Where there’s a WILL there’s a way

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In Nor’ east Philadelphia born and raised,

Near the TV’s where I spent most of my days.

Chillin’ out maxing, snacking all cool,

When Fresh Prince was on, I’d run home from school.

But me and my friends, we were up to no good,

Started making trouble in our neighborhood.

We started one little fire and my mom got scared,

She said, “GO TO YOUR ROOM, YOU CAN’T WATCH THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR.”

Okay, so while only 10% of that story is true (Northeast Philadelphia? Close enough. Fresh Prince? Yup. Snacking? Duh.), I had to put my spin on the iconic theme song. I mean, what’s a blog about Will Smith without a nod to the show that made him famous?

Yes, this blog is dedicated wholly and solely to one of your Favorite Movie Actors, Will Smith.

Growing up in Philly, Will Smith was surriously the rull dull. He is to Philadephia what Bruce Springsteen is to New Jersey, or what Amy Fisher is to Long Island: synonymous.  He’s as Philly as a cheesesteak, as likeable as Rocky Balboa. Doesn’t it seem like he could be your best friend? Or at least your really cool uncle who always livens up your Passover seders with funny voices?

Not only is he known as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, he’s also the ultimate triple threat. He killed it on stage as a rapper, slayed us on TV with his wicked sense of humor and he breaks box office records with every film he releases.  Like the People’s Choice Awards, Will Smith celebrates everything that is awesome about movies, music and TV. Below, I’ll walk you through some of my favorites:

Movies: Because I know you expect me to go with Men in Black or I Am Legend or Shark Tale, I’m going to blow all of your minds and tell you that Wild Wild West is by far my favorite Will Smith film. It combines many things I hate (robots, spiders, Westerns, etc.) and somehow manages to thrill me every time I see it. OK, so maybe I’ve only seen it once. In 1999. But who’s to say I wouldn’t like it now? Kevin Kline’s great, Salma Hayek’s hot and my favorite time in American history is the Industrial Revolution. Oh, but those robots. And the spiders. Listen, if I watch it again, I’ll surely hate it. Just let me have this one ok? OK. Moving on.

Music: Was there anything bigger than Big Willie Style in 1997? “Miami” was off the chain, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” was a national sensation and “Just the Two of Us” introduced us to little Jayden Smith and spawned the greatest non-Weird Al parody song this side of “Amish Paradise.”

Television: For TV, I went straight to the source for ultimate Will Smith-fandom: My super-suburban, super-white brother’s memories of being a young Umbro shorts-wearing, Dunkeroo-eating, Capri Sun-drinking 10 year-old who love, love, LOVED The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air almost more than he loved playing Wave Race on Nintendo 64. Here is our conversation:

Me: Have any good memories of watching The Fresh Prince?

AK: Many.

Me: Give ‘em to me.

AK: When DJ Jazzy Jeff brought Will a cheesesteak and it was just a bag filled with grease.

Me: Interesting. Anything else?

AK: The episode where Will’s dad comes back and says he’ll take him back home, but he leaves him there instead, and Will flips out, and then Uncle Phil bugs out too, and then they hug and cry and the episode ends.

Me: Well, that’s specific. What else you got?

AK: When Will says, “Smell ya later.”

Ooooook. So maybe we all love the Fresh Prince for different reasons. Here’s my reason: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGlc_iz3OwE

In all seriousness, It’s no wonder Will Smith still captures our attention after all of these years in the spotlight. He’s a comedian (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air), a heartthrob (Hitch) an action star (Independence Day), a dramatic force (Pursuit of Happyness), a badass (Bad Boys) and sometimes everything all at once (Ali). No surprise here — he’s one of YOUR Favorite Movie Actors (and mine).

Voice your choice in today’s poll and tell us which of Will Smith’s biggest box office  hits is your favorite?

Independence Day

Hitch

Men In Black 3

I Am Legend

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