Now this is a story all about how the OG cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunited since the show ended in May of 1996. This sitcom has become a staple when reminiscing 90’s pop culture, television, fashion, and much more. With the 30th anniversary coming soon, the cast reconvened on Will Smith’s Snapchat to reflect their time on this hit 90’s sitcom.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air first aired on September 10, 1990, ran for 6 seasons with 148 episodes, with the very last episode airing on May 10, 1996. Although we aren’t able to see the cast physically reunite, that didn’t stop Will Smith from reconnecting with 6 cast mates via his Snapchat series, Will From Home. This reunion is split into 2 parts on season 1; episode 12 “Part 1: The Reunion You’ve Been Waiting For!”, and episode 13 “Part 2: Uncle Phil Was the True GOAT.” Check out this sneak-peek from his Instagram below:
Alfonso Ribeiro “Carlton Banks”, Daphne Maxwell Reid “Vivian Banks”, Karyn Parsons “Hilary Banks”, Tatyana M. Ali “Ashley Banks”, Joseph Marcell “Geoffrey Butler”, and DJ Jazzy Jeff “Jazz”, along with Will Smith, reminisce their show through various clips, memories from behind the scenes, and their first impressions of each other.
In episode 12, Karyn Parsons starts off this memory lane with one of her recollections from the pilot. She was stunned when Will Smith said he memorized everybody’s lines and would repeat the lines back to them! Tatyana M. Ali reminisced how she had done her schooling whilst on set and then got accepted into Harvard. In the Snapchat episode, Ali tells Smith, “I saw the world through music because of you, because you believed in me.” This goes to show that the bond the characters had on screen was alive and well even when the cameras were off.
Joseph Marcell continues the reunion by bringing up the fond memory of his audition of when he first met Smith. He stated that interacting with Smith felt natural and that, no matter what anybody says, their show is special. Up next is Alfonso Ribeiro, who praised how every actor was capable of bringing something interesting to their respective character. He is also the reason why Will Smith named his character “Will Smith”, Ribeiro had once told him, “People are going to call you that for the rest of your life!” (And he was right!)
Episode 13 “Part 2: Uncle Phil Was the True GOAT” was quite the tear-jerker as the cast watched clips of their beloved, deceased cast mate James Avery “Philip Banks”, who died on December 31, 2013. In these short clips, it felt as though Avery was speaking directly to his family, “Just remember, happiness comes from inside,” “I’m lucky to have such a wonderful family. Even my pain-in-the-butt nephew.” Daphne Maxwell Reid said it best for everyone, “I loved that man.”
After the emotional tribute, everyone fondly remembered the impact James Avery had on all of their lives. At the end of their reunion, the cast professed their love for each other and reaffirmed that they have always been and will always be a family. Their reunion is a nice reminder that the shows we loved so dearly also have a special place in the hearts of those who brought it to life.
If you can’t get enough of Will Smith and his antics, make sure you check out some of his recent adventures. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will forever be a remembrance of the 90’s and a staple sitcom from that time. The memory of the show is as precious to the cast as it is to its’ audience. Thank you, Will Smith, for taking us back to your kingdom of Bel-Air.