A Tribute to Uncle Phil from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
James Avery, the man who played “Uncle Phil” on the television show ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’, passed away on New Year’s Eve at the age of 68. For my money, Uncle Phil was the best character on the show and he ranks among the best TV Uncles.
To celebrate Avery’s life, and the character he helped create, here’s my unofficial list of the Greatest Uncles in Television History:
1. Uncle Fester – For my money, Fester was the creepiest member of the Adams family. Not only did he look like a freak, he could also generate enough electricity to power a light bulb by placing it into his mouth.
2. Uncle Junior from the Sopranos – Despite the power struggle with his nephew Tony, Carrado was a bad mofo. He was able to fight off his rivals well into old age, even faking his own dementia to avoid a prison sentence. Junior was also quite the ladies man, primarily due to his special skills in the bedroom.
3. Uncle Jesse from Full House – Some have argued that Uncle Joey was a better mentor for the Tanner family. This is not true. For starters, Uncle Joey wasn’t even their real uncle. Furthermore, Uncle Jesse had his own rock band and ended up marrying Danny Tanner’s smoking hot TV co-host, Rebecca.
4. Uncle Leo from Seinfeld – Although he only appeared in 15 episodes, Uncle Leo was one of the most memorable Seinfeld characters. Known for his classic greeting, “Jerry, Hello!!!” and his penchant for shop lifting, Leo also survived a potentially deadly explosion and a stint in jail for committing a “crime of passion”.
5. Uncle Phil – Not only was Phillip Banks a successful judge and father of three, he also took in his wife’s nephew and treated him like a son.