Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

By Nate Millado

Throw down the rose petals because a king is coming to CBS Sunday Night Movies! It's hard to choose a fave from Eddie Murphy's storied career, but this hilarious 1988 cult classic comes close to taking the crown.

In Coming to America, Murphy plays Akeem, prince of Zamunda, who flees an arranged marriage to find a more suitable mate in—where else?—Queens, New York. ("I want a woman that will arouse my intellect as well as my loins.") Bust out the Sexual Chocolate, order some McDowell's delivery, and enjoy these fun facts about the royal rom-com!

Watch Coming to America on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

McDowell's Was A Wendy's

\u200bAkeem working at McDowell's

Louis Anderson as Maurice; Eddie Murphy as Akeem, who ends up working at McDowell's.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

Cleo McDowell's blatant McDonald's ripoff—right down to the golden arches!—was a real-life restaurant, a working Wendy's in Queens. No lawsuits filed from Ronald, though: The "stolen" uniforms, menu, and manuals were approved by the McDonald's Corporation for the film.

Nile Rodgers' Greatest Hit

Producer Nile Rodgers has worked with the likes of Madonna, Sam Smith, and Diana Ross, but the hitmaker considers the mock-commercial composition "Soul Glo," which he wrote for Coming to America, his "single proudest moment." The hair product jingle is a synth sax-heavy earworm, with lyrics like, "Just let your soul glow, baby/feeling oh so silky smooth."

Paula Abdul Choreographed The Wedding Dance

Paula Abdul was still a Laker Girl when she was tasked with the elaborate opening dance number at the palace. Director John Landis wanted to meet with "the person that choreographed Janet Jackson," she recalled to Rolling Stone. (The pint-size powerhouse was behind the routines for such iconic Janet videos as "Control" and "Nasty.") "I went in and he looked at me and said, 'What are you, a teenager?' And I said, 'Yes, I am!' He basically was telling me, 'What do you know about African dancing?' And this is my whole thing when becoming a choreographer: 'I'll just tell everyone yes, I know exactly what I'm doing, and then I'll figure it out later."

A Royal Reunion

Prince Akeem, King Jaffe, and Queen Aoleon \u200b

The royal family: Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem, James Earl Jones as King Jaffe, and Madge Sinclair as Queen Aoleon.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

James Earl Jones plays overbearing King Jaffe. His booming baritone is one of the most recognizable voices in Hollywood. So it's no surprise that Disney tapped Darth Vader himself to bring Mufasa to life in The Lion King. The voice of his lioness queen, Sarabi, in the 1994 animated classic: None other than Madge Sinclair, Jaffe's compassionate wife, Queen Aoleon, from Coming to America! Unintentional Easter egg: King Jaffe wears a stately lion skin sash throughout the film.

Eddie Murphy's Multiple Personalities

Eddie Murphy has been known to juggle multiple roles in his movies, including The Nutty Professor, Bowfinger, and Norbit, with the help of impressive makeup. But did you know Coming to America is what kickstarted that trend in his career? In this barbershop scene, Murphy tackles Prince Akeem, owner Clarence, and Saul, the elderly Jewish gentleman. Another scene-stealing cameo: Murphy as Randy Watson, lead singer of the group Sexual Chocolate.

Fun fact: The film scored two Oscar nods, including one for Makeup and Hairstyling.

Launching Pad

Cuba Gooding Jr getting a haircut by Eddie Murphy's Clarence

Cuba Gooding Jr. makes his big-screen debut as "Boy Getting Haircut."

Photo Credit: YouTube.

Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. made his big-screen debut as a barbershop customer. Coming to America also introduced us to Shari Headley (Akeem's love interest, Lisa) and rose bearer Garcelle Beauvais, who would go on to star in The Jamie Foxx Show, NYPD Blue, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Before he became an ER doc, Eriq La Salle was the hair-apparent to the Soul Glo empire and Akeem's adversary for Lisa's affection. And yes, that is Shameless' Carol Fisher (Vanessa Bell Calloway) as the subservient bride-to-be.

Coming To America: The Sitcom?

\u200bThe opening credits of the Coming to America sitcom pilot

The opening credits of the Coming to America sitcom pilot.

Photo Credit: YouTube.

Coming to America was such a box office hit, earning nearly $300 million worldwide on a $36 million budget, that CBS decided to develop a TV sitcom series based on the movie. The pilot starred In Living Color alum Tommy Davidson as Prince Tariq but was ultimately not picked up.

Returning To America

Lisa and Akeem at their wedding ceremony

Lisa (Shari Headley) and Akeem (Eddie Murphy) marry.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

So what happened after Akeem married his queen from Queens? We'll soon find out! Coming 2 America premieres on Amazon Prime in March 2021, with Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, and more OG stars returning for the sequel.

Prince Akeem is about to become the king of Zamunda when he discovers he has a street-smart son stateside he never knew about named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). To honor the former king's (James Earl Jones) dying wish to meet his grandson, Akeem and Semmi set off to America once again. Leslie Jones and Tracy Morgan co-star, and how's this for a mic drop? Randy Watson (Murphy) and Sexual Chocolate are back!

Watch Coming to America on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 9/8c on CBS and CBS All Access.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

By Melissa Rose Bernardo

After 25 years and countless viewings, you'd think we'd be over Clueless. As if! Some movies simply never get old, and writer-director Amy Heckerling's 1995 update of Jane Austen's Emma, set in sun-soaked Beverly Hills, Calif., is one of them.

In honor of the movie that taught us to always do a lap before committing to a spot at a party and that "everywhere in L.A. takes 20 minutes," here are seven reasons why we love Clueless like Cher (Alicia Silverstone) loves the mall.

Watch Clueless on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 9:30–11:30 p.m. ET/9–11 p.m. PT on CBS and CBS All Access.

The Fashion!

Alicia Silverstone with shopping bags in Clueless

Alicia Silverstone as fashion plate Cher in Clueless.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

The oxford shirts, the plaid skirts, the chic athleisure, the headbands and hair clips, the metallic Mary Janes: Costume designer Mona May dressed Cher and Co. in very of-the-moment styles that turn out to be surprisingly relevant today. (Who could have predicted a scrunchie revival?)

And tell the truth: Had you even heard of Alaïa before Cher told you that "it's like a totally important designer" while a mugger held her at gunpoint?

The Slang!

Justin Walker and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless

"I thought maybe you had an in on the heavy clambakes," Christian (Justin Walker) says to Cher (Alicia Silverstone). Of course she does!

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

In addition to the all-important "as if"—a conversation-ender that's suitable for any number of occasions—Clueless taught us so much.

A "Barney" is a totally random guy unworthy of your attention, as in the guys Tai (Brittany Murphy) is hanging with at the mall—the ones who eventually end up dangling her over the railing; "I don't know where she meets these Barneys," Cher tells Christian (Justin Walker) disapprovingly.

A "Betty" is a beautiful woman—e.g., "Wasn't my mom a Betty?" asks Cher as she passes a painting of her deceased mother. A Baldwin is basically the male equivalent; Cher refers to Josh (Paul Rudd) as "kind of a Baldwin." Also, Cher is not a virgin; "the PC term," explains Dionne (Stacey Dash), "is hymenally challenged."

The Memorable Quotes!

Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in black and white casual clothes

Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash) dress to impress in gym class.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Cher introducing her BFF: "Dionne and I were both named after great singers of the past who now do infomercials." Murray (Donald Faison) telling Cher that she has no chance with Christian: "He's a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde–reading, Streisand ticket–holding friend of Dorothy, know what I'm saying?" Cher pondering the extremely shallow dating pool: "Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie."

Tai lashing out at Cher with possibly the worst teen-on-teen verbal assault in '90s movie history: "You're a virgin who can't drive." And Amber (Elisa Donovan) in phys ed, telling the teacher why she can't play tennis: "My plastic surgeon doesn't want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose." Replies Dionne, not missing a beat: "Well there goes your social life."

It Gave Us A New Appreciation Of Monet

Stacey Dash Elisa Donovan and Alicia Silverstone laughing

Dionne (Stacey Dash, left) and Cher (Alicia Silverstone, right) with frenemy Amber (Elisa Donovan).

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

When Tai asks Cher if she thinks Amber is pretty, Cher replies with an impressionism-infused explanation. "She's a full-on Monet. It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess." Wonder how many Instagram pics of Water Lilies at Paris' Musée de l'Orangerie are captioned "A full-on Monet."

Cher Herself, Who's Deeper Than She First Appears

Brittany Murphy Alicia Silverstone and Stacey Dash in school clothes

A post-makeover Tai (Brittany Murphy) hanging with her new crew, Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash).

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Cher truly seems to care about taking Tai from "toe-up"—Dionne's first (very negative) impression of Tai—to trendy. She's not afraid to call out the uppity Elton (Jeremy Sisto, who now plays Jubal Valentine on CBS' drama FBI)—"You are a snob and a half"—for thinking he's too good for Tai. She ends up becoming captain of her school's Pismo Beach disaster relief team. (A fictional tragedy, but still!)

And her speech about Haitian immigration—she drew a comparison to a garden party and attendees who didn't RSVP—was actually quite ahead of its time: "And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion, may I please remind you that it does not say 'RSVP' on the Statue of Liberty?" Her debate teacher, Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn), may not have been impressed, but we were.

Two Words: Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd and Alicia Silverstone in Clueless

Cher (Alicia Silverstone) bugs bookish Josh (Paul Rudd) for a ride.

Photo Credit: © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Before Wet Hot American Summer, before Friends, before Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Ant-Man, Rudd won our hearts as Josh, Cher's brainy Nietzsche-reading ex-stepbrother in Clueless. He calls her Pippi Longstocking, she calls him Kato; she calls him a brown-noser, he calls her a "superficial space cadet." Clearly it was destiny!

And he believes in her: He knows she can take down anyone and come away with the bridal bouquet at Miss Geist (Twink Caplan) and Mr. Hall's wedding.

Once Again: Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd James Corden Hasan Minhaj in jackets and ties posing for a photo

Guests Paul Rudd (left) and Hasan Minhaj (right) pose for a pic with the host on the Oct. 21, 2019, episode of The Late Late Show With James Corden.

Photo Credit: Terence Patrick/CBS.

Just like Clueless, he hasn't aged one bit. Check him out in this 2019 snapshot from The Late Late Show With James Corden. Yeah, he's still kind of a Baldwin.

Watch Clueless on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 9:30–11:30 p.m. ET/9–11 p.m. PT on CBS and CBS All Access.

Sandy and Danny forever! Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease.

Photo Credit: © Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

By Melissa Rose Bernardo

We know that this Sunday night, in honor of the Grease Sing-A-Long on CBS, you might be planning a socially distanced slumber party with a few Pink Ladies, or a Zoom watch party with your T-Bird pals. You've got your Twinkies (Jan's snack of choice), your dessert wine ("A little Sneaky Pete to get the party going!"), and your double Polar burger with everything plus a cherry soda with chocolate ice cream (Danny's diner order, of course!).

So what else do you need while you're enjoying everyone's favorite paean to peer pressure, fast cars, and summer lovin'? Here are a few fun facts about the 1950s-set high school movie musical.

Grease Sing-A-Long airs Sunday, June 7 (8:30–11 p.m. ET/PT) on CBS and CBS All Access.

The original reviews were, ahem, not great.

Frankie Avalon and Didi Conn in Grease

The Teen Angel (Frankie Avalon) serenades Pink Lady/beauty school dropout Frenchie (Didi Conn).

Photo Credit: © Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

The Washington Post described Grease as "visually unattractive" and "melodically impoverished." The San Francisco Chronicle declared that "the screenplay is pre-pubescent shambles, the direction is acne out of disposable douches…the characterizations are generally repulsive and the whole thing is utterly without style." The Los Angeles Times called it a "sleazy and cynical piece of work." Nonetheless, Grease earned $160 million domestically in its original release, and ranks as one of the top-grossing movie musicals ever.

Wondering who was almost cast?

John Travolta and cast in Grease

Well-a, well-a, well-a, uh! The too-cool-for-school T-Birds pump Danny for details on his "Summer Nights."

Photo Credit: © Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

The studio wanted Happy Days star Henry Winkler—aka The Fonz—for the part of Danny Zuko, the head T-Bird. Hey, he did already have the leather jacket. But Winkler demurred, apparently for fear of being typecast. (Or perhaps for fear of jumping the shark?) Fortunately, producer Robert Stigwood—who knew from movie musicals, having already shepherded 1973's Jesus Christ Superstar and 1975's Tommy to the big screen—suggested John Travolta, an up-and-comer who'd perfected a street-tough image as Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter ("Up your nose with a rubber hose!") and who was about to start filming Saturday Night Fever for Stigwood.

Fun fact: Travolta actually had Grease experience; he'd toured the country in the stage show from 1972 to 1974 playing Doody. Also in that road company? Jeff Conaway—later best known as the movie's lothario, Kenickie ("A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card")—as Danny.

And for Sandy…

Olivia Newton-John and Marie Osmond

Grease star Olivia Newton-John and Marie Osmond bond on The Talk.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

Before Australian-born singer Olivia Newton-John was cast as Danny's love interest, the first-sweet, then-salty Sandy, there were a few other names tossed around: The Partridge Family's Susan Dey, and Carrie Fisher, who hadn't yet achieved stratospheric fame as Princess Leia in Star Wars. But the frontrunner was famous Mormon and future collectible-doll impresario Marie Osmond, the "a little bit country" star of Donny & Marie (her brother, Donny, you might remember, was "a little bit rock and roll").

However, Osmond passed on the part because of Sandy's bad-girl beauty makeover. "At the end of the movie, she appears as her transformed self in tight black pants, a revealing shirt, sassy high heels, a cigarette in hand, and an attitude of 'come and get it,'" Osmond recalled in her 2009 book Might As Well Laugh About It Now. "From my perspective, it was not a story of a girl becoming a woman; it was a story of a girl becoming a sex object."

Osmond did eventually get to play Sandy—sort of: On The Talk in 2014, she replicated Sandy's first-day-of-school outfit, right down to the blonde hair, to greet guest Olivia Newton-John. (In case you're wondering, her fellow then-cohost Julie Chen dressed as the big-haired, tight-pants-and-leather-jacket-wearing Sandy.)

​The Broadway show and movie are worlds apart.

John Travolta and company in the movie Grease

The T-Birds sing the praises of their "systematic, hydromatic, ultamatic" car in "Greased Lightning."

Photo Credit: © Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

The film powers-that-be did a lot of rejiggering of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey's toe-tapping 1950s-pastiche score. In the stage show, as many high school drama clubbers remember, Kenickie leads the group number "Greased Lightning"; on screen, the song went to Travolta's Danny Zuko. A couple of the Broadway show's songs were axed altogether (so long, "Mooning" and "Freddy, My Love"!).

A heap of new songs were written, including the zingy title number (the reason we can't stop saying "Grease is the word"); "Hopelessly Devoted to You," eventually a massive hit for Newton-John; the drive-in solo "Sandy" to spotlight Travolta; and the "electrifying" duet "You're the One That I Want." And "There Are Worse Things I Could Do"—the cuts-so-deep ballad made famous by Stockard Channing as tough-cookie Rizzo—almost didn't make it on screen at all! Producer Allan Carr thought it was, according to Channing, "a downer." Cutting that would have been the worst thing they could do.

Sandy’s so-called come-and-get-it costume raised loads of cash for charity.

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta and cast in Grease

Danny takes in Sandy's head-to-toe leather and spandex transformation.

Photo Credit: © Paramount. All Rights Reserved.

In November 2019, Julien's Auctions worked with Newton-John to sell more than 500 of her personal photos, awards, accessories, souvenirs, and costumes—including the iconic black leather jacket and figure-hugging pants she wore in the final scene of Grease—to raise money for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia.

The pants—so tight that the actress had to be sewn into them on the set—sold for $162,500, and the leather jacket for $243,200. But in a wonderful, and surprising, act of kismet, the jacket's buyer (and self-proclaimed No. 1 fan) returned the beloved piece to its "rightful owner": "This jacket belongs to you," he told Newton-John, who couldn't contain her tears. "It should not sit in a billionaire's closet for country-club bragging rights."

Grease Sing-A-Long airs Sunday, June 7 (8:30–11 p.m. ET/PT) on CBS and CBS All Access.


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