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Every Character That Eddie Murphy Plays In Coming 2 America

Believe it or not, over 30 years have come and gone since Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall made their way from the cushy confines of the Zamundan royal palace to the busted back alleys of Queens, NY in search of a queen. That memorable journey came in 1988's iconic comedy Coming To America. And yes, it's even harder to believe the duo are returning for more tomfoolery in that film's unlikeliest of sequels, Coming 2 America. And while the critical response to the follow-up has been tepid at best, there's little question fans of the original flick are still likely to stream away this weekend hoping that Murphy and company might strike comedic gold a second time.

But even if Coming 2 America doesn't quite match up to the original, it's clearly not for lack of trying, with the film (and even in its trailer) boasting more callbacks to its predecessor than one can shake an Easter Egg at. Thankfully, those callbacks also include Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall getting back into the make-up chair to play multiple roles in the film just as they did in the original — a fact that, in 1988, most viewers didn't even realize until the credits.

Murphy and Hall were able to so wholly disappear into those roles thanks in no small part to the jaw-dropping work of makeup effects legend Rick Baker, who later re-teamed with Murphy for The Nutty Professor flicks. Sadly, Baker retired a few years back, so he's not on board for Murphy's Coming 2 America return. Still, one look at the film will tell you the new make-up crew more than stepped up in his absence. Here's a look at every character Eddie Murphy plays in Coming 2 America.    

Eddie Murphy again portrays Akeem in Coming 2 America (obviously)

Right off the bat, we do have a bit of a no-brainer, as Eddie Murphy is indeed reprising his role as the heir to the Zamundan throne Akeem Joffer. And that really shouldn't surprise anyone, as the Dolemite is My Name star's role in Coming to America was very much of the starring sort. It was also the only one Murphy played with no special-effects make-up (assuming, of course, the application of his "Prince's Luck" didn't require any wizardry). Whatever the case, Murphy is stepping back into the role for Coming 2 America to play an Akeem — a little older, and a little wiser than the one we saw 30 years ago.

Well ... older, at least. His Akeem still seems a bit naive in the ways of the world. He is, however, moving up in the world for Coming 2 America, having finally ascended to his rightful spot on the Zamundan throne, thus nabbing the title of King of Zamunda to boot. And for those who don't yet know, Akeem's own search for a male heir is what brings him back to the States for another kooky turn through the streets of Queens. This time, he's in search of his heretofore unknown son, instead of a wife of his own choosing. And rest assured, hijinks ensue when King Akeem and his loyal ally Semmi (Hall) revisit their old New York haunts.   

Coming 2 America finds Eddie Murphy again playing My-T-Sharp barber Clarence

You'd better believe one of those old haunts is the famed "My-T-Sharp" barbershop Akeem and Semmi visited in Coming to America. And yes, the duo's return results in another hilariously quippy encounter with the "My-T-Sharp" crew. It also finds Hall and Murphy essentially trading lines with themselves as the pair play every character in the room during those scenes, save for Clint Smith's Sweets. And whether you realized it or not in the original film, that was actually Murphy himself portraying the crew's hilariously verbose, Joe Louis-loving ring leader Clarence. 

It was also Murphy in the makeup the second time around, playing a slightly more wrinkled, but no less quippy version of Clarence. Make no mistake, we're as happy as anyone to see and hear Murphy again inhabiting the man behind the "My-T-Sharp" mayhem a second time, but Clarence's presence in the film does raise a question or two. Primarily, one has to wonder exactly how old the man is as he was clearly up there in age in the first film. As three decades have passed between then and Coming 2 America, he's got to be getting close to triple digits these days. As it is, the only logical answer is that Clarence was actually a lot younger than he looked in the original. Either that, or Clarence became acquainted with Murphy's bloodsucking A Vampire in Brooklyn baddie, because it's hard to believe he's still kicking around and cutting hair the way he used to.  

Eddie Murphy reprises his role as Saul in Coming 2 America as well

As utterly hilarious as the first Coming to America  was, most fans would tell you one of its most memorable moments actually came as the end credits rolled and it was revealed not only which, but how many characters Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall played in the film (a secret easy enough to keep in the pre-IMDb days). And as much fun as it was to watch those credits roll by, it's safe to say a few jaws hit the floor when it was revealed Murphy had indeed portrayed the salty "My-T-Sharp" patron Saul.

That's largely because Saul is an elderly white man, and Murphy is himself a Black man. Though the role undoubtedly required a touch more time in the makeup chair for Murphy, the squeeze really was worth the juice here, as he absolutely slayed in the role, imbuing the no-nonsense character with just the right amount brash, old New York bravado and an irrepressible chip-on-his-shoulder sort of quip. The same can be said for Murphy's Saul reprise in Coming 2 America, which comes with a few more wrinkles and a couple of memorable one-liners in its own right — even if the old-timer's return forces us to assume Saul and Clarence and the gang are either in on some mystical life-giving pact, or take exceedingly good care of themselves when not lazing about and cutting up in the "My-T-Sharp" shop.

Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate also make their not-so triumphant return in Coming 2 America

Now, as inspired and wickedly funny as those heavily made-up Eddie Murphy performances were in 1988's original Coming to America, they barely hold a candle to the show-stopping turn the former Saturday Night Live standout delivered when he stepped into the curled wig and bedazzled jumpsuit of the one, the only, Mr. Randy Watson (whom you may or may not remember from the "Coming Home" episode of That's My Momma). Of Murphy's grandstanding, cat-walking, Jagger-esque turn as the decidedly limited-in-talent leader of Sexual Chocolate, we'll say that if you've seen it, you've never been able to forget it. And if you haven't, well, prepare to laugh yourself silly, because it easily ranks among the funniest things Murphy has ever done on the big screen.

Against all odds, Murphy nearly outdoes even himself in his return as Randy Watson, shaking and moving and singing like a dying cat throughout his scene-stealing Coming 2 America appearance — though the years have clearly been less kind to a heftier, wrinklier Mr. Watson than some of Murphy's other characters. Even still, Murphy is in comedic tour-de-force mode for Randy's return milking every absurd moment for maximum effect, as you can also see in the hilarious faux concert trailer the Coming 2 America team assembled ahead of the film's release. 

Of all the character returns Eddie Murphy brings to Coming 2 America, it's safe to say this is the one fans likely wanted to see most. And yes, it's probably the one they'll still be talking about when the credits roll.