah.

And who would clean it up? Ha, not Dad.

He was too busy down at O'Grady's, throwing up on his own. Yeah.

In fact, until I was 16, I thought throwing up was a sign of maturity.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

While the other kids were off in the woods sneaking cigarettes...

I was hiding behind the house with my fingers down my throat.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND APPLAUDING)

The only problem was I never got anywhere, until one day my father caught me.

And, you know, just as he was giving me a final kick in the stomach for luck...

I managed to heave all over his new shoes!

"That's it!" I thought. "I've made it! I'm finally a man!"

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND APPLAUDING)

But, as it turned out, I was wrong.

That was the only attention my father ever gave me.

AUDIENCE: Aw...

Yeah, he was usually too busy out in the park playing ball with my sister Rose.

AUDIENCE: Aw...

But today, I must say, thanks to those many hours of practice... my sister Rose has grown into a fine man.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Me, I wasn't interested in athletics.

The only exercise I ever got was when the other kids picked on me.

They used to beat me up once a week, usually Tuesday.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

And after a while, the school worked it into the curriculum.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

And if you knocked me out, you got extra credit.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Except there was this one kid. Poor kid. He was afraid of me.

I used to tell him, "Hit me, hit me! What's the matter with you?

Don't you wanna graduate?"

(AUDIENCE CHEERING AND APPLAUDING)

As for me, hey, I was the youngest kid in the history of the school to graduate in traction.

(LAUGHING)

But, you know, my only real interest, right from the beginning, was show business.

Even as a young man, I began at the very top, collecting autographs.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

Now... a lot of you are probably wondering why Jerry isn't with us tonight.

Well, I'll tell you, the fact is he's tied up.

And I'm the one who tied him.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

I know you think I'm joking, but that's the only way I could break into show business... by hijacking Jerry Langford.

Right now Jerry is strapped to a chair somewhere in the middle of this city.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING)

Go ahead and laugh. Thank you. I appreciate it. But the fact is, I'm here.

Tomorrow you'll know I wasn't kidding and you'll think I was crazy.

But, look, I figure it this way: better to be king for a night than schmuck for a lifetime.

(AUDIENCE LAUGHING AND CHEERING)

Thank you. Thank you.


(AUDIENCE CHEERING ON TV)

(POLICE SIREN WAILING ON TV)

How'd you do that? Did you like it? Thank you.

I'd like to buy everyone here a drink, and I hope you all enjoyed the show.

Rita, you keep the change. GERRITY: We're getting Langford now.

Rita, just because I made it big doesn't mean I'm gonna forget about you.

Remember, I'll call you... No more speeches.

MAN: What's happening here? RITA: Take care.

That's the same guy who was just on television. Just now. Same guy.

I'm just getting even. Those jokes... Those jokes were murder.

You didn't like those jokes? No. No.

I'm looking for the guy that wrote the material.

I'd like to pick him up and take him along.

I wrote the material. I disagree with you. I thought they were very good jokes.

If you wrote that material, I got one piece of advice for you.

Throw yourself on your knees in front of the judge and beg for mercy.

That's very funny, but you'll see.

MAN 1: In the most bizarre debut in recent times... a self-styled comedian named Rupert Pupkin appeared on The Jerry Langford Show.

MAN 2: There is no doubt the incident... has made the name Rupert Pupkin a household word.

MAN 3: Rupert Pupkin's performance... has been viewed by a record 87 million American households.

MAN 4: Rupert Pupkin, the kidnapping King of Comedy... was sentenced to six years imprisonment... at the minimum-security facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania... for his part in the abduction of talk-show host Jerry Langford.

MAN 5: On the anniversary of his appearance on the show...

Pupkin told reporters he still considers Jerry Langford his friend and mentor.

He reported that he has been writing his memoirs... which have been purchased by a leading New York publishing house... for in excess of $1 million.

MAN 6: Rupert Pupkin was released today... after serving two years and nine months of a six-year sentence.

Hundreds were there to greet the 37-year-old comedian and author... among them his new agent and manager, David Ball... who announced that King for a Night, Pupkin's bestselling autobiography... would appear as a major motion picture.

MAN 7: Pupkin said he had used his stay at Allenwood to sharpen his material.

He said he and his people were weighing a number of attractive offers... and that he looked forward to resuming his show-business career.

ANNOUNCER: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the man we've all been waiting for... and waiting for.

Would you welcome home, please, television's brightest new star.

The legendary, inspirational, the one and only King of Comedy... ladies and gentlemen, Rupert Pupkin!

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

Rupert Pupkin, ladies and gentlemen! Let's hear it for Rupert Pupkin!

Wonderful! Rupert Pupkin, ladies and gentlemen.

Rupert Pupkin, ladies and gentlemen. Let's hear it for Rupert Pupkin!

Wonderful! Rupert Pupkin,