An interview with leading man Eddie Murphy describing the process of hiring director John Landis reveals more than anyone could expect for Coming to America, a relatively safe and disengaged comedy. The late 1980s produced some of the finest films to date, but it was here that the comedy began to falter. Long gone were the laugh-a-minute barrages of Airplane! or the inventive chaos provided by Time Bandits, and the seeds of Saturday Night Live were slowly beginning to blossom. While it would be a couple of years before audiences had a taste of Wayne’s World, the passing of the torch was beginning to take centre stage. Case in point, Coming to America does indeed feel like a farewell to Murphy’s imperium of the genre.