The 50-year-old actor stops by The Ellen DeGeneres Showon Tuesday and delights the crowd from the moment he enters to his 1997 hit song, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It." The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star dances as he makes his way over to the host, but quickly decides that's not enough and bursts into an impressive rendition of the track as DeGeneres watches in awe.
"Wow. Thanks a lot, Ellen. It's been great. That's all we've got time for," Smith quips at the end of his impromptu song, prompting DeGeneres to praise his "enjoyable" and "wonderful" performance.
"[It was] like I was Courteney Cox in that Bruce Springsteen video," DeGeneres jokes of Cox's starring role in Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" video in 1984. "Like I was pulled out of the crowd to be with you."
"Stand here, baby, make me look good," Smith responds with a laugh.
After he sets his rapping skills aside, Smith discusses his 50th birthday with the host, recalling his unusual request to wife Jada Pinkett Smith for the occasion.
"It was my 50th birthday and, you know, she was in this, like, real fit of just emotion. And she realized, 'Oh man. We've been together for more than half our lives and I love you so much.' And she committed. She was like, 'I'll do anything you want for your 50th birthday,'" he says. "... I was like, 'I want you to go skydiving with me.' And she was like, 'How is that what you want for your birthday?'"
The whole family -- minus the couple's 18-year-old daughter, Willow, agreed to the adventure, but Smith's wife was not pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
"When I jumped, I had, like, a spiritual experience. When I walked up to the edge of that plane and you get attacked by your mind.... and when I jumped... I had the experience of pure bliss. It's not falling. It's flying, right?" Smith explains. "... So I'm telling Jada, 'You're gonna meet Heaven when you go up there.' And she didn't... She did it for me because she loves me."
Despite his wife's uneasy feelings about skydiving, Smith's birthday idea was born out of his resolution to try new things, even if they scare him.
"I've been trying to experience all the things that I've never let myself experience before and I'm doing my bucket list experiences," he says. "Sort of what I discovered is how cancerous fear can be in experiencing life. You can't be happy if you're scared. So I'm really confronting all the things that I've ever been scared of and I'm just finding this really exuberant freedom in life."
"Fear has created some of the greatest atrocities on this planet," he adds later. "Being clean of fear is just a really critical aspect of enjoying this life."
Smith was on Ellen to promote his upcoming flick, Aladdin, in which he plays Genie, a role he was hesitant to take due to Robin Williams' iconic portrayal in the 1992 film.
"I just didn't think I wanted to touch it," he admits. "And then I started playing with the music and the music is where I found my intro to Genie. 'A Friend Like Me' was the first song that I messed with in the studio and then I found that sort of hip-hop flavor."
"What Robin did was he took his stand-up persona and used his stand-up persona. And I was like, I could use my sort of Fresh Prince persona and use that because the genies bend forward and back in time, so you can pull references from anywhere," he continues. "So I mirrored that. And the hip hop was where I saw I could put my own signature, while maintaining the nostalgic value. "
When ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with Smith at a London screening of the film, he said he came to love his role.
"I was feeling sexy about myself as the genie," Smith said with a laugh. "I felt sexy about myself."
"... This movie has a lot of really great ideas that I love and the concept of Genie, somebody whose whole existence is dedicated to helping people find themselves and create the lives that they want, that aspect is almost the purest definition of love," he added. "So for me playing Genie -- you're always looking for something that you can connect to with a character that's authentic -- that devotion and dedication is what I aspire to with my life."