About Christmas TV History

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Christmas (1993)

It's Black History Month again.  I enjoy celebrating BHM on my blog because there are so many excellent Christmas episodes, specials, and TV movies with exceptional African-American cast members.  There are also many outstanding or touching Christmas TV story lines aimed at black audiences.  In the upcoming month, I'll highlight a few of my favorites.

There are a total of four Christmas episodes on the series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Last week, I wrote about the 1990 episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air entitled "Deck the Halls."  Click HERE to see that essay again.   Another Christmas episode of The Fresh Prince included musical guests Boyz II Men who can be heard in this episode performing two holiday songs.  I wrote about this particular episode in my latest book Merry Musical Christmas Vol. 1: The Best Christmas Music in TV Sitcoms and Dramas.  The review below is an excerpt from the book.

At the episode's beginning, we see that this Christmas story is told five years in the future (1998)--as Uncle Phil explains to a five year-old Nicky why he has four middle names (the same names as the members of Boyz II Men).  Uncle Phil's story reflects back to the day of Nicky's christening.
"In the 1993 holiday episode, “Twas the Night Before Christening,” Will is intimidated by the gifts offered to his infant cousin Nicky in celebration of his christening on Christmas Eve.  In order to appear just as loving and doting as the other family members, Will makes the outlandish promise to get chart-topping R&B super group Boyz II Men--who, like him, are also from Philadelphia--to perform at the christening party.  Only a Christmas miracle can provide such an impossible event.

Aunt Vivian overhears Will's lie to Jazz that he is getting Boyz II Men to perform at Nicky's christening. 

Boyz II Men performing "Let It Snow" in the recording studio.

It turns out Boyz II Men DO KNOW Will from Philadelphia--that's why they throw him out of their studio!

Grammy winners, Boyz II Men guest star in this holiday episode and they can be seen singing “Let It Snow” while in the recording studio when Will first approaches them about making an appearance at little Nicky’s christening. Don’t think too hard about the improbability of a band recording a Christmas song on December 24th for a holiday album!

Just as Will stands up in front of everyone gathered at the church for Nicky's christening, to explain how he lied about Boyz II Men...

...the super group show up and perform a beautiful acapella rendition of "Silent Night."

Later in the episode, Boyz II Men perform “Silent Night” in the church, interrupting Will as he explains how he lied.  The harmonizing quartet perform this acappella song with all the beauty and reverence it deserves.

Did you have this album?  Are you a Boyz II Men fan?

Both of these Christmas songs appeared on the Boyz II Men holiday album, Christmas Interpretations, first released in 1993."

What guest stars have appeared in your favorite musical Christmas TV episodes?  Below are audio clips (from Youtube) of both of these holiday songs from Boyz II Men.  Enjoy.

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