When Eddie wanted to make Murphy Coming to America, he hoped to hire an all-black cast of actors for the John Landis-directed comedy. Paramount wasn’t face to face with that idea, and according to both Murphy and his on-screen partner Arsenio Hall, the studio forced them to cast a white actor in the film. Given three names to choose from, the couple decided that Louie Anderson would fill the role.
Louie Anderson plays the character Maurice Coming to America, one of Prins Akeem and Semmi’s employees at McDowell’s fast food restaurant. Maurice returns in the upcoming sequel Comes 2 America also, still working at McDowell’s, with the restaurant relocated to Zamunda. Maurice’s character was originality intended to be played by a black actor. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall spoke out on Jimmy Kimmel Live, breaking out the sad story behind Louie Anderson’s casting, indicating he shouldn’t be in the movie.
Comes 2 America will be released on Amazon Prime later this month, and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall have done press rounds to promote the film. The couple immediately admits that they love actor and comedian Louie Anderson. But he wouldn’t have been Murphy’s first choice for the role of Maurice. Arsenio Hall was the first to let Paramount force hand to take the iconic ’80s comedian in the role. Hall says this.
“I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in. We were forced to put in a white man.”
Eddie Murphy backs up this claim, saying Paramount executives insisted they didn’t have an all-black cast for Coming to AmericaThis troubled both Murphy and Hall as they tried to get ahead with the filming of the legendary comedy in 1987.
“They were like, ‘There must be a white person in the movie.’ I was like, ‘What?’ “So who was the funniest white guy out there? We knew Louie was cool, so that’s how Louie got into the movie.”
Arsenio Hall went on to explain that Paramount Pictures had provided them with a list of white actors to choose from, which contained three different names. One of them is Louie Anderson
It was official. I had a list. They gave me a list of three white guys. They said, ‘Who would you rather work with? ‘I said,’ Louie. ‘ “
And so Louie Anderson ended up as the only white actor in the movie. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall clearly enjoy working with Anderson as all three comedians hit the stand-up circuit around the same time. Maurice was invited back to some key scenes in Comes 2 America, which will be streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime video starting March 5 this weekend.
Topics: Coming to America 2