A Facebook group dedicated to the 1990s got “flipped-turned upside down” when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Will Smith posted to say hello.
The Hollywood star, who has 77 million followers, left “The group where we all pretend it’s still the 90s” pinching themselves with his six posts.
Fresh Prince co-stars DJ Jazzy Jeff and Hilary Banks also said “hi” to the 35,000 members.
“Ok ok ok…. am i seeing things,” commented one stunned member.
“Oh wow Is that really you?” posted another on the group, which was created during the coronavirus pandemic by two men from Cardiff.
“That pic just confirms I’ve had the best childhood growing up in the 90s,” said one group member, echoing the sentiments of the thousands of comments that followed in a haze of rose-tinted reminiscence for the decade.
When it comes to ’90s nostalgia, there are few bigger triggers than the cast of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The US show, which originally aired from 1990 to 1996, follows a street-smart teenager born and raised in West Philadelphia (played by Smith) who is sent to move in with his wealthy uncle and aunt in their Bel Air mansion after getting into a fight in the local playground.
Smith – who went on to star in hit films such as Independence Day, Bad Boys, Men in Black and Wild Wild West – was joined on the Facebook group by Karyn Parsons, who played bossy boots Hilary Banks.
Smith and Parsons even changed their social avatars to get into the groove of the role-play Facebook group, which takes users back to the 1990s in a world where Tamagotchi, Global Hypercolour T-shirts and Just Seventeen magazine remain king.
Amid posts about “going to Dixons to buy a Walkman” and “circling Game Boys in the Argos catalogue”, arguably one of the world’s best-known actors popped up with a post showing him standing on a chair saying “Sup y’all??”
Smith even went on to create a poll asking how he should “kill some time” as he’s “got a long break between shooting eps of Fresh Prince”.
It’s not the only recent example of a Wales-based group being unexpectedly sprinkled with star dust, with Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney recently taking over National League football club, Wrexham FC – much to fan groups’ excitement.
Smith and his Fresh Prince pals were suggested as possible new group members by Facebook, especially as there’s a Fresh Prince reunion on the cards.
Smith was offered by Facebook as “a collaboration to see what groups like this could achieve”.
“It can’t get any better for us than Will Smith, he epitomises the ’90s,” said group creator Cameron Scott, an admin assistant for a solicitor firm by day.
“The way he dressed, his attitude, he was perfect. Everyone in this world, it is the 1990s and Will Smith has really got the concept, his posts are written as if it was the 1990s.
“It’s amazing for us, perfect.”
“The group where we all pretend it’s still the 90s” is run by someone who was actually only born in 1993 but who grew-up watching TV shows including Buffy, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed with his big sister Kysha.
Cameron came up with the concept in April at the start of lockdown “while listening to East 17 on his Walkman” in his house in Cardiff.
“Facebook liked how far this group has come. We gained members quickly as people were at home more, on social media more, but also wanted as escape from the real world and coronavirus.”
He added: “Also we had a clear vibe, if you’re in the group you’re back in the 1990s. You buy CDs at Woolworths, wear Sweater Shop jumpers and listen to your Walkman – it’s pure escapism, a trip back in time.
“It’s a real feel-good community on the group, it’s great for people’s mental health and it’s just a nice place to be – and to have Will Smith join us, was really cool.”