The mise-en-scene of The King Of Comedy throws us right into the characters. In the first scene we meet Rupert Pupkin he is wearing a suit which differentiates him from the rest of the t-shirt wearing autograph hounds but it is only when he is standing next to Jerry Langford does the true effect of his costume take place. Rupert’s suit is almost identical to that of Jerry’s and so in this one scene Rupert’s desires are revealed to the audience before he even gets a chance to speak to Jerry.
We also learn of what makes all three characters similar. Although the characters of Marsha and Rupert share their obsession of Jerry they also share something with Jerry: loneliness. At different stages of the film we are shown the interiors of each characters residence: Jerry’s apartment is large and sterile, he eats dinner with his cat; Rupert (although he lives with his mother whose job it appears is to take us out of fantasy sequences) spends his time in a dark and cluttered basement; and Marsha’s apartment, like Jerry’s, is large with classical, expensive furniture. Scorsese has used mis-en-scene in these three cases to show us that all three are alone (even success is lonely) in their lives and that even though Marsha probably belongs at Jerry’s end of the social spectrum she has more in common with Rupert than she does with Jerry.