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Alfonso Ribeiro's crazy water-skiing accident that could've been on 'America's Funniest Home Videos'

Nick Paschal
·Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
·4 min read
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It was the late '80s and Alfonso Ribeiro was just a teenager showing off for his friends while water skiing when he had an accident worthy of America's Funniest Home Videos. A few decades later and Ribeiro is in his sixth season hosting the iconic show, taking the baton from Bob Saget, and he sat down with Yahoo Entertainment to discuss his AFV moment, how the pandemic has impacted America's videos, and why he has fallen back on his acting skills while hosting this past season.

Ribeiro shared a harrowing story from his teenage years, around the time that his run on Silver Spoons was ending and his role as Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was just beginning. "I was out water skiing and I was on a thing called a "sit-down ski" and I was being all cool," Ribeiro explained. "You know how when you water ski and you zip across the wake and you go, and you go toward land and you let go of the rope and then you slowly sink. So I was trying to do that moment where I was cool, right?"

Inside I was shaking like, quivering like I was in 12 degree weather.Alfonso Ribeiro

Unfortunately for Ribeiro, the sit-down ski wasn't on-board with his plan. "The sit-down ski don't slow down," Ribeiro said, pausing for dramatic effect before adding, "At all! I hit the land at full speed." The Fresh Prince star went on to explain that he was heading directly toward a dolly on the beach. No word on why there was a dolly on the beach, but there it was, in front of Ribeiro who was careening toward said dolly. "I was going straight toward a dolly and it [the water ski] hit the land, I shot out of this thing like a canon, went right over the dolly, did a forward roll, stood up and everybody thought I did it on purpose," Ribeiro said, before adding, "Inside I was shaking like, quivering like I was in 12-degree weather."

Unfortunately, Ribeiro's epic tumble was not caught on camera, but these days, everything is being recorded, especially during the past year when people didn't have anything better to do. When asked if America's videos have changed along with many other things during the pandemic, Ribeiro half-jokingly responded, "Well, I definitely will say there are a lot more indoor videos than we probably have gotten in the past." The AFV host did say that the show has gotten more video submissions than in previous seasons. But the number of submissions isn't the only thing that's changed for the show this season.

                               Alfonso Ribeiro hosting Season 31 of
Alfonso Ribeiro hosting Season 31 of "AFV" (Photo: ABC)

As with everyone else on TV, Ribeiro has been hosting a show without a studio audience, which isn't the best environment for comedy. When asked if it's weird delivering jokes to an empty studio, Ribeiro replied, "Yes, it is. This is where I kind of go back to my acting skills where I, you know, deliver the joke and believe it's funny, even though I'm not getting the recognition immediately from the audience."

There is one place Ribeiro gets an immediate reaction, and that's with his family. While he said he doesn't watch the show at home very often because he doesn't like watching himself on-camera, Ribeiro does find time to share his work with his kids. "When I have to get ready to do voiceover work for the show, I look at the videos that I'm going to be doing voiceovers on," the father of four said. "And so the kids will typically hop up onto my lap and we'll watch those videos together for the first time. So those are the moments that I actually get myself with the kids enjoying it."

America's Funniest Home Videos airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on ABC.

See why Tyra Banks felt "so dumb" at her "Fresh Prince" audition:

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