Cinema has given us a number of iconic comedy duos over the years, whether it be Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Ricard Pryor and Gene Wilder or Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. But of course, when you’re talking about great comedy pairings, you have to include Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in the discussion. The two friends and co-stars have known each other for years, and their work in Coming to America alone was a great showcase of their chemistry. Still, some may wonder how the decades-long friendship actually began. Well, Arsenio Hall has shed some light on that, and their first meeting actually involves Beverly Hills Cop.
As it turns out, Arsenio Hall first met Eddie Murphy through a mutual friend, Keenen Ivory Wayans. That same night, Wayans also introduced his younger brother, Damon, to Murphy as well, but none could have known the funny encounter would actually lead to a Beverly Hills Cop-related opportunity for the younger Wayans:
We’re standing in front of the Improv, Keenen introduces me, I shake Eddie’s hand and we talk for a while and then coming down the street is Damon Wayans. But I had never met him. Keenen introduces us to Damon and he’s doing that character that Eddie let him do eventually in Beverly Hills Cop, the hotel guy. It was so convincing, I didn’t laugh because I didn’t know whether it was real. But that’s how he got the role in Cop 1.
The Beverly Hills Cop character Arsenio Hall mentioned to The New York Times is the hotel employee who sneaks a few bananas to Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley, who is attempting to immobilize Detective Billy Rosewood and Sergeant John Taggart. While it’s a small scene, many fans will likely tell you it’s one of the funniest moments in the entire movie, and that’s saying a lot.
In regard to Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy’s friendship, it looks like we can thank Keenen Ivory Wayans for bringing the two together. Without him, we may not have the on-screen collaborations and years worth of hilarious interviews featuring the duo. It’s honestly amazing to see just how close they are.
Hopefully, the professional and personal relationship between Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy will continue for years to come. The two don’t seem to be slowing down when it comes to their careers, so there’s a chance they could re-team for another feature in the near future.
Coming 2 America is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.