The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which ran for six seasons on NBC from 1990 to 1996, is best known for launching Will Smith to massive stardom and its impossibly catchy theme song, but the show was so much more. It was a stellar ensemble comedy (we fell just as in love with the Banks family as we did with Will), a '90s time capsule, and a trailblazing piece of pop culture; joining the legion of other '90s sitcoms that carved out new avenues for Black storytelling, Fresh Prince featured a Black American family unlike any TV audiences had seen before in the wealthy and conservative Bel-Air bred Bankses.
And while these things may be more common on TV today, the fact that The Fresh Prince starred a rapper and celebrated hip-hop culture was groundbreaking when the show premiered. This had never been done on network TV before, and it was The Fresh Prince that paved the way for shows like 1995's In the House and 2015'sEmpire. But what really has helped the legacy of The Fresh Prince endure was that through it all — from the show's pointed exploration of class, racism, and gun violence, to its silly capers and goofier gags — The Fresh Prince remained an optimistic look at how the bonds of family can be stronger than any individual differences.
More than 20 years later, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an incredibly relevant piece of pop culture. And fortunately, this isn't one of those celebrated shows that wasn't recognized during its time. The Fresh Prince was understandably inescapable when it aired, influencing the way young viewers talked and dressed, as well as the music they listened to. Now, thanks to the sitcom (finally!) being available to stream on HBO Max, a whole new generation may get the chance to appreciate the story of the Fresh Prince and his auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.
https://www.tvguide.com/news/tv-throwback-best-shows-to-rewatch/">TV Throwback: The Best Shows to Rewatch Right Now
If you're binge-watching The Fresh Prince, whether for your first time or your 40th, we recommend you keep your eyes peeled, because the celebrated series attracted an impressive array of guest stars who sought to be a part of this touchstone comedy during its six-season run. (The fact the series was created by music legend Quincy Jones didn't hurt when it came to attracting the show's expansive roster of singers and rappers for cameos.) Watching The Fresh Prince today is like going on a treasure hunt for celebrity guest spots — everyone from Queen Latifa to Tom Jones to Oprah Winfrey to Dick Clark to Naomi Campbell to Milton Berle appeared on the beloved sitcom. That's why we rounded up the biggest and best guest stars to ever cameo in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. See how many you remember as you click through the gallery below.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is available to stream on HBO Max. Check out more great '90s series to watch here.
Looking for more shows to stream? Check out TV Guide's TV Throwback, recommending the best shows to rewatch — or to discover for the first time — from 1970 through the present day.