Coming 2 America: The Funniest Characters, Ranked

It took 33 years for the 1988 comedy movie Coming to America to finally get a sequel, aptly named Coming 2 America. The movie didn’t quite get the same positive reception as the original, which has become a part of pop culture, with people still quoting the movie decades later. That being said, the sequel did include modern storylines as well as nostalgic callbacks, new and returning characters, and its own clever form of humor.

RELATED: 10 Movies To Watch If You Liked Prime Video’s Coming 2 America 

Both Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall returned to reprise their leading roles (as well as some others) and were joined by many others, returning and new, to make up the cast. The movie itself was intended to be funny, of course, which is why it was one of the most anticipated films of 2021. But not every character was as hilarious as the next.

10 Meeka Joffer

Coming 2 America Akeem Meeka

Meeka, who quite obviously should have been named heir to the throne behind her father, but was passed over because she’s a woman, was one of the most serious characters in the movie. She had her moments, such as her clever plot to use Lavelle as the bait to get the tiger’s whiskers and her comment to General Izzi after she took him down.

But among all of the characters in the movie, while Meeka, played by KiKi Layne, might have been one of the most inspiring, she wouldn’t be considered the funniest.

9 Prince/King Akeem Joffer

Eddie Murphy Coming 2 America Prince Akeem

Surprisingly, Eddie Murphy, a king of comedy who has appeared in countless movies, was overshadowed by other characters in the movie. His character only had a handful of humorous lines. Most of the jokes came from others while Prince Akeem was merely a newly crowned king looking to make a name for himself and prove to his nation that he deserved it.

It’s unheard of to name Eddie Murphy among the least-funniest actors in a cast. But alas, the dialogue didn’t do him justice. That said, some of the other supporting characters he played in full makeup and disguise – one of many movies where he’s played multiple characters – did have pretty hilarious lines.

8 Semmi

Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime

Arsenio Hall was quite funny in this role, particularly in the scenes where he was battling with Uncle Reem, Baba, and King Jaffe Joffer.

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The loyal best friend and aid to Prince Akeem had some of the best lines, including revealing to Prince Akeem that he did indeed get intimate with a woman 30 years prior when they were in New York. Semmi had the chance to be sillier than the more serious Prince/King Akeem, and thus he ranks higher up on the list.

7 Uncle Reem Junson

tracy morgan and arsenio hall in coming 2 america

There’s no role Tracy Morgan tackles that isn’t deemed funny. And while he was funnier than even some of the main characters, he doesn’t rank near the top. As Lavelle’s goofy uncle, Reem’s illogical feud with Semmi led to some funny scenes.

Morgan’s delivery is always humorous and it seemed like a role that was tailor-made for him. But he didn’t get enough screen time and clever lines to rank within the top five.

6 King Jaffe Joffer

Even though he was only in the first few scenes of the movie, James Earl Jones stole every one of them in this role. Bedridden and terminally ill, that didn’t stop King Joffer from insulting everyone, including his son and Semmi.

It also didn’t stop him from demanding an over-the-top funeral to be held for him before he passed on, complete with him standing in a coffin watching performances by En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa, and Gladys Knight.

5 Queen Lisa Joffer

Queen Lisa dancing at the bar drunk while Mary looks on

Interestingly, Lisa was not only far funnier than her husband Prince Akeem, but she was among the funniest of all characters. She proved exactly why Prince Akeem fell for her 30+ years prior in the original movie when Shari Headley also played the role.

RELATED: Coming 2 America: 5 Ways It’s Better Than Coming To America (& 5 Ways It’s Not) 

She was strong, confident, and opinionated and wasn’t afraid to share what she thought. But it was her drunken party scene with Mary, downing shots, singing rap songs, and dancing away, that earned her a top-five spot.

4 Baba

Many might not realize that this character, the elderly witch doctor, was actually also played by Arsenio Hall. He loved to egg King Joffer on, insult Semmi, and predicted that Prince Akeem had a son in America and that he could find him (and he must). He just had to “follow the Thunderbird.”

But Baba’s funniest scene? When Lavelle thought he was going to be publicly circumcised only for Baba to deliver an elaborate (and terrifying prank), then burst out laughing that it was all a test.

3 Lavelle Junson

Lavelle with an afro sitting at a desk with his hand on his cheek during his job interview back in New York

Jermaine Fowler was perfect for this role of the fish-out-of-water secret prince who became overwhelmed with his new position in a foreign country. He was mostly sweet and innocent but he was at the center of most of the funniest scenes.

Among these are the moments when he had to try to get the tiger’s whiskers, his job interview scene, and the look on his face when he was greeted by three beautiful women ready to bathe him, naked.

2 Mary Junson

Mary in an elaborate dress and hat with Lavelle both looking at something together

Playing her typical role of the hilarious and loud woman, Leslie Jones perfectly captured the role of the random woman Prince Akeem slept with 30 years prior. Realizing he wasn’t joking and actually was a prince after all, now a king, she was quick to pick up her life and move to Zamunda to learn more.

Her line when she first met Queen Lisa – “Hey, Queen! sorry I slept with your man” – then referring to herself as family, having Lisa’s clothing refitted for her, and prancing around like she owned the place, was standard Jones humor.

1 General Izzi

Wesley Snipes as General Izzi in Coming 2 America on Amazon Prime

It’s no surprise that Wesley Snipes is a talented actor with plenty of credits to his name, spanning decades. But what is surprising is that he would steal the show in a comedic film like this. But that’s exactly what he did with this character.

General Izzi made an elaborate entrance whenever he came into a room, making sure that everyone knew how amazing he was (in every way.) He was convincing as the leader of the neighboring nation Nexdoria, who held a grudge all these years against Prince Akeem for not marrying his sister Imani and uniting their two nations. Interestingly, while Snipes was not in the original 1988 movie, he did actually audition for a part that ended up going to someone else.

NEXT: Why Fans Are Excited For Coming 2 America (& Why They’re Skeptical) 


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