‘In West Phillidelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days’ are probably lyrics you’ll remember from growing up with the hit show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
In case you missed “Fresh Prince” during its run from 1990 to 1996, or somehow have escaped the endless repeats in the years since, here’s a recap of the premise: Now-famous blockbuster actor Will Smith portrayed a mischievous Philadelphia teen who was sent to live with his rich relatives in Bel-Air. Cue the culture clash as free-spirited Will had to adjust to his Uncle Phil’s rules.
One of TV’s most loved dads, ‘Uncle Phil,’ played by James Avery was the sort of role model you secretly wished was your own Uncle. While Will grew to be quite the father figure to a number of his family members too. Across the seasons of the show there were incredible dad lessons. Here’s our top 6 dad moments.
1. There for you, even in the stickiest situation
Whenever Will and Carlton when really needed him, Uncle Phil didn’t hesitate to help them out. That was established clearly with an episode in season one, when Phil came to Will’s rescue at a pool hall after he lost money and a car to a hustler.
2. Underneath the grizzly exterior was a sensitive role model.
Although Uncle Phil and Will had their fights, the lawyer and eventual judge became a father figure for Smith’s character.
No more was this true than in one heartbreaking season four episode, when Will’s biological father re-enters the picture only to leave his son once again. A distraught Will turned to his uncle, who readily embraced him. That’s a true dad right there.
Despite being the ‘cool cousin,’ Will grew to become something of a fatherly figure for Ashley. In Season 3 he got a chance to have ‘that chat’ with her, but wasn’t quite ready for it.
4. Not a man to be messed with
Every so often we saw glimpses of Uncle Phil’s soft side, but it was his stern parenting style that always left us in stitches. Take, for example, the way he handled one of Carlton and Will’s failed schemes in season two.
5.Has a go-to move for kicking people out of the house
Whenever you saw Will Smith’s real-life friend and recording partner DJ Jazzy Jeff on-screen in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” you knew he wasn’t going to be around for long. The running gag on the sitcom was that Jazzy Jeff’s character, Jazz, was always getting thrown out of Uncle Phil’s mansion. It happened so often it became a patented move.
6.Always ready to ‘bust a move’
Uncle Phil was constantly getting ribbed by his family — and especially Will — about his weight, but the regal patriarch wasn’t without a sense of humour, and some moves, as this scene from season 5 showed.