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Chosen One of the Day: the Paul Simon reference at the end of Aladdin

Contributed by
Jan 22, 2019

At the end of Disney’s Aladdin (not that one), the well-earned happy ending finds the sultan finally deciding to let Jasmine pick her husband. “I choose you, Aladdin,” Jasmine murmurs in his arms. And to this romantic declaration of love, Aladdin tells her to “call me Al” with a serious case of bedroom eyes.

Now, you may recall that “You Can Call Me Al” is a 1986 song by Paul Simon, from his album Graceland, most memorable for a music video featuring Chevy Chase. After all, it’s just the biggest hit of his entire solo career, nbd, nbd.

Now, you might also recall that the only other person in the film to call Aladdin Al is Genie. Throughout the movie, Genie’s insistence on the nickname is part and parcel of his mile-a-minute modern (as of 1992) pop-culture references.

While Genie and Aladdin develop a real and true friendship over the course of the film, Aladdin never joins in the fun of making pop culture references solely to amuse yourself. Aladdin referencing Paul Simon is the first time he’s made a pop-culture reference himself, and it comes just as he and Genie are about to part ways forever.

This can mean only one thing: After spending an entire movie with Genie, Genie’s finally rubbed off on him. He’s learned the joy of making jokes only you find funny (because nobody’s going to appreciate your American '80s pop-culture jokes in Agrabah a few centuries too early). This seemingly throwaway line is a true mark of their friendship. If that’s not the perfect parting gift from a pop-culture-loving cosmic entity, I don’t know what is.

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