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The Comedian (2016 film)

  (Redirected from The Comedian (2017 film))

The Comedian is a 2016 American comedy-drama film directed by Taylor Hackford and written by Lewis Friedman, Richard LaGravenese, Art Linson, and Jeff Ross. The film stars Robert De Niro, Leslie Mann, Danny DeVito, Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman, Patti LuPone and Harvey Keitel.

The Comedian
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTaylor Hackford
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Art Linson
Music byTerence Blanchard
CinematographyOliver Stapleton
Edited byMark Warner
  • Cinelou Films
  • Linson Entertainment
  • Anvil Films
  • The Fyzz Facility
  • Mad Riot Entertainment
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics
Release date
  • November 11, 2016 (2016-11-11) (AFI Fest)
  • December 9, 2016 (2016-12-09) (United States)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$15 million[1]
Box office$1.7 million[2]

The film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 11, 2016, and was released by Sony Pictures Classics on December 9, 2016. The film opened to negative reviews from critics.



Jackie (Robert De Niro) is a comic icon, attempting to reinvent himself despite his audience only wanting to know him as a television character he played earlier in his career.

He attends a comedy club for nostalgia night at Governor's Comedy Club in Levittown, New York (near Hicksville, New York), hosted by Jimmie Walker. After accosting an audience member, Jackie is sentenced to 30 days in jail. During his 100 hours of community service he meets Harmony Schiltz (Leslie Mann), who works at a soup kitchen as part of her community service.

Awkward romance (maybe? Hard to tell) ensues. Harmony is Jackie’s date to a family member’s wedding. Later a meeting with her father is awkward and a bit crude.

He does a brief act at an old folks home and later appears to work at a desk for a bit in a uniform.

Harmony and Jackie talk about Jackie potentially being a father as an older man. Harmony says hes off the hook because it’s her decision, he says she’s not giving him a choice, she says its her choice; they argue nonsensically.

A song about going poop (part of his act at the old folks home) went viral on the internet and his manager contacts Jackie about related work due to the vast number of hits (?)

Jackie runs into Harmony’s dad in Florida (for work) and they snipe at each ither while mentioning his daughter’s pregnancy. Then Jackie goes on TV show “Say Uncle” (a bunch of crawfish get dumped on a guy to win a prize... it does not go well).

Jackie then returns to a pregnant Harmony in Florida with him now. They talk and he gives her some photos and mementos for the child if they ever get curious about their father. He says he cares about her, will be involved with the kid as much or as little as she wants. She says ok. He leaves.

Meeting some old pals at a restaurant apparently he’s got three viral videos, he praises his manager for this viral video popularity. He then goes on at a comedy club night. I guess he’s back in business apparently?

Later at a kids talent show... because apparently the kid is an actual kid instead of baby bump now. And yes the kid is also doing standup for the talent show; her cursing does not go well with parents in the crowd and she is quickly rushed off the stage. Jackie insists he never taught her that.

Movie ends. Phew.



At one point it was hoped that Martin Scorsese would direct the film.[3] However, this did not come to pass. Instead, Mike Newell joined on as the film's director,[4] only to be replaced a few months later by Taylor Hackford.[5] Jennifer Aniston was at one point attached to play Harmony Schiltz but was later replaced by Leslie Mann.[6]

Principal photography on the film began on February 21, 2016, in New York City,[7][8] and other locations including Manhattan.[9]


In October 2016, Sony Pictures Classics acquired U.S distribution rights to the film, with plans to release the film in December, in order to qualify for awards.[10] The film had its world premiere at the AFI Fest on November 11, 2016.[11] It hit theaters in a limited release on December 9, 2016, with a wide opening on February 3, 2017.[12][13] It was originally scheduled to open on January 13, but was pushed back to February 3.[14][15]


Box officeEdit

In North America, The Comedian was released alongside Rings and The Space Between Us, and was projected to gross $1–3 million from about 800 theaters in its opening weekend.[16] It ended up debuting to just $892,021, finishing 21st at the box office. Deadline Hollywood attributed the film's poor opening to negative critical reception and lack of award buzz, similar to Gold the week prior.[17]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film holds an approval rating of 24% based on 109 reviews, with an average rating of 4.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Comedian boasts an incredibly talented cast, but they're put to poor use in an aimless rom-com whose handful of memorable moments never add up to a compelling story."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 40 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19]


Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Hollywood Film Awards Hollywood Comedy Award Robert De Niro Won [20]


  1. ^ "The Comedian (2016)". The Wrap. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Comedian (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Friedman, Roger (May 20, 2011). "Scorsese Could Wind Up Directing DeNiro Again in "The Comedian"". Showbiz411. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (May 20, 2015). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' Taps Mike Newell to Direct". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (July 7, 2015). "Taylor Hackford Stands Up To Direct Robert De Niro In His Passion Project 'The Comedian'". Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (January 19, 2016). "Leslie Mann Replaces Jennifer Aniston in Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian'". Variety. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  7. ^ "On the Set for 2/26/16: Dwayne Johnson & Zac Efron Start Shooting 'Baywatch', Peter Dinklage & Julia Ormond Wrap 'Rememory'". SSN Insider. February 26, 2016. Archived from the original on February 28, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "Robert De Niro and Danny Devito appear in high spirits as they arrive on the set of new movie The Comedian in New York". Daily Mail. February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  9. ^ "'The Comedian', starring Robert De Niro, filming underway in New York City". OLV. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (October 5, 2016). "Add Robert De Niro To Oscar Short List; Sony Classics Lands 'The Comedian'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (October 14, 2016). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' to Premiere at AFI Fest". Variety. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  12. ^ McGovern, Joe (November 21, 2016). "The Comedian trailer: Robert De Niro yuks it up as a broken-down insult comic". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Cabin, Chris (November 21, 2016). "'The Comedian' Trailer Finds Robert De Niro Being Funny or Something". Collider. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  14. ^ A. Lincoln, Ross (December 23, 2016). "'The Comedian' Set For Wide Release February 3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (December 23, 2016). "Robert De Niro's 'The Comedian' Gets Release Date". Variety. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  16. ^ "'Rings' Hopes To Choke 'Split' In Genre Scrimmage Over Super Bowl Weekend – Box Office". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ "'Split' Dings 'Rings'; Auds Keep Distance From 'Space'; 'Comedian' Bombs: Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ "The Comedian (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Comedian reviews". Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  20. ^ "Robert De Niro to Be Honored With Hollywood Comedy Award". Hollywood Film Awards. October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016.

External linksEdit