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Robert De Niro Is Finally Back to Making Movies People Want to See

Robert De Niro has been on quite the acting journey, if arguably peaking early and ending up taking a long segue into wanting to be a big screen comedian. That sounds almost meta when you remember back to his iconic role as Rupert Pupkin in The King of Comedy. At least he didn’t have to kidnap anybody to make it happen.

After a long run in Oscar-caliber movies, De Niro’s career took a turn when he decided to act in Meet the Parents around the turn of the 21st century. Mind you, it wasn’t necessarily his first comedy, but it took him into “safer” movies and temporarily removed his status as an iconic dramatic actor.

Now he’s moving back to the territory where he was in the 1970s and ’80s with upcoming The Irishman as just starters.

What was the first real comedy De Niro starred in?

Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

If you look back at De Niro’s vast filmography, you see the first definitive comedy he acted in was Midnight Run in 1988, which could have set him on a new film path. Even then, though, the part he played in the film was still gritty enough where it was considered a comedy-drama.

Maybe some will consider his acting turn in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil three years earlier his first real foray into comedy. With that film such a blazing satire about bureaucracy, it’s hard to distinguish it from a drama nowadays.

Not until doing films like Analyze This (with Billy Crystal) did we see him in fall-down funny roles. Maybe you can argue he was just a straight man to Crystal in the aforementioned film.

Regardless, it paved the path toward him making deeper

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