Has anyone heard of the lost Fresh Prince episode? I used to be a close friend of Andy Borowitz's son, and I would go over to their house at least once a week. I was young at the time and didn't really know about Fresh Prince; I was too busy watching cartoons and collecting pogs and probably wouldn't have understood it anyway. As I got older, his son and I began to grow apart; we would hang out maybe once a month and rarely talked. In high school, I started watching the re-runs on Nick and Nite. The show was great, and I couldn't believe I had been so close to the creator's son all this time. I started watching it more and never missed a night. One night, I noticed that the mothers were different actresses; I was confused as to why they had just abruptly switched the wives. Did they think that no one would notice?
My senior year we had to do a huge project that required us to be in a group; Andy Borowitz's son was in my class. We grouped up and decided to meet at his house at 6:00 PM for researching. Before going to his house, I came home and turned on my DVR; I had some Fresh Prince on there and decided to watch one before I left for his house. It was one of the newer ones, where they had the new mom. As I was watching, I figured I might as well ask Andy what the deal was in switching.
I got to his house and we began to work, but after a few hours of frustrating research, we took a break. I went towards the bathroom and noticed his dad in the kitchen, so I figured this would be the best time to ask about it.
"hey, Mr. Borowitz. How are you?"
"Oh, I'm fine. How's the project?"
"Tough. We're all taking a break right now."
There was some awkward silence, and finally I just blurted out what I've been wanting to say for so long.
"Hey, I was watching Fresh Prince the other day...What was the deal with the second mom in the later seasons?"
"Well, the original actress' contract was up and she didn't want to do it anymore, so we got someone to replace her."
"Well, I just think it's confusing to the viewers. Why not have a divorce, have her move a way, or even kill her off?"
He stood,m frozen, as if he had just seen a ghost or a badly mangled body.
"What do you know?" He asked.
"What do you know, mother fucker?"
I stared blankly at him. I tried to move, but was way too scared.
"I...I...I don't know what you're talking about, sir."
"Bullshit. Who told you?"
By this time, I was getting really scared and was looking for anything I could use as a weapon just in case.
"Honestly, I don't know what you're talking about!"
He stared into my eyes for about two minutes; I didn't blink.
"Come into my office."
He left and my heart was pounding; I was covered in sweat and felt like complete shit. I ran into the bathroom and splashed some water onto my face, trying to regain composure, but I was just too scared. I slowly walked into his office; I could hear some sort of papers ruffling and something scraping against a box. I crept in. "Sit down," he told me. I didn't want to piss him off, so I did just that and sat the fuck down.
He was rummaging through an old brown box; it wasn't labeled and didn't have any markings on it. Finally, he found what he was looking for: a tape. The tape had a label with something written in permanent marker, but I couldn't make it out as it looked smudged and worn.
He threw it on his desk and sat down, massaging the side of his head...then he looked straight at me.
"In '93, when Janet said she didn't want to continue with the show any longer, we came up with a couple of ideas as to how to continue with the show. There were three ideas: have her move to New Jersey, where she got a job teaching a Princeton, leaving the family behind in Bel Air. The second was to simply find a replacement like they've done on other shows. The third idea..."
He paused, looking as if he was ready to vomit. His face became extremely pale and his eyes seemed deeply sad; he almost started crying.
"Excuse me. (clears throat). The third idea was to end the show and kill her off completely. We shot all three and decided to put them all up for a vote at the end."
"The first two were written and filmed within good time. We got it to the editing floor and they were all good to go. However, shooting the third was the hardest. A lot of the crew didn't want any part of it. The ones who did stay never fully recovered from what they saw. The atmosphere while shooting was tense and no one smiled at all. Normally, between takes, the actors would talk amongst themselves, but during this shoot they would go and sit or stand with their arms crossed, looking at the ground until it was their time to go up and shoot."
By now, his voice was cracking and his upper lip couldn't stop trembling. He gave me the tape and told me to get the fuck out, and to not come back or he would call the cops.
I quickly grabbed the tape, my stuff, and went home.
When I got home it was already 11:00 PM. My family was asleep, and they had left some food in the microwave for me. I didn't feel like eating. I just wanted to watch the tape.
I went into my room and put the tape into my DVD Player / VCR that I got for Christmas, but his pause and went to close the door. I came back, threw myself onto my bed, and hit play on the remote. For the first five minutes, it's just black. Finally, after what seemed ages, the camera fades in and you see the mansion's living room. Uncle Phil is sitting down, watching TV, and Carlton is seen coming down the stairs. The two start talking about Carlton's plans for college, but you can barely hear what they are saying. The volume spikes up and down throughout the whole thing, and there is no laugh track, is I'm not even sure if what they were saying was supposed to be funny because they all had a dead serious look on their faces.
Eventually, the entire family is in the living room except for the mother. The phone rings and Uncle Phil answers it. Immediately, he starts sobbing; it was at this pint that you could finally hear what they were talking about. Uncle Phil falls to the ground, sobbing uncontrollably and screaming in agonizing pain. The others sit there with blank expressions on their faces. The screaming continues for five minutes before Carlton picks up the phone and starts talking to the person on the other end. He just says, "yeah," and, "goodbye." Carlton walks out of frame and you can hear something said in Latin followed by a gunshot. Uncle Phil is still sobbing and screaming, but the cast looks to stage left where Carlton went. Vivian comes into frame with a shotgun, also crying, and muttering something in tongues or Latin. The entire cast scatters and runs except for Uncle Phil, who by now is having a seizure. Vivian points the gun to his head and fires a shot. She then chases Carlton up the stairs and fires one into his back. He screams in pain, but is not killed. Hillary makes it out with Will and they run to the next-door neighbors.
They knock on the door, but there's no answer. They continue to knock and ring the doorbell with the same result. They check the knob and open the door, walking in and looking around; there's no power and no lights. They immediately become freaked out, but go and search for a phone. The video then cuts to some grainy footage of Vivian tying up Ashley; she is sobbing, but muffled by a gag. Vivian then drags in Carlton and begins to sing an old crooner song. She has this weird, creepy smile and tears start coming down her cheeks. Carlton begin to say a prayer, but Vivian quickly hits him with the gun and tells him to stop. She turns to Ashley and pulls out a knife; she slowly starts walking toward her, saying in a sing song voice...
"Such a good girl!"
"Such a beautiful girl!"
"My favorite girl!"
She raises the knife and brings it down toward her neck. Before the knife makes impact, the scene cuts to black. This is followed by ten minutes of applause, which turns into yelling and then screaming. The screaming gets louder and louder, then it fades in to Will and Hillary finding the dead bodies on the couch and the floors and walls covered in blood, but no sign of Vivian. Hillary urges Will that they leave, but he says, "No, I want to stay." Hillary starts screaming at Will to leave, but eventually she gives up and runs out of the house. It doesn't explain why they went back in. All you see is Hillary running away. Again, the tape fades to black for about one minute.
The show fades in and the credits roll. In the background is a still photo of Uncle Phil with his head blown off, Carlton with a huge wound in his stomach, Ashley looking as if someone had skinned her, and Will with his limbs torn off. The whole family is sitting on the couch like this with Vivian in the middle, smiling and covered with blood. After the credits stop rolling, the picture stays there for a good thirty minutes.
I jumped off of my bed and hit eject. The VCR returned the tape, but the ribbon had jammed inside of it. I cut the tape with scissors and cleaned up the mess, beginning to examine the tape, and noticed that almost all of the film was still wound on the left side. My heart sank and I threw it in the garbage.
That night, the picture from the end credits haunted my dreams, except instead of seeing the Banks family on the couch...it was my own, with me in the middle, smiling.