King of Comedy (film)

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King of Comedy
Hong Kong release poster
MandarinXǐjù zhī wáng
Cantonesehei2 kek6 zi1 wong4
Directed byStephen Chow
Lee Lik-chi
Produced byYeung Kwok-fai
Screenplay byStephen Chow
Tsang Kan-cheung
Erica Li
Cheng Man-fai
Fung Min-hun
Leung Ka-kit
StarringStephen Chow
Karen Mok
Ng Man-tat
Cecilia Cheung
Music byRaymond Wong
Daisuke Hinata
Jonathan Platt
CinematographyHorace Wong
Edited byHai Kit-wai
Yau Chi-wai
The Star Overseas
Release date
  • 13 February 1999 (1999-02-13)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryHong Kong
Box officeHK$29,848,860[1] (US$3.85 million)[2]

King of Comedy (Chinese: 喜劇之王) is a 1999 Hong Kong comedy film directed by Lee Lik-chi and Stephen Chow. The New King of Comedy, a remake set in mainland China, was released in 2019.

Unlike Chow's typical mo lei tau films, King of Comedy is verges on comedy-drama, describing the trials and tribulation an aspiring actor experiences on his way to stardom. Some commentators[who?] say the story is based on 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 features a short cameo by Jackie Chan, who also got his start as an extra.


Wan Tin-sau (Chow) is the head of his village's community centre, where he gives acting lessons and host community plays. On the side, he is an aspiring actor moonlighting as a movie extra, often taking his work too seriously for the roles he receives.

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 skeptical of advice from an unsuccessful actor, 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 and receives 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 part is given back 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 argue over who should play the role of Bruce Lee's character, when another actor screams "don't fight, eat chips!" When the closing credits roll, a quick Pringles advertisement appears on the screen.


Stephen Chow --- Wan Tin-sau Terence Tsui Chi-Hung --- delivery boy
Karen Mok --- Sister Cuckoo / Cuckoo To Ben Yuen Foo-Wa --- Ben
Cecilia Cheung --- Lau Piu-piu Roderick Lam Chung-Kei --- Kee
Ng Man-Tat --- Mao Sunny Luk Kim-Ching --- Johnny
Johnson Lee --- Movie Director Hau Woon-Ling --- Hung's granny
Tin Kai-man --- student #3 / Hung's man Robert Sparks --- Hollywood Producer
Lee Siu-kei --- Brothe Kei Vincent Chik Miu-Chan --- C.I.B
Jackie Chan (uncredited) --- stunt double on set (cameo) Sherwin Ming Tak-Fung --- hitman in the church
Joe Cheng Cho --- informer Kong Foo-Keung --- hitman in the church
Alex Lam Chi-Sin --- Hung Choi Kwok-Ping --- hitman in the church
Cheng Man-Fai --- Hung's man Tsim Siu-Ling --- hitman in the church
Steven Fung Min-Hang --- Pui's first boyfriend Chan Po-Chun --- Peter
Clarence Hui Yuen --- nightclub mobster Sin Yan-Kau
Baat Leung-Gam --- Pierre Bruce Law Lai-Yin
Dai Lung --- Master Lung Mok Wai-Man


Box office[edit]

In Hong Kong, the film grossed HK$29,848,860[1] (US$3.85 million)[2]

Awards Nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2000 19th Hong Kong Film Awards Best New Performer Cecilia Cheung Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "King of Comedy (1999)". Hong Kong Movie DataBase. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Official exchange rate (LCU per US$, period average)". World Bank. 1999. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ "King of Comedy (1999)". hkmdb. Retrieved June 2016
  4. ^ "King of Comedy (1999). HKCinemagic. Retrieved June 2016

External links[edit]