Episode 36 : Coming To America

COMING TO AMERICA (1988) is a crowd favorite among romantic comedies and considered one of Eddie Murphy’s best films. It serves up a lighthearted, Cinderella-type story, non-stop laughs and gives us too many memorable (and quotable) scenes to count. Also, there’s a shrouded controversy and ton of backstory surrounding the film. For this Eddie Murphy-centered episode, we travel from Africa to New York to suss out the story behind COMING TO AMERICA!

▶️Synopsis: Prince Akeem of Zamunda wants nothing more than to marry a woman who loves him for who he is, not because of his immense wealth. After postponing his arranged marriage, Akeem travels to New York City to pose as an exchange student, work a regular job, and search for his future bride-to-be.

⏩⏩Discussions include: Murphy’s relationship with director John Landis and his first endeavor into makeup/prosthetics from special effects master, Rick Baker. Murphy vs. studio reaction to actors playing multiple characters. Cast breakdown, the intended vision for the fictional nation of Zamunda, followed up by the lawsuit concerning the original script. An overall view of Murphy’s career, the COMING TO AMERICA sequel and all our favorites moments sprinkled in between. **Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, John Amos, James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair. Directed by John Landis.**


Justin’s Pick — LIFE (1999): Set in 1932, two men are framed for a crime they didn’t commit and sentenced to serving life in prison together. Though a comedy, the film’s tight script and solid performances lend to some serious realness, making for a sleeper of a truly great film. **Starring Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Ned Beatty. Directed by Ted Demme.**

Lindsay’s Pick — GOLDEN CHILD (1986): In this fantasy-adventure film, a Los Angeles social worker is sought out and informed he is the only person that can rescue a kidnapped Tibetan boy who happens to be the savior of all humankind. **Starring Eddie Murphy, Charlotte Lewis, Charles Dance. Directed by Michael Ritchie.**

▶️MURRAY(Murphy)MOMENT: In this extra special Season 6 opening monologue of SNL, Eddie comes out to save a spastic Billy, as the two end up channeling another legendary comedy duo.

▶️FINAL THOUGHTS: COMING TO AMERICA’s connection to another Murphy film, TRADING PLACES; Who is Darla the dog?; Landis’ motivation behind putting Murphy in whiteface.


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