Friday, July 1, 2022

Alfonso Ribeiro: ‘Carlton Dance’ Was Never Meant To Be Funny

Alfonso Ribeiro

*”The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro’s character, Carlton Banks, remains a cultural icon for one reason: the “Carlton Dance.”

The dance has inspired flash mobs over the years, some of which the actor has participated in. He also surprised viewers (and the audience) when he added the dance to his routine during an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” last year, where he won 1st place for his overall performance on the season.

Ribeiro detailed the origins of the dance in an article published on Variety’s website this week, revealing that the iconic dance was never meant to be funny:

“I played a character that was as far from myself as possible. They would have to bring me a CD and some articles for me to read up on what the character liked, because I had never heard of Tom Jones. I didn’t know Barry Manilow. These weren’t people that I grew up with or experienced as a teenager. I grew up in the Bronx; I was a hip-hop kid. The Carlton Dance was created when it said in the script: ‘Carlton dances.’ It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing. The dance is ultimately Courtney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video ‘Dancing in the Dark’; that’s the basis. Or in Eddie Murphy’s ‘Delirious’ video, ‘The White Man Dance’ as he called it. And I said, ‘That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don’t I do that?’

His creative inspiration certainly paid off. The “Carlton Dance” remains a pop culture favorite and cherished ’90s relic.

Alfonso currently hosts “Unwrapped 2.0” on the Cooking Channel, and he will take over as host of the 26th season of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” this fall on Sundays 7/6c on ABC.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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