Each week, we will be taking an in depth look at some of the best sitcoms and comedy shows from both the UK and the USA.
Today we will be looking at a sitcom that set out the pathway for Will Smith and also had a catchy opening title – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Opening Titles / Theme Tune
About the Show
Summary of Plot
The Banks family, a respectable Californian family, take in a relative – Will Smith, a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia. The idea is to make him respectable, responsible and mature, but Will has got other plans….- IMDb
Number of Seasons / Episodes
Will Smith – Will Smith
James Avery – Philip Banks
Alfonso Ribeiro – Carlton Banks
Tatyana Ali – Ashley Banks
Kerry Parsons – Hilary Banks
Joseph Marcell – Geoffry Butler
+ 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”.
+ 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.
+ 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.
+ Jada Pinkett Smith tried out for the role of Lisa but was denied because of the height difference between her and Will Smith and due to a lack of chemistry between the two. Ironically, this is where the two first met and they would get married three years later.
+ 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.
+ Will Smith would inadvertently mouth other actors’ lines in early episodes as he waited to deliver his own lines.
Best of Will Smith