So back in 1989 NBC decided to give a hot young rapper named Will Smith his own television sitcom. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, probably one of your favorite 90s shows, was the delightful result, and though you might think you know all their is to know about the Banks family, there are plenty of fun facts you might not have known about the series! It's time to get educated! Here are some facts from the hit NBC TV show that helped launch the acting career of Will Smith.
These Fresh Prince of Bel-Air facts include fun trivia like where The Carlton Dance came from, who played the cab driver in the opening credits, and how many actresses played Aunt Vivian. There are also some weird facts like where the actual Fresh Prince house is located, what country the original soundtrack was released in, and what kind of shoes Nike released in conjunction with the show.So kick back, have Geoffrey bring you something to drink and dig into these fun Fresh Prince of Bel Air facts!
Quincy Jones Plays the Cab Driver
The cab driver in the opening credits is Quincy Jones, who served as the executive producer on the show.
Fans Helped Extend the Show by Two Seasons
The show was originally canceled after the fourth season when Will moved back to Philadelphia. Letters from fans poured in to Will Smith and NBC persuading them to renew the show. The show ended up continuing for two more seasons.
The Carlton Dance Came from Eddie Murphy and Courteney Cox
The popular Carlton Dance was actually a parody of the dance Courteney Cox did in the music video for Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit "Dancing in the Dark." Said Ribeiro, "It was also inspired by Eddie Murphy’s 'the white man dance.' And what I did was ultimately take those two dances and combined them and made it my own, and made it my character’s. But ultimately it’s 'the white man dance.'”
Will Smith Agreed to Star Because of IRS Troubles
As he gained widespread fame as a rapper, Smith didn't manage his money wisely or pay enough in income taxes. He owed $2.8 million to the IRS, which seized most of his belongings, including his income. Close to declaring bankruptcy, producer Quincy Jones offered Smith the chance to star in the series. The IRS forced Smith to pay them 70 percent of his salary during the first three seasons.