The Comedian | Chicago Reader

The Comedian

A grouchy old stand-up comic (Robert De Niro), still living off the fumes of his 80s sitcom, assaults an audience member during a show and becomes the star of a viral video. The attack also gets him sentenced to community service; working at a soup kitchen, he meets cute with another offender (Leslie Mann) and introduces her to the world of stand-up. De Niro famously played a wacko comedian in Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1983), but that was really a horror movie; director Taylor Hackford (Ray) pitches this film as a drama with comic moments, but De Niro is too loud and overbearing to be funny (besides, there are only so many laughs you can get when moviegoers remember you taking a bite out of someone's face). Veteran producer Art Linson, author of the Tinseltown memoir What Just Happened?, came up with the story, and the cast is well fortified with talented old-timers (Danny DeVito, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Keitel, Edie Falco, Billy Crystal, Charles Grodin).



  • Taylor Hackford


  • Robert De Niro
  • Leslie Mann
  • Danny DeVito
  • Edie Falco
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Charles Grodin
  • Patti LuPone
  • Cloris Leachman
  • Veronica Ferres
  • Lois Smith
  • Billy Crystal
  • Jim Norton
  • Beth Malone
  • Jessica Kirson


  • Art Linson
  • John Linson
  • Mark Canton
  • Courtney Solomon
  • Taylor Hackford
  • Scott Karol
  • Wayne Godfrey
  • Robert Jones
  • Iain Abrahams
  • Fredy Bush
  • Dennis Pelino
  • Mark Axelowitz
  • Lawrence Smith
  • Peter Sobiloff

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