Ahead of the sequel’s release on Amazon, Murphy and Hall stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to reflect on their years-strong friendship, as well as the experience of putting together the original Craig Brewer-directed comedy.
About eight minutes into the discussion, Kimmel asked the two stars how fellow comedian (and recent Baskets star) Louie Anderson came to be a part of the original Coming to America. According to both Murphy and Hall, Anderson’s appearance as Maurice was actually the result of a Paramount demand to hire a white actor.
“I love Louie but I think we were forced to put Louie in it,” Hall said. “No, I think we were forced to put a white person.”
Murphy elaborated on this, noting that Paramount was adamant about casting a white actor. “Yeah, Paramount was like … because the whole cast was Black and this was back in the 80s, so it was like ‘We have to have a white person, there has to be a white person in the movie!’” Murphy said. “[We were like] ‘What?’ So, who is the funniest white guy around right now? And then Louie, we knew him and was cool with him, so that’s how Louie got in the movie.”
Murphy added that Anderson is “still really funny,” after which Hall noted that he was given a list of “three white guys” from the studio at one point. Asked if he remembered who were the other two names on the list, Hall declined to name them.
“Oh yeah, but I can’t say,” he said.
On Tuesday, Murphy appeared on Ellen and was again asked about his impending return to stand-up. Murphy didn’t offer any timeline specifics but did reveal he currently has about two or three hours of “one or two-line premises” stored in his phone. Once those ideas are given some structure, he “can have a show.”
“I’m 59,” Murphy, who noted he has indeed kept active with his recording but isn’t necessarily interested in releasing new music, said on Tamron Hall’s show. “I can’t be doing nothing with no Megan Thee Stallion. You know how crazy I would look doing something with Megan Thee Stallion? I’m gonna be 60 in April. I can’t be having Megan Thee Stallion doing her stuff and I’m standing next to her with my old ass playing my guitar.”
Murphy made three musical albums from 1985-’93. “I stopped putting music out but I still do music all the time,” he told Hall. “Young folks do that. … Don’t nobody wanna hear no 75-year-old man’s track. I’m cool with tracking and having my little vault with my little tracks. A hundred years from now, you can hear all that stuff and be like, ‘Wow.’”
Coming 2 America is out this Friday.