Now I've seen this movie a hundred times and watched this scene over and over. I've never seen it like this though. Through the eyes of a sociologist, this is a very intriguing scene. Mike, who throughout the rest of the film was well spoken and charming, begins playing a character he invented on the spot, who was recently released from prison. He attempts to intimidate Reggie with a deeper voice, and slang speech of a "thug" and uses increased profanity and the word "nigga" excessively. He also drinks from a bottle on cognac and casually swings around a pistol.
While a successful vehicle for a humorous scene, one must wonder how these stereotypes Mike is exploiting for comedy come across to a younger generation. Does this tell youth that in order to gain respect and be intimidating you must go to prison and carry a weapon?
In the scene, Mike and Marcus' change of language is accidentally a commentary on what is expected if you want to be a movie star, and what is expected if you want to make it in the streets. It's so funny to the viewer, because its so unexpected in a Hollywood movie. Very rarely would a producer be so cavalier to let such language that would be "offensive" to the masses into a blockbuster.
The message most would get from this scene is that Reggie should be scared, because Mike is a gangster. But is that the message we want to give to America's youth, particularly America's black youth that may look up to Will Smith as a role model? The stigma that black people are scary and "gangster" is already a stereotype that too many buy into. While this scene is hilarious, I'd say it definitely toes the line of good taste.
Besides, I'd be more nervous if I was picking up a date and a cop answered the door.