Eddie Murphy wanted "Coming to America" to be an afrocentric extravaganza showcasing the wide range of talent in Black Hollywood. But the movie studio had different ideas.
Comedian Louie Anderson appeared in 1988's Coming to America as Maurice, a fast food employee who took pride in his work at McDowell's restaurant, owned by Cleo McDowell (John Amos).
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the sequel, Coming 2 America, Murphy and Arsenio Hall explained that Anderson wasn't originally cast in Coming to America.
"I love Louie, but I think we were forced to put Louie in it," said Hall, 65. "We were forced to put in a white person."
Murphy, 59, added: "[The studio was] like, 'There has to be a white person in the movie.' I was like, 'What?' So who was the funniest white guy around? We knew Louie was cool, so that's how Louie got in the movie."
"It was official," Hall continued. "I had a list. They gave me a list with three white guys. They said, 'Who would you rather work with?' I said Louie."
Also cast in the original was white comedian Jake Steinfeld who made a cameo appearance as a wise cracking cab driver.
Other cameos included Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, who reprised their roles as Mortimer and Randolph Duke from the 1983 comedy film "Trading Places," starring Murphy.