I, Fresh Prince
September 17, 2008 6:30 AM   Subscribe

I noticed last night that many of the final episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air have strange titles and I was wondering if anyone knew why. Many of the episodes in the sixth and final season begin with the word "I" and then are followed by sometimes nonsensical phrases or words.

The episodes titles I am talking about can be viewed here, the Wikipedia page for all Fresh Prince episodes. You have to scroll down a bit, but once you do, you will see there are episodes with titles like "I, Stank Horse" and "I, Stank Hole in One." The titles are somewhat related to the content of the episode and sometimes there is an obvious pun (like "I, Clownius" being a pun of "I, Claudius"), but otherwise I feel like I don't quite get what is going on. Is it something obvious I am missing?
posted by Falconetti to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I really want this to be a pun off of Will Smith's lead in the movie I, Robot, but it seems that this is anachronistic by about 8 years... they couldn't have known that he would do this when filming the last (1996) season, could they?
posted by zachxman at 7:23 AM on September 17, 2008

Could it possibly be that Wikipedia is wrong?
posted by skylar at 7:46 AM on September 17, 2008

Whoops, no - it's corroborated by two other sources (TV.com and Epguides.com). Sorry!
posted by skylar at 7:47 AM on September 17, 2008

I've noticed that TV show titles frequently tend to be one or more of the following:

Long-running in-jokes that are also puns

For example, a whole section of NewsRadio episodes were named after Led Zepplin albums. One was even called "Led Zepplin Boxed Set." Why? Who knows.

Since episode titles are rarely seen by the audience, naming them is both pointless and a fun way to sneak in random jokes. Hence, "I, Stank hole in one".
posted by iwhitney at 7:53 AM on September 17, 2008

Rastafarians say "I" a lot , could it have something to do with that?
posted by canoehead at 8:09 AM on September 17, 2008

Given the relative fame of Graves' I, Claudius (and Asimov's later I, Robot riff on same) as titles, culture-reference-as-running-joke sure seems like the best bet. There's a short list of I, Claudius riffs on Wikipedia.

It's going to be hard to get past speculation here without getting ahold of someone from the late series writing/production staff for the show. If you're feeling saucy, you might hit imdb and check the production credits and go from there.
posted by cortex at 10:10 AM on September 17, 2008

Yeah, when that show was originally on the air, there were no PVRs, so titles were basically never seen by audiences. The writers still had to have a name for each episode but could feel free to be as silly as they wanted.
posted by kindall at 10:13 AM on September 17, 2008

Looking at the titles, it looks like two are probably from pop songs: "Ooh, Baby, Baby" and "Whoops There It Is".

Doing a Google search for "Stank Horse" without "Fresh Prince" suggests that In Living Color did a sketch in which a character (the very femme movie reviewers) said, "Consumer alert! The film 'Black Stallion' is not about Denzel Washington. It's about some stank horse." It looks to be roughly contemporary. Can't figure out the next one ("Stank Hole in One") but since they're connected, it probably is an in-joke.

Really reaching, but "Not, I Barbecue" sounds like "Naughty Barbecue", and there is a restaurant in Shanghai by that name.
posted by WCityMike at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2008

Men on Film IV at 2:50 seconds.
posted by winna at 1:25 AM on September 18, 2008

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