More than three decades ago, television viewers tuned into “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on NBC for the very first time. Unbeknownst to them, series star Will Smith, and the cast, the show would go on to become a staple in the landscape of pop culture and entertainment. Today (Sept. 10) marks the 33rd anniversary of its debut.
Smith celebrated the feat with a simple post on Instagram that showed him standing in front of the iconic Brentwood home that was used for exterior shots of the fictional Bel-Air abode of the Banks family. “Moved in 33 years ago today,” wrote the actor.
The dose of nostalgia generated a range of reactions from people in the post’s comment section. “I feel inspired and old at the same time,” wrote one fan of the show. “All the feels! What a time, what a legacy,” wrote another person. And a third said, “I remember DJ Jazzy Jeff getting thrown out at least 20 times.” In 2020, the box office megastar partnered with the owner of the iconic home, making it available for temporary rentals on Airbnb.
The wildly successful sitcom completed a six-season run in May 1996 after 148 episodes and countless guest appearances from the likes of Jada Pinkett Smith, Tyra Banks, Nia Long, John Amos, Don Cheadle, Chris Rock, and so many other notable stars.
In February 2022, the show underwent a dramatic reimagining with a new cast and several nods to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” for Peacock’s “Bel-Air.” Newcomer Jabari Banks portrays the titular character, and like both the real-life and fictional Will, he, too, hails from Philadelphia.
“I say it like this: if you took all of the characters from the ’90s but you dove into all of their diaries and all of their journals and what they were feeling internally, that’s what our show is,” Banks told REVOLT in a previous interview. “So that’s going to be super exciting for old fans and new fans to watch, and you’re going to see a lot of callbacks to the original, a lot of tidbits, and a lot of Easter eggs, so that’s going to be exciting as well,” he added.
“Bel-Air” wrapped a second successful season in April. In March, it was announced that the streamer renewed the show for a third season; however, its release is delayed until 2024 due to the ongoing writers and actors strike.
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