6:26pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Alfonso Ribeiro Set as New Host of ABC's 'America's Funniest Home Videos'
America's Funniest Home Videos has found its new host.
Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton Banks on the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has been named as Tom Bergeron's replacement, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The outgoing emcee made the announcement during Tuesday's season finale of Dancing With the Stars, which Bergeron also hosts.
Ribeiro, who won the ABC dancing competition last season, returned to the reality series for the passing of the baton. The new deal will continue his relationship with the network.
As the show's longest running host at 15 years, Bergeron tweeted in March 2014 that he would be departing AFV at the end of its current season. He will, however, continue on with DWTS.
As the network began its search for a new television personality, Ribeiro, who had an existing relationship with the network (and with Bergeron) from his time on DWTS, stood out as a likely candidate. He's also no stranger to hosting. Among his most recent gigs: The Cooking Channel's Unwrapped 2.0, ABC Family's Spell-Mageddon and GSN's Catch 21.
Ribeiro will be the fourth person to host the humorous video competition series, now entering its twenty-sixth season. Full House alum Bob Saget kicked off the Vin Di Bona-created show in 1989 and stayed for eight seasons. John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes took over for a short two-year stint before Bergeron came on board.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Ribeiro ahead of the announcement to discuss his vision for the show, why it's still relevant and whether or not the "Carlton dance" will make an appearance (the chances are good).
How did you end up nabbing the gig?
It came together by the people at DWTS and ABC. When last season of DWTS ended, there were several producers that all said to me that they felt that this would be an absolute great gig for me. They suggested to producers of AFV to take a look at me, and they also mentioned it to Tom, who said, “Oh my God, that is just a beautiful idea. I’m on board.” It just felt like a great marriage. When I was there to do my test, Tom was there and he was very, very supportive. He let the people there know that he thinks I would be the right one for it. And it’s a show that I’ve been a fan of since near the beginning of it. I would watch it with my kids and I’ve always enjoyed it. So somehow I came up the lucky winner.
What will your version of AFV look like?
Not all that different. I think they have found the right vibe for the show. The difference between Bob Saget and Tom: Bob was about his jokes and Tom has really been about setting up videos and having those be the star of the show. I think that will continue. I think they are going to make some changes to the set a little bit and go with some different colors and just make it a little newer and fresher. But for me, I’m just going to bring my energy. I have a high energy and a lot of creative ideas in terms of dancing and singing and maybe I'll use some of those abilities to introduce some of our videos. We’ll just bring my vibe to it.
In an era where everyone is passing around clips on YouTube all day long, how do you make the show premium?
Ultimately, you can go online and sit at your computer, but the computer is a single apparatus. When you sit in front of the computer, it feels like it’s for you to sit there by yourself. One of the things that AFV does is that it's probably the No. 1 show on TV that has co-views, where parents and their kids will watch it together. It’s such a family show, and one of the few family shows left on television. I think that it’s a destination because it’s everything that the internet has, but it’s really brining it to the TV. You can sit down as a family and watch. It’s the perfect time: It’s Sunday night, you’re getting ready to start your week again, you sit down, you have family dinner, you throw on AFV, and you watch it together as a family.
What are your favorite types of viral videos?
My style of video is when people hurt themselves. I just love the idea when people decide to do something really stupid and then they fall and bust their head open and, of course, they don’t kill themselves — but they do it with the idea that they think it’s going to be really funny, and then they bang themselves up. And then we get to really enjoy it. There will definitely be some of those with me.
Will we see the "Carlton dance" on the show?
Who knows? I’m sure they will try to convince me and make that work.