Even when Eddie started making a comeback, his career was considered a bit of a joke. He made a living doing children’s movies, but the taint of epic bombs like The Adventures of Pluto Nashhung like the stink of a dead man around him. One standout from this period is the Frank Oz-directed Bowfinger, where Murphy starred alongside Steve Martin. The film is a hilarious sendup of Hollywood culture, including a group called MindHead who are “not” a parody of Scientology.
Eddie Murphy’s Delirious set new standards for profanity on film, sparking a rivalry between Murphy and Bill Cosby. Delirious was a high-profile HBO special, but Raw went into the theaters, boasting a who’s who of black Hollywood talent behind the camera including Robert Townsend and Keenan Ivory Wayans. Raw was, between the time of its release in 1987 and the release of Goodfellas in 1990, the film with the most uses of “fuck” on camera, surpassing Scarface.
Coming To America might well be Eddie Murphy’s greatest film. This is where the staple of Murphy playing several characters in the same film began, and it easily works better here than anywhere else. Who can forget classic moments like the barbershop scenes or the Black Awareness Pageant? Martin Lawrence has apparently discussed remaking the film, but he’d better not dare.