The star was cast as King Jaffe Joffer, the father of Eddie Murphy's character Akeem, in the 1988 comedy because of the authoritative tone of his booming voice.
But Jones admits he pleaded with director John Landis to swap roles with Amos, who portrayed fast food restaurateur Cleo McDowell - only to have his request snubbed.
He tells the New York Post, "I wanted John's role so bad. The director, John Landis, said, 'You've done some Shakespeare. You might be able to fool the audience better (as the king). You're not getting the hamburger guy.' God, I wanted the hamburger guy so bad."