During these tense times when every day can feel like every other day, or year, or decade. But, no, your eyes were not deceiving you on Wednesday night (April 28) when Will Smith answered all our lockdown prayers by reuniting the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air during the latest episode of his Snapchat Discover series Will From Home.
Everyone was there: Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton Banks), Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Vin), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey) and, of course, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz). “Reunited and it feels so… AHHHHHH!” Smith wrote about the get-back on Instagram in celebration of a very special anniversary of the show’s debut. “It’s been 30 years since the first season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air so I thought we should have ourselves a lil Zoom reunion!!”
The gang paid tribute to James Avery (Uncle Phil), who died in 2013, and Smith revealed that it was former child star Ribero’s idea for Smith’s character to bear his real name. “The reason that my character’s name is Will Smith is because of you, do you remember that?,” Smith asked Ribero. “It was such a deep insight that you had. You said, ‘Because people are going to call you that for the rest of your life!’”
The reunion was the first time the cast had appeared on screen together since the show ended its six-season run in 1996. “It’s beautiful pause button for us to stop and think about what’s really necessary,” Will said about getting together. “How often do we even pop on a call and say, ‘Hey, how you doing?’… Of all the things I have ever done, nobody brings up things more than they do about the Fresh Prince.”
Smith also played a series of clips from the show, including, of course, his legendary dance routing with Ali, while Marcell recalled getting over his nerves at the audition by hanging with Avery. “Coming to do the audition, spending that few moments with Avery standing outside smoking a cigarette, coming in, meeting you,” he said. “I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t apprehensive. It just seemed natural and I enjoyed it. It’s special. It is, no matter what anybody says, it is special.”
And, yes, Jeff got “really, really annoyed” whenever someone wanted to do the dynamic duo’s signature handshake.
Y0u can watch Will From Here — which Smith launched earlier this month to keep fans busy during the COVID-19 lockdown — here. And check out clips from the reunion below.