Alfonso Ribeiro is back on TV. The beloved actor who played Carlton on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and developed his own dance craze is hosting a new ABC Family Show “Spell-mageddon.” Though the show has been off the air for 17 years, it’s developed fans of a new generation through repeats. Ribeiro says that although he’s still viewed as Carlton, he doesn’t mind it – mostly.
“Ultimately, you never want to be known for one thing and one thing only but I’m certainly proud that the Carlton character has become kind of iconic and people are still in love with that character,” Ribeiro told “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” It’s a testament to what we did on that show and how ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ remains solid in people’s eyes.”
Ribeiro says that asking him to do the Carlton dance, though, has gotten a little old. “I always find it awkward because a lot of times if I’m really in a bad, bad mood when people walk up to me and they say ‘Do the dance’ I’m always like you do realize you just asked a Black man to dance for you, right? And then they freak out, but I say ‘I’m just playing.’ I get asked to do the dance every day of my life. I’d be dancing all damn day.”
Ribeiro is also not bitter about the relative fame of former co-star Will Smith and the rest of the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” cast. (It may be something called residuals, the amount of money TV stars get paid even when their show ends, that helps with that.) When Tom pointed out that Smith’s movies have rarely included his former co-stars (though Smith did sign Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley, to a record deal years back) Ribeiro was philosophical.
“I get asked that question a bunch, and at the end of the day, there’s no obligation for anybody to cast anybody in any role unless it’s someone they believe is the best for that role in the movie. I think initially he wanted to separate himself from the show, but I don’t see why he can’t now. There’s not reason anymore. I always look at it like you never look back, you move forward and never look backwards.”
On his new game show “Spell-mageddon” he’s challenging people who should know how to spell like former spelling be champions and the like to spell the words correctly. The catch is – they’ve got to do it while they’re being distracted.
“We’ve got one game called “Zapped” that zaps them with electricity while they’re’ trying to spell, we have a microphone that shoots water in their face, we have a fire extinguisher that goes off in their back, blue icy slush gets dumped over their head and they don’t know when they’re going to get hit with any of it,” Ribeiro explains. “The reactions that the contestants give us are hysterical. It’s a fun, fun show and we have a blast.”
“Spell-mageddon” airs on ABC Family on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.