42 Behind-The-Scenes Facts about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

July 10, 2017 | Mathew Burke

42 Behind-The-Scenes Facts about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Running from September 1990 to May 1996, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air is one of televisions most legendary shows. Loved by people of all ages and generations, the show continues to grow its fan base today, through syndication.

Check out to these facts about The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

42. Timing Is Everything

Will Smith was saved from bankruptcy by the show. The IRS forcefully took 70% of his salary during the first 3 seasons. Pay your taxes, folks.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

41. The Ol’ Switcheroo

The location of the house shown in the intro and throughout the series is actually in Brentwood, California. Can’t lie, the Fresh Prince Of Brentwood doesn’t have quite the same ring...


40. Trophies

Will received 2 Golden Globe nominations for his role in Fresh Prince.

Will Smith Fresh Prince

39. It’s Over

At the request of Smith himself, the show ended in 1996, after 6 seasons.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

38. Love Of My Life

Will met his future wife, Jada Pinkett, during an audition she had for one of his on-screen girlfriends. She didn’t get the role. She definitely won in the end.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

37. You Get A Room, And You Get A Room!

Will gifted the entire cast new dressing rooms during filming in 1995.

Fresh prince Cast

36. I Guess That Works

The butler, Geoffrey’s last name in the show was actually Butler. Why they had to play him like that?


Sources: 1234

35. That’s My Mama

Actress Janet Hubert played Aunt Viv for the first three seasons, while Daphne Reid took over during the last three.

Aunt Liv Fresh Prince

34. Just In Case

The finale episodes of seasons three, four and five were all written to be potential ends to the series. Writers did not know at the time of writing whether the show would be back or not. The finale of season six was written with full knowledge that the show was ending.

Fresh Theme

33. I Only Make Hits

Quincy Jones is the producer on Fresh Prince. He is also the producer behind Michael Jackson’s mega-hit “Thriller”.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

32. Take The Wheel

Though many claim that Quincy Jones plays the cab driver in the show’s opening song, official sources state that it is not Quincy. He’s rolling in too much Hollywood money to need to be a fake cabbie.

Fresh Art

31. Too Many Names

Nicky, Will’s cousin on the show, was given the on-air middle name ‘Nathan-Michael-Shawn-Wanya”. These are the first names of each member of Boyz II Men. Say that 10 times fast.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

30. I See What You Did There

Uncle Phil played a lawyer in the show for a firm called Firth, Wynn And Meyer. This was a play on the musical group, Earth Wind And Fire.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

29. Memorable Appearances

Some of the more notable guest stars to appear on Fresh Prince include: Oprah, Jay Leno, Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Don Cheadle and Evander Holyfield.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

Sources: 1234

28. Get Together

The cast held reunion specials in 2005 and 2011. Janet Hubert was not invited.

Fresh Prince Reunion

27. BFF’s

The on-air friendship between Will and Jazzy Jeff was based off their real-life friendship, which started years before the show as a hip-hop duo.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

26. Money Maker

Since the shows end, Will went on to become a box-office hit. He grossed $624 million in 2012 alone.

I Am Legend

25. RIP

James Avery went on to star in shows like NYPD Blue and Grey’s Anatomy. He tragically passed away on December 31st, 2013. He was so many peoples favourite TV uncle.

James Avery

24. Keep A Tune

Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley, went on to release a musical album in 1998. It was called “Kiss The Sky” and went gold.


23. Fresh Prints

Daphne Maxwell-Reid went on to…. wait for it…. take pictures of doors around the world. No joke, look it up.


22. Whose Line Is It Anyway

Will Smith can sometimes be seen on film mouthing other actor’s lines. He did this to help remember his own lines while filming.

Fresh prince Wallpaper

Sources: 1234

21. Spin Doctor

Jazzy Jeff is still an active DJ and has over 30 releases to his name.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

20. For The Real Fans

Having been cut down for the show’s intro, the full theme song is actually 3 minutes in length. The YouTube video for it only has 11 million hits, compared to the 25+ million for the shortened version. Jimmy Fallon’s version has 11.5 million views.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

19. We Get It

“Bel-Air” was referenced in the show intro a total of 6 times. In case you didn’t know where he was going.

Fresh Will Smith

18. Be Careful Where You Sing

An American school was put on lockdown in 2013 when a faculty member misheard the show’s lyrics “Shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school” on a student’s voicemail. How times have changed.

Fresh Prince Cancelled

17. For Old Times Sake

British talk show host Graham Norton was able to convince Will Smith to sing the Fresh Prince theme song on his show twice.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

16. Inexperienced

Will Smith had only one acting credit before signing on to Fresh prince. He claims to have cringed any time he would playback the first few seasons. Confidence is king, people.

Fresh Prince Hello

15. Right In The Feels

One of the show’s most iconic scenes takes place at the end of the episode “Papa’s Got A Brand New Excuse”. The episode deals with Will’s on-screen biological father coming back into his life, only to quickly abandon him again. In the famous scene, Will actually went off-script and tapped into his own similar real-life experiences to deliver one of the most heartfelt speeches in TV history. It was so moving that audience members could be heard crying off camera.

Will Smith's Dad

Sources: 1234

14. Fancy Footwork

Actress Courtney Cox’s dancing from the Bruce Springsteen video “Dancing In The Dark” and an Eddie Murphy sketch about how white people dance inspired the show’s famous “Carlton Dance”.

Carlton Dance

13. Choose Wisely

Both Will and Alfonso Ribeiro were allowed to choose their character’s names for the show. Alfonso warned Will to pick carefully because if the show was successful, people might call him that name for the rest of his career. Will picked his own name, while Alfonso went with Carlton.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

12. Most Important Meal Of The Day

A breakfast cereal in 1993 offered breakfast with the cast of Fresh Prince as a prize. If I had known this then, I would never have skipped the meal so regularly.

External Unedited V1

11. Just Dance

In an attempt to break the world record for largest simultaneous flash mob, Alfonso Ribeiro led a large group of Los Angeles citizens in the “Carlton Dance”. The dance took place across hundreds of North American cities and was sponsored by an ad firm. Bonus fact, I’ve been doing the dance while writing this list.

Carlton Dance Flash Mob

10. Can’t Keep Us Down

NBC, the network behind Fresh Prince, cancelled the show after its fourth season. There was enough backlash from rabid fans that NBC renewed the show for two more seasons.

Internal Unedited

9. Not For Your Eyes

The cast and crew shared a diary they kept hidden in a drawer on the kitchen TV set. Anyone could write notes in it at their leisure, and some even wrote gossip about other stars. It is now in the hands of Karyn Parsons (Hillary). This is the ultimate collectors item.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

8. Prodigy

There was an episode in which Will interviews at Princeton University and impresses the dean by solving a Rubik’s Cube. This is in actuality a real-life talent of his and Smith has shown off his skill in multiple talk shows and movies. My talent is that I can spell Rubik’s Cube.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

Sources: 1234

7. Multifaceted

Both Will and Alfonso tried their hand at other off-camera roles. Will wrote an episode in season three and Alfonso directed one in season five.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

6. On A Serious Note

The writers of Fresh Prince were encouraged to write scripts that dealt with more serious subject matter. This came from Will, who was inspired by the emotional moments in the show, ‘Roseanne’.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

5. Drama On The Set

On set, Will and Aunt Viv had a loving relationship, but most fans don’t realize that the actress, Janet Hubert, was actually not well liked by the cast. She was even fired at Will’s request.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

4. We’re Special

James Avery, Karyn Parsons and Will Smith were the only cast members to appear in every episode of Fresh Prince. Teacher’s pets.

Fresh Cast

3. Fresh Kicks

Will famously wore Air Jordan basketball shoes throughout the show’s six seasons. Eventually, the show got its own model in the Air Jordan 5 Bel Air. A real pair will cost you upwards of $600 today, if you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas.

Fresh Prince Air Jordans

2. One Take

Due to the high cost of on-location filming, the famous scenes where Jazzy Jeff is thrown out of the mansion were actually a recycled shot. They filmed this scene one time and Jeff wears the same shirt in any episode where he is thrown out for continuity reasons.

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Facts

1. Handpicked

Will Smith never auditioned for his role. He was chosen to play the lead by Quincy Jones himself.

Fresh Christmas

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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