Watch CBSN Live

"Fresh Prince" celebrates 25th anniversary

It's been 25 years since one West Philadelphia teenager's life got flipped-turned upside down.

America tuned in when the show kicked off on Sept. 10, 1990, to see a young Will Smith play a fictionalized version of himself on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Smith, who had already established himself as Grammy Award-winning rapper Fresh Prince, moved into the mainstream with his show about an urban teenager who gets shipped off to live with his uncle and aunt in Bel-Air.

The TV show was seen as groundbreaking. After it premiered, the New York Times wrote: "It is an unusual status to be conferred on a new program that is based on an untried premise, leans on associations with a musical genre unknown to many viewers and stars a 21-year-old who never acted before."

It was also Quincy Jones' first foray as the executive producer of a TV show, who at the time said of the show, " Rap is not the primary focus. If you took the rap out, the premise wouldn't fall apart. But rap gives you the purest street awareness.''

"Fresh Prince" became an international success, running until 1996. Viewers watched Will as he got himself into goofy antics on the show with his friend best friend Jazz, and they saw him mature under the watchful eyes of Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv.

The characters from "Fresh Prince" are still instantly recognizable. With the exception of Smith, who has gained greater fame as a movie star, the rest of the cast members are still best known for their parts on the show -- Hilary, Carlton and Ashley Banks are still among America's best-loved TV siblings, and Joseph Marcell, who played butler Geoffrey said he still gets recognized as the sassiest employee of the Banks family.

Reruns of the show still air on TV, but Smith is reportedly shopping around a reboot. We hope the "Carlton Dance" makes a comeback.

Click through the gallery above to see where "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" cast members are now.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.