In “Coming to America,” Louie Anderson, who lost his battle with cancer at 68, performed Maurice, the aspiring assistant supervisor of McDowell’s who enthusiastically labored his means up the ladder by studying the finer factors of quick meals.
“Hey, I began out mopping the ground identical to you guys,” Maurice instructed Prince Akeem and Semmi (performed by Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall). “However now . . . now I’m washing lettuce. Quickly I’ll be on fries; then the grill. In a yr or two, I’ll make assistant supervisor, and that’s when the large bucks begin rolling in.”
In actuality, Anderson’s life-changing position within the 1988 traditional got here courtesy of his Midwestern values and an absence of melanin in his pores and skin.
“I really like Louie, however I believe we had been pressured to place Louie in it,” Corridor, 65, instructed Jimmy Kimmel in 2021 whereas selling the sequel. “We had been pressured to place in a white particular person.”
Murphy backed up his celluloid sidekick’s account.
“[The studio was] like, ‘There needs to be a white particular person within the film.’ I used to be like, ‘What?’ So who was the funniest white man round? We knew Louie was cool, in order that’s how Louie received within the film.”
Corridor mentioned they had been initially given a selection of three Caucasian comedians.
“I had a listing. They gave me a listing with three white guys. They mentioned, ‘Who would you quite work with?’ I mentioned Louie.”
However Anderson, who reprised his role in the 2021 sequel, “Coming 2 America,” had distinguished himself to Murphy with an act of kindness.
In a 2017 interview with Sway in the Morning, the Emmy winner recalled eating at Hollywood hotspot The Ivy within the Eighties and seeing Murphy eating together with his entourage. Anderson requested the waiter to place the “Uncooked” comic’s tab on his bank card.
“Don’t inform him ‘til after I go away. I’m not doing it to be a giant shot. I’m doing it as a result of I’m from the Midwest and that’s how we’d do [it],” the Minnesota native recalled.
“The subsequent day I received a name from him to thank me, after which his particular person took over,” mentioned Anderson, who was instructed, “I’m doing this little film known as Coming To America and I’m going to place a component in it for you.”
He mentioned Murphy instructed him, “No one ever purchased me something.”
Anderson by no means needed to audition for the position. “I simply received that half … and that was it. It was one of the best $650 I ever spent. Isn’t it a tremendous, fantastic story?” he mentioned.
In that very same interview, Anderson recalled giving Murphy some unsolicited recommendation as the pair made the rounds on the LA comedy circuit within the Eighties.
“I’d all the time go, ‘Eddie, you’re too soiled on stage – be clear. You could be funnier being clear, you’ll simply do twice the enterprise. And he’d simply have a look at me,” added Anderson.
It should have registered on some degree. Murphy’s portrayal of the refined Prince Akeem in “Coming to America” was a departure from his raunchy act and rougher roles. And the film turned the highest incomes movie that yr for the studio and the second-highest-grossing movie on the US box office.
And Anderson embraced his position because the lone white man on the movie and the sequel, telling a CBS affiliate: “I’m the token white man, that’s what Eddie Murphy known as me within the first film. It was nice getting again along with all people and it was a fantastic expertise.”