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Imagine if House Party had starred DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, while The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air featured Christopher “Kid” Reid and Chris “Play” Martin. It sounds like some kind of whacky alternate universe scenario, or perhaps my recent viewings of Fox’s Fringe are starting to mess with my thought-process. Regardless, from what Christopher Reid says, had different decisions been made, this could have happened.
Moviefone.com posted the story, including a video from TheUrbanDaily.com featuring an interview with Christopher Reid a.k.a. “Kid.” According to Reid, DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Allen Townes) and Will Smith (commonly known then as the Fresh Prince) were offered the starring roles in the film House Party. They declined and the roles were inevitably given to hip-hop/comedy team Kid ‘n Play.
Reid went on to say that he and Martin backed out of an NBC pilot after the network cancelled their animated TV series. Will Smith and Jazz were cast in the show, which went on to become The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I’m assuming by his wording that the series was being developed for Kid ‘n Play and was then re-developed for DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Or perhaps the premise would’ve been similar, except instead of a guy from West Philadelphia (born and raised!) moving in with his aunt and uncle from Bel-Air, it would’ve centered on one or both guys from Queens heading west with a similar story.
Picturing House Party with Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff is strange enough but trying to imagine Kid ‘n Play in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is even stranger. Is it even worth considering what might have been? I’m inclined to believe that Will Smith would’ve gone on to be the successful actor he is today even if he and Townes had done House Party and not The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but it’s interesting to consider a Kid ‘n Play version of FPoB-A and whether or not the series (if it turned out to be as successful as Fresh Prince was) would’ve helped boost their career, which fizzled in the ‘90’s.
Reid seems to have a good sense of humor about the situation, joking about Smith, “What ever happened to Will Smith? I never see the guy anywhere.”
You can watch Reid’s interview below: