Be the life of your viewing party by sharing these 15 behind-the-scenes tidbits about House Party.
1. Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff were supposed to star.
The roles that went to Kid ‘n Play were originally meant for DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince himself, but they declined. Ironically, Kid ‘n Play turned down the opportunity to star in the NBC sitcom that eventually became The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, starring DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith.
2. Kid ‘n Play were originally back-up dancers for Salt-N-Pepa.
When director Reginald Hudlin needed actors for his movie, he got in touch with Salt-N-Pepa’s producer, Hurby Azor, who also served as Kid ‘n Play’s manager, and asked if he knew of any talent.
3. Kid ‘n Play were 26- and 28-years-old, respectively, at the time of filming.
While they played teenagers, they were nearly a decade out of high school.
4. It was originally a short film.
Director Reginald Hudlin expanded House Party into a feature film from a 20-minute short of the same name that he completed for his senior thesis project at Harvard University in 1983.
5. Hudlin would go on to receive an Oscar nomination.
Following House Party, Hudlin enjoyed a storied career in show business. He served as the president of the BET network and received a Best Picture nomination for working as a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained.
6. House Party was so popular, Kid ‘n Play were given their own Saturday morning cartoon.
Kid ‘n Play ran for one season on NBC from 1990 to 1991.
7. To date, there have been five installments in the House Party series.
But Kid ‘n Play only went on to star in House Party 2 and House Party 3.
8. House Party was comedian Martin Lawrence’s second feature film appearance.
He made his debut in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. While Lawrence is undoubtedly hilarious, he also had an “in” that most likely helped him land the role—he is Christopher “Play” Martin’s cousin.
9. House Party is the last film Robin Harris (who plays Pops) worked on before his death.
He passed away nine days after the film opened. Harris previously appeared in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing with Martin Lawrence, and his last onscreen appearance was in Lee’s film Mo’ Better Blues (which was completed before House Party).
10. It includes a cameo from legendary funk musician George Clinton.
He’s the DJ at the lawn party that Kid stumbles upon.
11. Hudlin and his brother Warrington also make cameos in the movie.
They are the two burglars a dog chases down an alleyway.
12. The foot dance that Kid ‘n Play do during the dance sequence (choreographed by the duo themselves) is called “The Funky Charleston.”
A.J. Johnson, the actress who plays Sharane, choreographed the girls’ dance moves in this sequence.
13. You can visit House Party’s titular house on your next trip to L.A.
It’s located at 2895 West 15th Street.
14. The production manager in the final credits is listed as “Ozus Munny.”
This is allegedly because the actual production manager left the movie before it wrapped, therein causing the film’s budget to take a hit. Thus, he “owes us money.”
15. There’s a bonus scene embedded in the credits.
If you wait until after the initial credits roll, there is a mid-credits sequence that shows the roof that flew off in the film’s opening sequence falling on the police officers who antagonize the characters throughout the movie.