Connect with us

13 Joker Easter Eggs and Inspirations: The King of Comedy is Just the Start

13 Joker Easter Eggs and Inspirations: The King of Comedy is Just the Start

Movie News

King of Comedy: There are also some very obvious and intentional parallels here. Before the release of Joker, many speculated that De Niro’s character would be an homage to his King of Comedy character: Desperate loner Rupert Pupkin is obsessed with getting to do standup on the late-night show hosted by Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis).

Now that we’ve seen Joker, it’s clear that De Niro’s character has more in common with Jerry than with Pupkin.

Murray Franklin, like Jerry Langford, is a good-natured, straight-shooting host from the peak-roast era, whose chummy onstage persona belies a mean streak. Arthur Fleck, meanwhile, is clearly inspired by Pupkin, down to the fantasies of appearing on Franklin’s show that closely parallel Pupkin’s fantasies of appearing on Langford’s. Joker has drawn a lot of comparisons to Taxi Driver, because everyone has seen Taxi Driver. But it more closely imitates, or attempts to imitate, the much less-seen The King of Comedy.

Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Dr. Sally Friedman: The King of Comedy needed a realistic presence to represent a typical Jerry guest. So Scorsese turned to Dr. Joyce Brothers, a psychologist who was a near-ubiquitous TV guest in the 1980s and ‘90s. Joker pays homage to ‘80s therapists with Dr. Sally Friedman, a Brothers-like guest perfectly played by Sondra James. The Associated Press said in Dr. Joyce Brothers’ obituary that she appeared on Carson’s “Tonight Show” more than 100 times.

Friedman is also a little bit Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the sex therapist who was extremely in-demand for ‘80s talk shows. The Joker script makes it clear that Friedman is a sex therapist. In Frank Miller’s iconic Batman reimagining, 1986’s The Dark Knight Returns, the Joker goes on a late-night talk show (hosted by a David Letterman lookalike) where one guest is clearly intended to look like Dr. Ruth.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar


    October 11, 2019 at 9:24 am

    You forgot to include “Conquest for the Planet of the Apes” from 1972. The end riot scene, with Joker being pulled form the back of the crushed police car, laid out on the hood of another vehicle and then rising to his feet as the night sky burns with flames and the crowd’s anger, recalls the last 15 minutes of “Conquest for the Planet of the Apes” without question.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Movie News





RSS MovieMaker RSS

To Top