Why Will Smith Won't Watch Old Episodes Of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

fresh prince of bel air will smith

One of the most beloved sitcoms of all time has to be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which ran for six seasons from 1990 - 1996, featured the theme song so catchy that fans these days can still sing it start to finish, and introduced the world to the epic dance known as "The Carlton." The show was also Will Smith's big break into acting, and it stands the test of time despite all the 90s fashion and technology. As it turns out, however, Will Smith can't bring himself to watch old episodes of Fresh Prince. Smith had this to say about rewatching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

It was my very first role, and I was very, very focused on being successful, so I learned the whole script and everyone else's lines. If you watch the first four or five episodes, you can see I'm mouthing other people's lines. It's terrible and I can't bear to watch it.

Will Smith was only 21-years-old when The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered on NBC in September of 1990. Although he was already a successful rapper, the show was a very big deal. After all, the entire premise revolved around him, and the character was even named Will Smith. The show was going to either succeed or fail largely based on his performance, and that had to be a lot of pressure for him. For as goofy as his alter ego was on the show, Smith clearly took the show very seriously. After all, it couldn't have been easy to learn the lines of all the characters on a show with a pretty sizable ensemble. Still, if he was visibly mouthing the lines of the other actors, it's understandable that he doesn't want to rewatch all these years later.

The former Fresh Prince star revealed his disinclination to rewatch the show during a taping of The Graham Norton Show (via ET Online), and it sounds like he's ready to leave the show in the past. Although plenty of fans would happily tune in for a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air revival starring Will Smith -- perhaps in an Uncle Phil-esque role -- we shouldn't hold our breath. Smith weighed in on the idea of coming back for more Fresh Prince last year, and he didn't mince any words, saying that the only time it would happen would be "pretty close to when hell freezes over" and it would be best if they "leave that one alone."

Hopefully we can at least count on some more cast reunions in the coming years, although there will probably always be one notable absence. The actress who played Aunt Viv in the beginning of the show has been open about her dissatisfaction with how she was treated on the show, and I don't see her working with Will Smith again any time soon. Only time will tell.

You can catch Will Smith in action in Netflix's Bright starting on December 22. For your small screening viewing options in the coming weeks, check out our 2018 midseason TV premiere schedule and our 2018 Netflix premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).