Will Smith debuts ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reunion trailer: ‘You’re welcome’

Tatyana Ali, left, Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro in the original "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
Actors Tatyana Ali, left, Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro are back for HBO Max’s “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion.

Now this is a story all about how Will Smith unveiled the first trailer for HBO Max’s highly anticipated “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion.

The hilarious and heartwarming preview, released Friday across the screen icon’s social media, sees original cast members Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff chillin’ out, HBO Maxin’, relaxin’ all cool in the Banks’ Bel-Air mansion.

“You probably seen the picture: me with the whole ‘Fresh Prince’ cast,” Smith says via selfie-cam at the top of the teaser.


“But you not ready for this trailer. You couldn’t be ready for this trailer. Happy Thanksgiving. ... Thank you, Will. Yes, you’re welcome, Will.”

Seated around their posh studio living room (“How crazy is it, walking in here?” Smith remarks), the unscripted preview sees the TV family reminisce about their time together on the show, “special” tape nights on set and their respective casting journeys.

“Nobody ever asked me if I could act,” says Smith, whom NBC famously tapped to lead the hit sitcom as an extension of his burgeoning rap career.

“And you couldn’t!” a quick-witted Ribeiro quips as his costars roar with laughter.

Later in the trailer, the actors also reflect on the enduring legacy of the series, which Ali says “meant Black excellence to people” because of “the way that we loved each other.” And one bittersweet moment sees the tight-knit cast pay tribute to the late James Avery, who was “the heart of the show” as Uncle Phil.

For British stage veteran Joseph Marcell, traveling from London to Los Angeles to film ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reunion was worth the risk.

Sept. 22, 2020


“James Avery was this 6-foot-4 Shakespearean beast, and I wanted him to think I was good,” Smith says, recalling the day he and Avery filmed an emotional, landmark scene in which Uncle Phil comforts his nephew after his father abandons him.

“I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he’s holding me, and the shot pans off, and he whispered in my ear, ‘Now, that’s acting.’”

And, of course, there would be no Uncle Phil without the original Aunt Viv, played by Janet Hubert, who (spoiler alert!) makes a surprise appearance at the end of the teaser.

“I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of ‘Fresh Prince’ without Janet,” Smith tells his stunned costars.

Filmed on the 30th anniversary of the sitcom’s premiere, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” arrives Nov. 19 on HBO Max.