Sunday, 19 October 2014

Now this is a story all about how... I invented a Fresh Prince drinking game

As ever, this post was written a few months ago, but it seems strange that fate should determine I consider posting it so soon after Alfonso Ribeiro should reprise the awesome Carlton dance on America’s Dancing With the Stars to the delight of the entire internet.So while I wasn’t sure I was even going to bother posting this at all, in honour of that excellent dance, this week I’ll throw off my pretence of being a civilised drinker and encourage you to chug it down as we play… The Fresh Prince Drinking Game.

I was waiting for Mrs Cake to finish making her brew so that we could watch some Breaking Bad, and decided to just flick the telly on for a couple of minutes. What I saw was an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, in which Will and Carlton compete in a gameshow against DJ Jazzy Jeff and another guy. It was pretty funny, and that reminded me of a Fresh Prince drinking game that I invented with my friend Pits when we were flatmates.

The Fresh Prince used to be on TV early on Friday evenings – right about the time we’d be warming up for a night out. So one evening we decided we needed a party starter of some kind – something that would encourage us to drink more quickly and get our buzz on.

Despite enjoying The Fresh Prince throughout our youth, we had both come to the conclusion that the show was a bit lame by now, but these were the early days of Freeview, and there wasn’t anything else on, so we found ourselves watching it anyway. If you aren’t British and/or don’t remember the era I’m referring to, just think about now and The Big Bang Theory… it would be the same if I could bring myself to watch that for more than two minutes without developing into a seething mass of rage and murderous intent.

We still got a few laughs out of the Fresh Prince from time to time, and that led us to the theme of this game – you had to drink three fingers of your beer or a shot (dependant upon what you were drinking) every time you laughed at a joke.

It turns out you can get pretty smashed in half an hour in this way. The alcohol you imbibe as a result of that first laugh inevitably leads to more laughs and more drinks as you start to find things amusing that would normally make you tut or go, “meh”. For me the laughs were coming so fast that I’d incur another three finger penalty (sounds er… interesting) before I’d even refilled my glass or drank my last penalty.

I suppose that’s where The Big Bang Theory game would fall down; there wouldn’t be a first laugh to get you started. Instead though, you could have to drink every time the “studio audience” laughed, but that would be less subjective and fun.

Anyway, by 6.30 we would be tanked and ready to hit the streets of Didsbury.

Most tv themed drinking games rely on everyone drinking at the same time, or in concert with something that happens in relation to a designated character as it’s a case of ‘drink every time this happens, drink every time that happens’. Ours was purely dependant on whether you could control your rapidly widening sense of mirth. We didn’t have time to think up drink triggers, but if you wanted to, you could go with something like ‘everytime Carlton does that funny dance’, ‘every time Carlton mentions Tom Jones’, ‘every time Will makes a fat joke at Uncle Phil’s expense’, ‘every time Hilary says something stupid’, ‘every time Geoffrey says something sarcastic’…


Now it’s your turn. Do you have any tv shows that you like to drink to? What are they, and what are the drink triggers? Answer in the comments. I’m thinking How I Met Your Mother (every time there is a play) and Arrested Development (every time there is immediate irony) would make good drinking game source material, though I’ve heard there is also a drinking game based around Grand Designs that sounds particularly brilliant. 

And I'll leave you there for this week. Next week... I might be discussing the practice of collecting whisky. See you then.