Still Not Past the Freshness Date


The Scene: Tuesday’s party at the House of Blues celebrating the 100th episode of NBC’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” There was much reason to celebrate. The show now goes into syndication which translates into a waterfall of cash for everyone involved.

Who Was There: The show’s star, Will Smith; co-stars Daphne Maxwell Reid, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali and Ross Bagley; executive producer Quincy Jones; plus 450 guests including Branford Marsalis, Evander Holyfield, Kool Moe Dee, Sherman Hemsley, Jasmine Guy, Nastassja Kinski and NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield, who said, “This show has given us five years of breathing room on Monday night. It turns on the lights in one of TV’s most important time periods.”

What Syndication Means: “Syndication means your ex-wife knows the check will be coming regularly,” said co-star Joseph Marcell. “It means you can be dead, buried and forgotten and the checks keep on coming.”


Dress Mode: A fashion spectrum the width of Nevada. Everything from TV execs in sincere suits to teen-agers who might have spent the day skateboarding in Venice. As for Smith, he came in a white turtleneck with a tweed coat. One guest described the look as “rapper dressed for the hunt.”

Quoted: “What I learned from doing this show is everyone possesses the ability to do what they want,” said Smith. “A lot of times things seem out of reach, that other people have some magical gift that makes them what they are--that you don’t have--so you can’t be that. That gift does not exist. All you need is to work hard. Anything you can work hard at you can do.”

Hollywood Education: In the four months his successful club has been open, what has the exotically titled House of Blues Director of Public Awareness Nigel Shanley learned? “To deal with wonderfully fragile egos.”

When It’s Time to Leave the Party: One male guest discussing drinking: “I don’t like the kind of hangover where you get into the car, you don’t know how to shift and everything looks like the surface of the moon.”

High Point: For at least one woman, the evening peaked when Smith got up on stage and rapped. Asked what the sitcom star said, she replied, “It doesn’t matter. He rapped.”