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Why Akeem's Son Lavelle From Coming 2 America Looks So Familiar

Over 30 years after it came out, Coming to America is finally getting its sequel. The second film, Coming 2 America, directed by Craig Brewer, will be released on Amazon Prime on March 5. In the 1988 romantic comedy, Eddie Murphy stars as Prince Akeem Joffer, heir to the throne of the fictional African nation Zamunda. Rejecting the idea of an arranged marriage, like his parents want for him, he sets off to America with his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to find true love — which he does, with Lisa (Shari Headley), whom he ends up marrying.

Cut to the second film and Akeem is about to become king. But, after finding out that he has a son he never knew about, Akeem sets off, back to America, to meet and develop a relationship with him. Akeem's father, as his dying wish, wanted Akeem to bring his unknown son to Zamunda to become the next heir to the throne.

That long-lost son, Lavelle, is played by Jermaine Fowler. This is one of Fowler's biggest roles so far, but he's still made quite a few appearances, in TV especially, that viewers may recognize him from.

Fowler's career began in sketch comedy

Per IMDb, Jermaine Fowler has had one-off appearances in a ton of TV shows throughout his career, including Funny or Die Presents... and A Black Lady Sketch Show. One of his early significant roles was a recurring arc on The Eric Andre Show, a sketch comedy show on Adult Swim that was created by and starred, well, Eric Andre. Fowler appeared in 11 episodes in 2012 as the character of "Principal."

Around the same time, Fowler had an 11-episode arc in another comedy sketch show: CollegeHumor Originals, which has a whopping 1,908 total episodes. Fowler, during his run, played various characters.

In 2014, he continued with his sketch comedy route, with his time on Friends of the People, which was made up of a combination of traditional scripted sketches, man-on-the-street segments, among other formats. Fowler was a main cast member for the short-lived show, which was canceled after one season.

Jermaine Fowler's television roles become more prominent

Fowler landed another lead role in 2017, and this time it was a sitcom, Superior Donuts. It followed a donut shop owner, Arthur (Judd Hirsch), and his new young employee, aspiring artist Franco (Fowler), as they try to keep the shop open in their inner city Chicago neighborhood. The series got two seasons before it was canceled.

Also in 2017, Fowler began his recurring arc on Crashing, starring Pete Holmes. Holmes portrays a fictional version of himself: a young New Yorker, whose wife has just left him, trying to make it as a stand-up comedian. Fowler had a recurring role as Russell, another stand-up comedian also trying to make a name for himself. The show ran for three seasons, with a total of 24 episodes — seven of which Fowler acted in. When Holmes announced the end of the show on Twitter, he wrote there was a potential for a follow-up movie, so, if that happens, there's a chance Fowler would return, too.

Notable film roles

Most of Fowler's acting roles have been on TV, but there are a few notable exceptions to this. The first is the 2018 dark comedy, Sorry to Bother You, written and directed by Boots Riley. Lakeith Stanfield stars as a telemarketer, Cassius Green, who discovers he can significantly increase his success in his job by putting on a "white voice" (provided by David Cross) when speaking to customers. Fowler plays Salvador, the best friend of Cassius.

Next, just last year, Jermaine Fowler had a part in Steve Byrne's The Opening Act, starring Jimmy O. Yang as Will Chu, an aspiring comedian, who gets a chance to work with his hero Billy G. (Cedric the Entertainer). Fowler plays the supporting character of Ricky. Shortly after, he also had a small part in a film gaining Oscar buzz, Judas and the Black Messiah, about the FBI infiltration of the Black Panther Party.

And, of course, Fowler's most recent role — and most prominent so far — is in Coming 2 America.