Shake the Scene: Coming to America


Coming to America (1988)

215px-ComingtoAmerica1988MoviePosterThe Scene: My-T-Sharp Barbershop

Why I Love This Scene: I don’t think there’s one bad scene in the entire running time of Eddie Murphy/John Landis Magnum Opus Coming to America. It’s a bona fide comedy classic filled with great performances, gags, dialogue, as well as class/ethnic diversity in what was then an acceptable un-PC world. There’s jokes for all kinds of folks in this fish-out-of water tale that only serves to remind us how great Murphy, Landis and these kind of off-color jokes are and how sad that we’ll never get them again.

I probably don’t need to wax poetic about the greatness of Coming to America or the barbershop scenes where Murphy and Arsenio Hall plays multiple characters talking glibly about all kinds of topics. They could make a whole spin-off movie on these characters and it would be a comedy hit. But what I really wanted to highlight because of this scene is because we lost a monumentally great man over the weekend with Muhammad Ali.

I am not a fan of boxing really so I am not the man who can really eulogize one of the greatest athletes in history. Which is why my lame attempt to give him his due and recognition is this funny scene where the African-American barbers say they only want to refer to Ali as his birth name Cassius Clay because “his momma called him Clay.” Surprisingly, I had yet to see anyone refer to this clip yet on Facebook or Twitter but I couldn’t resist the reference.

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