King of Comedy (1999 film)
|King of Comedy|
Hong Kong release poster
|Mandarin||Xǐjù zhī wáng|
|Cantonese||hei2 kek6 zi1 wong4|
|Directed by||Stephen Chow
|Written by||Stephen Chow
Ng Man Tat
King of Comedy (Chinese: 喜劇之王) is a 1999 Hong Kong comedy film directed by Lee Lik-Chi and Stephen Chow. Unlike Stephen Chow's typical mo lei tau films, King of Comedy verges on comedy drama, describing the trials and tribulation that an aspiring actor experiences on his way to stardom. Some commentators[who?] say the story is based on Stephen Chow's early career, as he started off as a temporary actor, before becoming a successful and popular comedy actor over the course of a decade. The film does retain some of bizarre visual gags Chow is known for, such as Chow's character bleeding from the nose and eyes during a singing number. Jackie Chan plays a cameo role during the film.
Wan Tin-Sau (Chow) is an actor who cannot seem to catch a break, since his only professional jobs are limited to being a movie extra and is often tormented on stage. As well as being an actor, he is also the head of his village's community centre.
One day a group of club girls come to ask Wan to help them act like innocent schoolgirls so they can make more money. One of the girls, Lau Piu-Piu (Cecilia Cheung), although a little hardy at first due to how she was first forced into becoming a call girl due to her ex-boyfriend (who became abusive after high school) to make ends meet, becomes a better actress through Wan's instruction and falls in love with him. When both characters finally make love, Wan searches his home for enough money to pay Piu-piu for her "services", since he thinks she slept with him for money (not knowing it was for love). After Piu-piu leaves him in anger, he goes back to the film studio where he always harasses crew members for a role, and finally hits the big time, receiving a part as Leading actor next to a legendary actress, Sister Cuckoo (Karen Mok). During this time, Wan reconciles with Piu-piu and he pledges to support her for the rest of his life.
Just as Wan is about to settle in the life of a movie star, his dreams of grandeur are crushed when his part is given to a highly sought after male lead. Luckily, he regains his confidence with the help of the misanthropic lunchman at the studio (Ng Man Tat), who is secretly a C.I.B. agent. Wan is used in an undercover operation, where he is disguised as a delivery boy and made to deliver a hidden gun and listening device inside Take-out food. Although the ruse is discovered and the C.I.B. undercover agent is shot, Wan takes up the gun and saves the day. The lunchman is rushed to the hospital and survives his wounds.
After a somewhat successful sting, Wan finally becomes famous through a performance of the "Thunder Storm". The actors include Piu-piu, Sister Cuckoo, and his wanna-be Triad students. The end of the film involves a blatant marketing plug for Pringles brand potato chips. The entire cast of the play stands backstage rehearsing their lines while literally stuffing their mouths full of Pringles, with the logos of all five cans clearly facing towards the camera. At one point, Wan and one of his triad students argues over who should play the role of Bruce Lee's character, when another actor screams "don't fight, eat chips!" When the closing credits role, a quick Pringles advertisement appears on the screen.
It grossed HK $29,848,860 in Hong Kong.
- Stephen Chow as Wan Tin-Sau
- Karen Mok as Sister Cuckoo
- Cecilia Cheung as Lau Piu-Piu
- Min-hun Fung as Piu's lover
- Ng Man-Tat as C.I.B. Agent
- Jackie Chan as Famous Movie Star (cameo)
- Lee Siu-kei
- Joe Cheng (as Joe Cheng Cho)
- Cheng Man-Fai as Student #2
- Clarence Hui as Nightclub Mobster
- Johnson Lee as Director
- Robert Sparks as Hollywood Producer
- Tin Kai-man as Student #3