When Coming To America arrived in theaters in 1988, the comedic fairytale skipped over wicked stepsisters and glass slippers to become a runaway hit and an important part of the Black film canon.
Starring Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, and Shari Headley, the colorful characters in the movie introduced us to actors we’d be watching for decades as we followed the Prince of Zamunda on his quest to find love in Queens, New York.
Tomorrow, many of those stars will be back on our screens as they reprise their original roles for the film’s sequel, Coming 2 America, streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Take a look at where each character left off in the original movie and how they’ll appear in the sequel before its premiere on March 5 below.
Then: Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy)
The jaded Prince of Zamunda was full of hope that he could find someone who cared more about his personality than his position.
Sagittarius (November 23-December 21)
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• Coming 2 America
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• Tampa Baes
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Then: Lisa (Shari Headley)
The philanthropist and greasy fry heiress was every teenage boy’s fantasy.
The duchess of McDowell’s turned Queen of Zamunda proves the royal treatment is as good as hyaluronic acid. After 32 years of wedded bliss, she’s still flawless.
Then: King Jaffe Joffer (James Earl Jones)
The no-nonsense king arrived stateside ready to set his son straight before being surprisingly set on the right path by his queen.
Now: King Jaffe Joffer
Sadly, King Jaffe has lost his Queen (Madge Sinclair passed away in 1995), but his stern attitude persists.
Then: Semmi (Arsenio Hall)
The mischievous servant came to Queens ready to help Akeem find the one and have a little reckless fun along the way.
The prince’s right hand man is still at his side and still causing trouble.
Then: Saul, Clarence and Morris (Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall)
The trio sat in the barbershop arguing about civil rights and boxing bouts more than they cut hair.
Now: Saul, Clarence and Morris
The barbershop crew is still sitting in swivel chairs telling tall tales and giving questionable advice.
Then: Oha (Paul Bates)
Prince Akeem’s rigid servant made announcements, handed out bribes, and hit a convincing falsetto with an elegance reserved for royalty.
Oha is still in the royal service, ready to ensure that the Joffer family has everything they need to rule the kingdom.
Then: Randy Watson (Eddie Murphy)
The performer heated up the stage with an unforgettable dose of sexual chocolate and a dash of Jherri curl juice.
Now: Randy Watson
Watson is still letting his soul glo as he entertains audiences all over the globe.
Then: Cleo McDowell (John Amos)
The corner-cutting restaurateur was all about promoting his business and marrying his daughter off to Akeem once he found out he was a prince.
Now: Cleo McDowell
McDowell’s left the meddling behind to focus on expanding his empire and spending time with his grandchildren.
Then: Imani Izzi (Vanessa Bell Calloway)
The beauty was destined to be the future queen before Prince Akeem went off the royal script.
Now: Imani Izzi
We don’t want to spoil anything, but Imani might look strikingly like she did back in 1988 when you see her in the sequel — a testament to Vanessa Bell Calloway’s enduring beauty.
Then: Rose (Garcelle Beauvais)
The future leading actress played the background as one of a few designated rose throwers.
The actress has received a promotion (and apparently access to the fountain of youth).
Then: Maurice (Louie Anderson)
The lettuce supervisor truly believed in McDowell’s, proudly explaining how he was working his way up the fast-food ladder.
Holding it down for McDowell’s actually paid off. Maurice was at the side of the royal family when their first Zamundan location opened its doors.