Will there or won’t there, Will?
With everybody fondly remembering how awesome sitcoms were from the mid-’80s through the first several years of the 21st century, “renewal” and “reboot” have become certifiable buzz words in today’s popular culture. From the writing to the casting to the sets to the clever laugh-out-loud humor to the heartwarming moments wrapped in subtle life lessons, it seems that virtually any show with most of its primary cast living these days is being asked about bringing their show back on primetime TV.
Enter Will Smith and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
While The Fresh Prince will remain in reruns (that’s still a plus), that photo of Will Smith looking exactly like James Avery (Uncle Phil) is enough of a gift for fans. It’s a sign of the true specialness and staying power of that sitcom. A unique sign of that once-in-a-lifetime television era.
Like this heartfelt moment between Will and Uncle Phil.
Trust me, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will live on forever.
Sadly, actor James Avery did not get to ring in 2014.
For those who may not be familiar with the name James Avery, he may be known not only as the former voice of Shredder and Splinter in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series from the late 1980s and early 1990s, but more famously remembered as Uncle Phil from the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
According to the Washington Post article, “James Avery, television and movie actor, dies,” Avery passed away at the age of 68 on Tuesday, December 31st. The cause seems to be related to complications from a major surgical procedure.
Millions of fans from around the world watched (and watch in reruns) Avery entertainingly portray Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for 6 seasons. His character was the moral center of the show. He provided plenty of laughs and moments of sincerity and heart, as well as important life lessons for the show’s viewers.
For 30 minutes a week, he was everybody’s uncle.
Below is a clip featuring some favorite moments from the popular sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. There is one portion that starts at 3:26 that embodies so much of what so many loved and will miss about everybody’s Uncle Phil (however, it is recommended to watch the entire video).
The background to the scene is that Will went against his uncle’s stern warnings to not go to the pool hall. Will disobeyed and thought he could beat an older gentleman who turned out to be one of the pool hall regulars. Deep in debt, Will was forced to use his uncle’s Mercedes/his ride as collateral until his debt could be paid. Panicked, Will managed to convince his furious uncle to go back to the pool hall to discuss with the hustler a way to get the car back alongside his trusty butler Geoffrey/”G.”
Uncle Phil has lost a couple games to Will’s nemesis…and badly. However, Uncle Phil is able to negotiate one more game at the steep price of $100 a ball…
Smart. Loving. Funny. Role Model. A Hustler for Good.
Now, the “Big Guy” is with The Big Guy.
Rest in peace James Avery/Uncle Phil.