Judd Apatow

Robert De Niro amuses, but 'The Comedian' doesn't kill

Robert De Niro amuses, but 'The Comedian' doesn't kill

Jackie Burke, the 67-year-old funnyman played with a wink and a scowl by Robert De Niro in “The Comedian,” originally came to fame as the star of a hugely popular, thoroughly dreadful sitcom called “Eddie’s Home.” Everywhere he goes, Jackie is greeted by nostalgic fans (“Eddie! Eddie!”) who demand that he do his “Honeymooners”-style signature line (“Ar-LEEEENE!”). And he invariably responds with the grimly resigned smile of a battered industry veteran who views his greatest claim to fame with more resentment than gratitude, and who knows that its kind will never come his way again.

While De Niro has often been...

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