'Fresh Prince' Star Alfonso Ribeiro on the Curse of the Carlton
Alfonso Ribeiro just wants to go to the bathroom in peace. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so, because people keep coming up to him in the bathroom and asking him to do the Carlton.
Men of America, are you freaking serious?!
We talked to Alfonso about the dance that changed — and continues to affect — his life as well as his new gig as the host of ABC Family's "Spell-Mageddon." Oh, and if you are wondering whether there will ever be a "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" reunion, we learned the answer to that one, too.
So, are you the world's best speller now?
No. The show, unfortunately, doesn't teach you how to spell.
That's probably why it will be popular.
Exactly. It's not an instructional show. It's a fun show. We shot all eight [episodes] in a matter of two weeks. Obviously, if it does well, ABC Family will pick us up for more. It was a grind for two weeks but still so much fun.
Can you break it down for us? A spelling bee with physical distractions.
We start out with seven contestants and work our way down to finally one. People get eliminated in each round as they're trying to spell these words, not super-difficult, not the easiest words, but words that you should know, and as that's happening, we have major distractions.
Do you distract them by doing the Carlton dance?
(Laughs) Um, no. That would be too easy. Our distractions are a lot better than that. We have one game where we put the dog collars — the ones you put on dogs when they bark — around each leg and we're able to control the electricity and shock them as they're trying to spell, while dumping icy slush on their head, and fire extinguishers at their backs, and water shooting in their faces. We have a dunk tank in another game, filled with ice-cold water, all kinds of crazy stuff. It's pure mayhem that is awesome to watch. What's great about it is the comedy that comes from people having things done to them while they're trying to concentrate and be serious.
Ribeiro explains the inspiration behind the Carlton dance:
Kind of like when other actors try and get you to crack up for the blooper reel on, say, "Silver Spoons" or "Fresh Prince," yeah?
Absolutely — constant bloopers.
Any fun memories about those days on your mind lately?
I'm one of those people that, once I'm done with a job, I move on. I don't really stay in the past. So my days of "Spoons" and "Fresh Prince" and all that, they're behind me. You gotta remember, "Fresh Prince" ended 18 years ago.