Type
Scripted
Premiered
Sep. 10, 1990
Status
Completed/Ended
Runtime
30 min.
Country
USA
Network
NBC TV Network
Genre

Top Contributors

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • Will Smith's character name in the show is actually different than in real life. In the show, he is "William" Smith, in real life he's "Willard" Smith. This is referred to when one of Will's girlfriend's father calls him Williard as a joke.
  • Lisa's real name is Beula.
  • Will Smith's future wife 'Jada Pinkett-Smith' auditioned for a role of his girlfriend, Lisa, on his show, but was told she was too short.
  • The term "Fresh Prince" in the title is a reference to the stage name used by Will Smith as a rap artist in the 1980s.
  • The character 'Philip Banks' was ranked #34 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).
  • The address of the Banks' house is 805 St. Cloud Road
  • The part of Aunt Vivian Banks was portrayed by two different actresses during the series run. 'Janet Hubert-Whitten' portrayed the original Vivian during seasons 1-3, but growing problems between Will Smith, the producers, and Hubert-Whitten caused her to depart in 1994. The producers offered Hubert-Whitten a 12/25 contract for season four, but she declined. Daphne Maxwell Reid replaced her in the role from 1994-1996, seasons 4-6.
  • The running gag of the "Carlton Dance" throughout the show was actually a parody of the dance Courteney Cox did on the Bruce Springsteen music video "Dancing in the Dark" in 1984.
  • In the episode "Lucky Charm" in season one, we learn that Will's birthday is 3 July 1973 and that Carlton's birthday is on August 4th 1974
  • The show was originally canceled by NBC after the fourth season, with the series finale being the episode where Will moves back to Philadelphia. However, fan reaction and letters written to Will Smith and NBC persuaded them to renew the show and it ended up continuing for two more seasons.
  • May have been the first TV series saved from cancellation by pleas from TV-station managers. The show aired its 1990-1994 episodes in syndication after the fourth season while running the fifth season on network. At the end of that season, NBC wanted to pull the plug because the new episodes were getting a mediocre 8.6 rating. But the reruns were drawing a 7.4, extremely good for an ad-hoc collection of shows you've seen three or four times, and the managers of the local stations thought they might have one of those "phenom" series where people religiously watch their favorite episodes and a lot of them. To avoid over-running the shows they already had (about a hundred, already run three times), the station managers agreed to buy the fifth and sixth seasons at a greatly inflated price (adding 50 more shows to their libraries and helping avoid burning out the audiences) - meaning NBC would NOT lose money by picking up the show after all.
  • In the episode "Lucky Charm" in season one, we learn that Philip's birthday is January 30th.
  • In the episode "Love Hurts" in season five, we learn that Hilary's birthday is August 18th.
  • The cab driver in the opening credits is Quincy Jones, the executive producer on the show.
  • Sherman Hemsley appeared as two different characters throughout the show, once as Judge Carl Robertson and again later as a cameo playing George Jefferson
  • Nicky's full name is Nicholas Michael Shawn Nathan Wanya Banks. He is named after the four members of Boyz II Men, after they performed at his christening.
  • Geoffrey's last name is Butler and in the episode Hare Today, it's revealed that his middle name is Barbara.
  • As it required on-location shooting, only one shot of Jazz being thrown out of the house was done (with only a few exceptions). Therefore, to avoid continuity errors, it is made sure that Jazz is always wearing the same shirt in episodes where he's thrown out.
  • According to Will Smith in an interview, the reason for his character being named "Will Smith" was that, during the creation of the show, he and Alfonso Ribeiro were brainstorming names for their characters. Alfonso remarked that Will had to be careful in naming his character, as people would refer to him in public by that name for the rest of his life, and suggested that he name the character "Will Smith".
  • Uncle Phil's law firm is Firth, Wynn, and Meyer, which is a play on the name of the band Earth Wind & Fire. Executive Producer Quincy Jones is a big fan of this group.
  • After Will's father immediately leaves him after a brief yet uncomfortable visit, Will's speech to Uncle Phil was ad-libbed by Will Smith. James Avery (Phil Banks) was so moved by Smith's speech that he immediately hugged before the scene ended.
  • Will Smith was approached by the television network NBC, who signed him on to a contract and created a sitcom that focused on him.
  • During the fall of 1991-92 season, NBC gained two hit television shows to anchor their Monday night line-up ("Blossom" aired after "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"). To gain popularity between the two shows, Will Smith appeared in an episode as himself under the rap persona of The Fresh Prince. Several episodes later, Karyn Parsons showed up in an episode of "Blossom", as Hilary Banks. Parsons also appeared in the Patti LaBelle sitcom, "Out All Night" as her Fresh Prince character.
  • In the UK, the show was exclusively aired in 1991 on BBC Two up until the Summer 2004, originally in the DEF II programming block. The channel edited some of the episodes so that, like the pilot, the titles would comes before the beginning of the episode; this was indicated by the lack of credits in the first scene.
  • Will wears the same outfit he wears in the opening credits.
  • According to the retrospective included as an extra feature on the first season box set, Vivian Banks name was to be Wendy Banks. However, director Debbie Allen felt Vivian would be a better name and the producers loved it right away.
  • The scene where Jazz is thrown out of the house in this episode is the same exact clip used in every Fresh Prince episode that features him being thrown out of the front door.
  • The lines, "Aww come on Uncle Phil, you gonna ruin my rep!" and "You're only 17, you don't have a rep yet!", said by will and uncle Phil, is a paraphrase of the lines from Will Smith's song "Parents Just Don't Understand".
  • This is the first episode to have a scene of dialog before the opening credit sequence. Almost all of the episodes after this one are like this as well.
  • This was the 5th episode to be produced, but third to be broadcasted.

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