Tommy Davidson claims he was part of the television series it is based on Eddie Murphy‘s 1998 film Coming to America. The beloved comedian has been open about the ups and downs of his career, but Davidson says the show never took off.
“This is about the failure of a TV show that I worked my ass off to star in,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “And when all was said and done, I was left with nothing.”
The ‘In Living Color’ actor mentioned that he received acclaim before starring in the 1990s comedy sitcom. He recalls opportunities like a role on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown and a television and film development deal with Disney. The 58-year-old also recalls auditions for comedy shows like A Different World and The Cosby Show. He also received an offer from Murphy’s production company to star in the TV pilot for Coming to America.
According to Davidson, “The show was supposed to be about Prince Tariq, the little brother of Prince Akeem’s character in the film, and what his life would be like when he comes to America.”
After failing to get the part on A Different World, he decided to pass on deals with Disney and Murphy Brown to play Prince Tariq on Coming to America.”
The Woo star said: “I picked it because it was Eddie Murphy – another brother, another black guy who’s doing really well, you know? It was perfect because next to Eddie Murphy, I was the funniest guy at the time.” He continued, “His company had an option with Paramount to do TV shows, which is huge, and that’s what he wanted to do. And it played me! How could it be better?
He said he got “no help” from Murphy’s team to continue with the series, which was never picked up.
“I just stayed there with the studio and a writer [Ken Hecht] who really had nothing to do with comedy,” Davidson explained. “He had written for black sitcoms years ago, like ‘The Good Times,’ but the world had changed by 1989.”
Davidson described Murphy as a “superstar” who is “worth a lot in Hollywood.” He said he was “devastated… hurt… frustrated and scared” after missing his “first big opportunity.” He felt Murphy should have done more to advocate for the series Coming to America, noting that he wished things were different.
“He should have, yes. I was left to fend for myself,” Davidson said. “And I say that knowing how the universe works and how much I love it,” he shared. “It could have helped, but who knows if it would have made a difference? So I didn’t like the behavior, but I love the man. And everything happens for a reason.”
With the Coming To America show stalling, Davidson returned to what he’s used to from performing on stage and in comedy clubs, including headlining a room at the Comedy Store. He cemented his place in comedy after sharing the same stage with vets like Murphy and Richard Priorwhich opened many doors for his career.
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/07/04/i-just-got-left-there-with-the-studio-and-a-writer-tommy-davidson-felt-eddie-murphy-should-have-done-more-to-help-failed-coming-to-america-tv-series/ Tommy Davidson says he should be in TV series ‘Coming to America’, felt Eddie Murphy should have done more to help