Trivia and Fun Facts

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the episode “Lucky Charm” in season one, we learn that Will’s birthday is 3 July 1973 and that Carlton’s birthday is on August 4th 1974
  • The show was originally canceled by NBC after the fourth season, with the series finale being the episode where Will moves back to Philadelphia. However, fan reaction and letters written to Will Smith and NBC persuaded them to renew the show and it ended up continuing for two more seasons.
  • Lisa’s real name is Beula.
  • Will Smith’s future wife ‘Jada Pinkett-Smith’ auditioned for a role of his girlfriend, Lisa, on his show, but was told she was too short.
  • The term “Fresh Prince” in the title is a reference to the stage name used by Will Smith as a rap artist in the 1980s.
  • The character ‘Philip Banks’ was ranked #34 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (20 June 2004 issue).
  • The address of the Banks’ house is 805 St. Cloud Road
  • The part of Aunt Vivian Banks was portrayed by two different actresses during the series run. ‘Janet Hubert-Whitten’ portrayed the original Vivian during seasons 1-3, but growing problems between Will Smith, the producers, and Hubert-Whitten caused her to depart in 1994. The producers offered Hubert-Whitten a 12/25 contract for season four, but she declined. Daphne Maxwell Reid replaced her in the role from 1994-1996, seasons 4-6.
  • May have been the first TV series saved from cancellation by pleas from TV-station managers. The show aired its 1990-1994 episodes in syndication after the fourth season while running the fifth season on network. At the end of that season, NBC wanted to pull the plug because the new episodes were getting a mediocre 8.6 rating. But the reruns were drawing a 7.4, extremely good for an ad-hoc collection of shows you’ve seen three or four times, and the managers of the local stations thought they might have one of those “phenom” series where people religiously watch their favorite episodes and a lot of them. To avoid over-running the shows they already had (about a hundred, already run three times), the station managers agreed to buy the fifth and sixth seasons at a greatly inflated price (adding 50 more shows to their libraries and helping avoid burning out the audiences) — meaning NBC would NOT lose money by picking up the show after all.
  • In the episode “Lucky Charm” in season one, we learn that Philip’s birthday is January 30th.
  • In the episode “Love Hurts” in season five, we learn that Hilary’s birthday is August 18th.
  • The cab driver in the opening credits is Quincy Jones, the executive producer on the show.
  • Sherman Hemsley appeared as two different characters throughout the show, once as Judge Carl Robertson and again later as a cameo playing George Jefferson
  • Nicky’s full name is Nicholas Michael Shawn Nathan Wanya Banks. He is named after the four members of Boyz II Men, after they performed at his christening.
  • Geoffrey’s last name is Butler and in the episode Hare Today, it’s revealed that his middle name is Barbara.
  • 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.

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