Alfonso Ribeiro says Fresh Prince reboot is “impossible” without Uncle Phil

The actor behind Carlton Banks couldn’t face doing a revival of the 90s hit without his late co-star James Avery

Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery (Getty, EH)

Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who brought us the magnificent Carlton dance, has said that a reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air would be “impossible” without the late James Avery’s character Uncle Phil.

Advertisement

“I think it’s impossible with James Avery being gone,” Ribeiro told People.com, referencing the actor who played co-star Will Smith‘s Uncle Phil on the show.

Avery died aged 68 in 2014 after undergoing open-heart surgery.

“Do we really want to see Will and Carlton in their 40s and 50s?” continued Ribeiro. “I think people think they want to see that, but I don’t think people really want to see that.”

Ribeiro also said Uncle Phil was “actually the most important character on the show”.

“Without him, everything that Will and Carlton did would mean nothing — it’s a bunch of kids acting stupid,” he said. “There had to be jeopardy, and the way Uncle Phil was going to handle it was the other side of making what Will and Carlton did work. Without him, there is no The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I’m sure a [reboot] could happen, but I continue to say I think it’s very unlikely.”

On whether Smith would be up for a revival of the beloved show, which originally ran for six series from 1990-1996, he laughed: “Will ain’t coming back! Listen, you know how much money they don’t have to get Will back? That’s the reality.”

Advertisement

Speculation mounted earlier this year that a female reboot of the classic sitcom might be in the works, following reports that the production company that owns the rights to the Fresh Prince had filed an application to trademark “Fresh Princess”.