There are so many beloved sitcoms that made their debuts in the ‘90s, from Living Single and Saved by the Bell to Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond. Of course, you can’t talk about that roster of sitcoms without bringing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into the mix. The hit NBC show not only served as an appropriately fresh addition to the network’s lineup years ago, but it helped launch lead actor Will Smith into true Hollywood stardom. That’s probably one of the reasons why he still has so much affection for the show today. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Smith found a way to celebrate Fresh Prince’s 33rd anniversary.
It’s hard to believe it’s been over 30 years since Will Smith and the Bel Air-based Banks family were introduced to avid TV watchers. Some may not have known what to expect from Fresh Prince ahead of its premiere but, in time, it solidified itself as appointment-viewing TV. There are plenty of recognizable elements from the show, including Will’s fresh Jordans (which he begged for) as well as Alfonso Ribeiro’s Carlton Dance – a diddy that’s inspired flash mobs. There’s also the mansion, which was used in the show’s exterior shots throughout its six-season run and has become iconic itself. So it’s fitting that Smith posted a photo of himself in front of the mansion to mark the anniversary. Check out his Instagram post – complete with perfect caption – below:
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It should be pointed out that this isn’t actually a recent photo of the 54-year old actor. This snapshot was taken in 2020, during which he and the rest of the Fresh Prince cast toured the house ahead of their reunion special. Interestingly enough, the house is actually located in Los Angeles and has been available for rent via Airbnb. That home’s actual location, however, doesn’t diminish its connection to the Bel Air-set series, though. You can also watch the video of the stars’ tour:
Will Smith’s post about the anniversary may be short, but it’s also sweet. It’s funny how time passes and, for some, it must be surreal to think that it’s been 33 years since the pilot dropped. Admittedly, I wasn’t around when the show first hit the airwaves. (I came along a few years later.). However, like so many others, as I grew older, I discovered the show through syndication and adore it today. The fact that the sitcom has managed to reach multiple generations is a true testament to the efforts of its cast and crew.
Over the years, the I Am Legend star has been open about his experiences in front of and behind the camera while working on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He’s discussed a myriad of topics, including the NSFW advice his late father gave him while he was on set. The Oscar winner opened up even more during the Fresh Prince Reunion, even discussing his past issues with (and the eventual departure of) OG Aunt Viv actress Janet Hubert. (He and Hubert ultimately made amends during the retrospective.) And the show continues to permeate the actor’s life in other unique ways. For instance, his son, Jaden, designed a fashion piece inspired by one of Will’s most embarrassing (and hilarious) moments on the show.
The comedy series has a firm legacy, and it’s being built upon, thanks to the dramatic reimagining, Bel-Air, which is streamable with a Peacock subscription. You love to see that this franchise is still thriving after over three decades and that Will Smith still has no problem hyping up the production that made him a star. Here’s hoping fans continue to indulge in its humor and warmth for 33 more years.
Those who want to celebrate The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s 33rd birthday can do so by streaming episodes from all six seasons using a Max subscription.