As a child star, Alfonso Ribeiro is used to being stopped in public for being recognized for the roles he’s portrayed on several notable sitcoms.
From Silver Spoons to In The House, to his current role as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and of course, his infamous role as Carlton Banks on the NBC hit show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Ribeiro realizes he’s a familiar face. Because of that, there’s one thing people can’t help but ask him — to do the Carlton dance.
But one thing the former Carlton Banks is NOT going to do is throw his arms side-to-side and shimmy to the It’s Not Unusual Tom Jones tune and dance on cue like Carlton because of someone’s request.
On Tuesday, the multitalented entertainer appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and talked candidly about that unending request to do the Carlton dance and how he’s drawn the line and refuses to dance on command.
He expresses to the late-night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, “I won’t say kill, but I uh, you know, I don’t have a love for it like they do. I mean, I typically get asked to do the dance pretty much every day of my life if I go outside. I’m not dancing for you. I’m a Black guy, I’m just not dancing for you. It’s not gonna happen.”
Kimmel gave him credit for being very civil about saying no when people ask him continuously to do the “dance.” Ribeiro states how weird it is that people would ask him to dance upon meeting him randomly.
“The weird part for me is trying to understand what’s happening in their head, right?” Ribeiro added.
“Like what makes you think that you just gonna ask a random person to dance for you, and they’re gonna be like ‘Oh my God, I’ve been waiting for you to ask! Hold on a second, let me get into character.’ It’s not — I don’t get it. It’s not gonna happen.”
Ribeiro’s tolerance has been noticed in recent years. Last August, he admitted that he doesn’t understand why Black people don’t accept him.
Ribeiro spoke exclusively with Atlanta Black Star about the stigma of playing such a popular character on an iconic show.
But, he also said he feels that being married to a white woman places him in an uncomfortable position when he is out in public, and he sees the looks he receives combined with being typecast as Carlton Banks and being in a mixed marriage, he said, makes him feel like Black people will never accept him.