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Coming 2 America’s Tracy Morgan Reveals The Touching Reason Why The Original Film Connected With Him

Coming 2 America represents the realization of a dream. Fans have waited over 30 years for a sequel to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 comedy and, now, Murphy, director Craig Brewer and the original cast are delivering the heavily anticipated follow-up. Of course, fans aren’t the only ones who are ecstatic about the film’s release. Some of the film’s new stars, who grew up with (or even auditioned for) the original movie, are excited to be continuing the franchise. This includes Tracy Morgan, who recently revealed his touching, personal connection to the first film.

Like many of us, Tracy Morgan grew up a big fan of Eddie Murphy, who he views as one of his comedy idols. This was one of the things that appealed to him the most when he was given the opportunity to join Coming 2 America. However, his love for the franchise also stems from the fact that the first movie came into his life during a difficult time:

My dad died in '87. [Coming to America] came out in '88. I [didn't have] much to be happy about. When I saw that film, it made me feel good. That's what it means to me. I don't know what it means to anyone else, but that's the significance that it meant to me.

Tracy Morgan has been very candid about his relationship with his late father, Jimmy Morgan Sr., who was in and out of Morgan’s life when he was young. Morgan Sr. died of AIDS at the age of 39, something that remains on Morgan’s mind. Despite their up and down relationship, Morgan loved his father and credits him for being the one who taught the comedian “how to tell a story.”

Although his father was not able to see Coming to America, Tracy Morgan told Complex that he believes his dad would have loved it, especially since he was a fan of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. So getting to star alongside the comedic duo in the new movie was especially significant for Morgan:

My dad would have loved it. My dad loved Eddie Murphy. My dad loved Arsenio Hall. My dad would have loved James Earl Jones and everyone else that was in it. So to be a part of the sequel, it meant that much to me, man. It was surreal. I thought—and I'm going to say this on the record—I thought that maybe getting my star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame might've been the highlight of my career. I think it sharing space with Arsenio and Eddie and all the rest of the people in this movie was one of the highlights of my career. To finally work with Eddie, to share space on film with Eddie, I love it. Eddie is my OG. Eddie is probably the guy of my generation that made me want to do stand up. I always remembered his red Pumas on Saturday Night Live.

Tracy Morgan has done quite a bit during his illustrious career, but getting to work with Eddie Murphy is something that he’d wanted to do for a while. Thankfully for him (and us), the two comedy legends will now finally get to share the screen together.

Coming 2 America will debut on Amazon Prime Video on March 5, 2021.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.