“Do you want a job, or do you want to be an ass?” “Do I have to choose?” Here is a trailer for The Comedian, Robert De Niro’s long-gestating passion project in which he plays an aging former comedy star trying to reinvent himself. Jackie Burke once had a TV show and better life. After he assaults a guy he caught taping his old-school, insult-heavy stand-up act, the comic gets community service. There he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazebag real estate guy (Harvey Keitel), and they end up inspiring each other.

When an unusual gig hits the web and unexpectedly goes viral, Jackie suddenly is thrust back into the spotlight. He’s got multiple job offers, he’s doing Kimmel and Fallon — everything is peachy. Right?

Danny DeVito plays Jackie’s kid brother, whose wife is Patti LuPone. Edie Falco, Veronica Ferres, Charles Grodin, Cloris Leachman and Lois Smith co-star in the film directed by Taylor Hackford. Art Linson, Jeff Ross, Richard Lagravenese and Lewis Friedman penned the script.

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the pic last month and will give it an Oscar-qualifying run starting December 2 before it opens wide on January 13. Have a look at the trailer above, and tell us what you think.

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