Actor James Avery, best known as Uncle Phil from the '90s sitcom 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' died on Tuesday. He was 68 years old. (Source: CNN)
(RNN) – Happy New Year, pop culture fans! This was going to be a masterpiece about the leaving of twerk, hashtag and selfie in 2013 entitled "The funeral march for #mothertwerkingselfie," but things change quickly.
Pop culture enthusiasts remember the 1990s fondly, and I felt it was appropriate to dedicate this column to popular character actor, poet and world class television dad James Avery, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 68.
Avery was best known for his role as the successful lawyer-turned-judge and family man Phillip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Even more pop culture-y, he was the voice of Shredder on the animated television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among other credits.
"James was my teacher my protector & the most magnificent actor. We're feeling his loss very deeply. He'll always be a part of me #JamesAvery," tweeted Fresh Prince co-star Tatyana Ali, who played his daughter on the show.
Avery will be remembered as a versatile actor and gentle giant, but as Phillip Banks, he was a tough lawyer whose top priority was providing for his family. His role was key to the series' success, and showed that as the head of an African American family, the father was just that – a father first.
TV: If all politicians had campaign ads like this, they would appear a lot more human
SPORTS: Yes, there is a ‘Fresh Prince' video for this
In Season 1 (and any '90s sitcom, really), Will gets hustled by a pool shark and loses Uncle Phil's car in a bet. It was the first of many times where Uncle Phil has to get Will out of a jam, but to everyone's surprise, Uncle Phil not only gets his car back, but doubles his money.
MUSIC: They liked to dance to old school grooves on ‘Fresh Prince'
In season 5, episode 22 of Fresh Prince, Uncle Phil is reunited with an old Princeton classmate and gets Will a job. But when the classmate ends up trying to get Will to run a bribe to a city councilman, Uncle Phil gets involved.
But during the episode, dancing to The Temptations' Ain't Too Proud to Beg was a uniting factor. At the beginning of the episode, Uncle Phil and his old friend reminisced about their glory days, and at the end, Will uses dance to cheer Uncle Phil up after the fallout. The big guy could bust a move.
Jam of the Week: Beyonce, Drunk in Love(WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT) – So, forget whatever you watch on VH1 and believe is Love & Hip Hop, because it's not. Those are people who wished they were talented and think they can sing and rap.
In her surprise album released before 2013 ended, Beyonce gave this passionate synthesized track about the body in love. When the mood is right, you do feel a little dizzy. The track features hip-hop mogul and husband Jay Z. It's one you'll have on repeat. This is exhibit A in what love and hip-hop is.
MOVIES: The Hobbit is still on top
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues to dominate the box office.
In its third week at No. 1, the latest Peter Jackson film hasn't given the Anchorman sequel much of a chance to get to the top spot. Its dominance has even caused the latest Leonardo DiCaprip/Martin Scorsese partnership The Wolf of Wall Street to debut at No. 5 over the weekend.
Here's last weekend's Top 5, according to Box Office Mojo (listed next to previous week's ranking and weekend gross):
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (1) $29,040,000
Frozen (3) $28,596,319
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2) $20,150,000
American Hustle (4) $19,550,000
The Wolf of Wall Street (NR) $18,510,000
In theaters: Jan. 3
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones – In the latest film in the documentary-style series of scary movies, Jesse becomes haunted by demons after a neighbor dies. He continues to seek any and all means to remove the demons from himself and his family before they take him to a dark ride.
TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: A whole page of GIFs and memes dedicated to Uncle Phil
In a new addition to the YWIPC set up, we will showcase a Tumblr page dedicated to various fandoms and topics.
This week it seems appropriate to highlight one dedicated to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, called Fresh Prince Subs. And yes, there is a page dedicated entirely to the awesomeness of Uncle Phil.
A little something from YouTube: The best ‘Fresh Prince' scene ever
In season 4 of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will's father pops up for an unannounced visit. Throughout the episode, Uncle Phil is annoyed that the absentee father has come to disrupt Will's life, but he remains supportive of what Will wants, as always.