|The Fresh Prince Project|
|Original Broadcast Date||September 10, 1990|
|Written by|| Andy Borowitz |
|Directed by||Debbie Allen|
|Followed by||Bang the Drum, Ashley|
The Fresh Prince Project is the first pilot episode of the first season from the television sitcom on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which was originally aired from NBC on September 17, 1990. It was directed by Debbie Allen and written by Andy Borowitz and Susan Borowitz.
This is the pilot episode of the series. Will meets the family, but in a harbinger for the remainder of the series, Will ruins Uncle Phil's evening party and they argue over his negative influence on his cousin, Ashley.
Surprisingly, it turns out that everyone in the family is beginning to grow fond of Will. Uncle Phil explains how he "also grew up on the streets" and respected Malcolm X, who is Will's hero, but he also uses his mind and works hard to achieve and so should Will. However, Uncle Phil learns this lesson himself when he hears Will play Beethoven on their piano, showing there is more to his nephew than just his background.
After getting into trouble in West Philadelphia, Will's mother sends him to live with his Aunt Vivian and Uncle Phil in Bel-Air because she feels that Will would be safer and learn more in Bel-Air. Upon his arrival, Will brings with him part of West Philly - his rap style, his behavior, and his flare for trouble wreak havoc on the Banks' household. Philip has some of his law firm associates over for a get-together and they were quite surprised to find Ashley doing a rap song that Will had taught her. This does not help Philip's image with his bank associates and Will and the Banks get off to a rocky start. The episode ends with Philip leaving to bed but not before hearing Will play Beethoven on the piano, changing his perception of Will.
Cast and Characters Edit
- Will Smith as Will Smith
- James Avery as Phillip Banks
- Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks
- Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
- Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks
- Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks
- Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler
- The cab driver in the opening sequence is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's executive producer, Quincy Jones.
- Will was 17 years old when he first moved in with his aunt and uncle, but Will Smith was actually 22 years old when he taped this pilot episode.
- In the pilot episode, the back of the living room set has 2 windows. For the rest of Season 1, there are doors leading out of the house.
- According to the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" retrospective included as an extra feature on the first season DVD boxset, Vivian Bank's name was originally Wendy Banks, but Director Debbie Allen felt Vivian would be a better name and the producers loved it right away.
- Alfonso Ribeiro's last name is incorrectly spelled as "Ribiero" in the opening credits.
- In the scene where Will sees himself looking like Carlton, the mirror was actually covered by a rectangle with another scene in which Will wears clothing just like Carlton's.
- Geoffrey introduces himself to Will verbally as Geoffrey (but never tells him how it's spelled). A short time later, Will refers to him as "G" even though the common U.S. spelling would seem to call for the letter "J."
- The song Will played on the piano after the party is "Fur Elise" by Beethoven. At the end of the episode, Carlton is singing "Silly Love Songs" by Paul McCartney & Wings in the shower.
- This is the only episode in the series to not feature an outside shot of the Banks' house.
- In this episode, the left side of the living room has an arched opening leading into the dining room. For the rest of the season, there are doors in that spot.
- In the end of the credits, the Pilot episode picks up where it left off after Will knocks on his Uncle and Aunt's door.
- In the scene were Will is stapling his Malcom X poster on the wall, the walls are shaking. Also, when Will moves away from the poster, it's showing a little bit from outside the set in the top left corner of the screen and the camera moves down quickly to cover it up.
- When Ashley gives Will her drawing, she incorrectly spells Will's name as "Wil".
- Ashley's rap: "Hey there Lord, my name is Ashley Banks. My family and friends want to give you some thanks, so before this dinner's all swallowed and chewed, thank you, God for this stupid food."
- Will [to Geoffrey]: Hey, Uncle Phil! (hugs him)
- Geoffrey: [clears throat] I am not your Uncle Philip.
- Philip [to Will]: I want to talk to you.
- Will: About what?
- Philip: You know. From the minute you walked in that door, you've been a one-man wrecking crew, trying to tear down what's taken a lot of hard work to build up, skewering everything with your flippant shenanigans!
- Will: I was with you up until 'skewering'.
- Carlton: Wait till we come downstairs in those tuxes. People may not think we're twins, but I'll bet they'll think we're brothers.
- Will: You know, I don't think you'll have to worry about anybody mistaking you for a brother.
- Vivian [to Will]: Did you enjoy the trip?
- Will: Oh, yo, the plane ride was stupid. I was looking for first class...
- Philip: Excuse me?
- Will: No, I was sayin' the plane was dope. So, I was lookin' for...
- Philip: Excuse me?
- Will: No. Stupid. Dope. Oh. No, that doesn't mean what you... Um... How would he say it? Oh, the flight was really neat, yeah.
- Hilary: Dad, I need three hundred dollars.
- Vivian: Hilary, your cousin Will is here.
- Hilary: [to Will] Hi. Dad, I need three-hundred dollars.