Preaching about the comedic greatness that once was Eddie Murphy to people born after, say, 1995 must be a lot like trying to convince those same folks that O.J. Simpson was once a Hall of Fame-caliber NFL pro-bowler. As far as today's teenyboppers know, both celebrities are punchlines. Both Murphy and Simpson started off as elite members of their respective worlds, but then catastrophically ruined all of the good will they'd earnedâ€”Simpson by, um, being at the center of a worldwide phenomenon murder trial, and Murphy for spending the new millennium starring in movies that not even Cuba Gooding, Jr. would entertain.
But how can anyone call themselves a fan of comedy movies if they've never seen all of Murphy's early-to-mid-1980s classics, namely Coming to America? Anyone who's slacking on their Murphy knowledge would be wise to start fixing that problem by renting that 1988 gem, directed by the venerable John Landis (National Lampoon's Animal House, Michael Jackson's Thriller) and starring Murphy as an African prince who uproots his silver-spoon life to the mean streets of Queens to find his one true princess. Equal parts fish-out-of-water romp and charming romantic comedy, Coming to America has everything you could want in an Eddie Murphy film: classic one-liners ("The royal penis is clean, your highness."), great supporting characters (Arsenio Hall's Semmi, Eriq La Salle's slimy Darryl), and Murphy unrecognizably playing several different characters in all kinds of makeup.
Today, June 29, marks the film's 25th anniversary, an occasion that, for one, will make many people feel old as f*ck, but should also give longtime fans a good reason to revisit it and newbies the chance to stop sleeping on one of the funniest movies ever made. One that featured a slew of then-anonymous but now-famous actors, as well as seasoned vets at the top of their games. To catch up with them all, we present multiple answers to the following question: Where's the cast of Coming to America now?
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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)