Alfonso Ribeiro Wants To Let 'Funniest Home Videos' Shine
America's Funniest Home Videos has a new host.
This week, after 15 years on the job, Tom Bergeron passed on the torch to Alfonso Ribeiro, who first captured America's heart as Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That love was reignited again after he won a recent season of Dancing With the Stars.
Ribeiro says he won't be surprised if he brings his signature dance moves to his hosting gig.
"There's no way to know what, uh, what we'll end up doing," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I'm sure we'll be using all my different talents — no reason to hold back. So, yeah, I think we'll probably find a way to work it in."
The show has had a number of hosts since it started in 1989. Bob Saget hosted the first eight seasons. Ribeiro says that long-time host Bergeron found the secret of the show.
"The videos are truly the stars of this show, and what Tom did so well was assist those videos, not try to create his own comedy over the videos," Ribeiro says. "Which is something that I plan on doing myself — allowing my energy and my flavor to definitely be there, but to allow the videos to remain being the stars of this show."
Ribeiro says that even though you can find a lot of the videos from the show on YouTube, the program provides a unique space.
"America's Funniest Home Videos is one of the most popular shows that are co-watched, where people sit down with the family and watch," he says. "And it's one place where you're gonna find ... all the funniest videos that are out there, rather than just sitting in the computer and doing it just by yourself. So you can share in that."
He says it also provides a safe space for family-friendly viewing that you can't get if you set your kids free online.
"You never know what they're gonna find," Ribeiro says. "You never know where their search is gonna take them."
As for the type of videos that really get him laughing, Ribeiro says he loves the ones that feature epic fails (but adds that the show producers call video submitters to make sure no one was seriously hurt).
Ribeiro's time as a competitor on Dancing With The Stars featured some laugh-worthy moments, including the time he was kneed in the groin by his dance partner.
"I think I might be able to win the $100,000 with that one ... but they probably won't let me win it," he says.
ARUN RATH, HOST:
"America's Funniest Home Videos" has a new host. This week, after 15 years on the job, Tom Bergeron passed the torch.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS")
TOM BERGERON: It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the person who's taking over this show starting this fall - my friend, Alfonso Ribeiro.
RATH: Alfonso Ribeiro captured America's heart as Carlton Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," and that love was reignited after he won "Dancing With The Stars" last season. Now, he'll host "America's Funniest Home Videos" as the show enters its 26th season. Alfonso Ribeiro, welcome to the program.
ALFONSO RIBEIRO: Thank you, good to be here.
RATH: You know, when you were on "Dancing With The Stars," a lot of us just loved it when you worked in your signature dance move from "Fresh Prince" - that little Carlton move - are we going to see...
RATH: ...See any dancing, maybe singing from you on the show?
RIBEIRO: Well, we'll see. I mean, there's no way to know what - what we'll end up doing. I'm sure we'll be using all of my different talents. No reason to hold back - so yeah, I think we'll probably find a way to work it in.
RATH: Well, talk about what you think you'll bring because obviously, you know, Bob Saget brought his own thing. Tom brought his own thing to it. You're a totally different kind of performer. What are we going to see?
RIBEIRO: Well, I would say simply that, you know, through the Tom Bergeron years, they kind of found what they believe that really works for this show, and that is the videos are truly the stars of this show. And what Tom did so well was assist those videos, not try to create his own comedy over the videos, which is something that I plan on doing myself - allowing my energy and my flavor to definitely be there, but to allow the videos to remain being the stars of this show.
RATH: And you've already got kind of a head start on funny videos because I know from, again, "Dancing With The Stars," we already have a video of you being kicked in the groin, so...
RIBEIRO: Well, yes, yeah. I think I might be able to win the $100,000 with that one. But they probably won't let me win it.
RATH: So Alfonso, this show is now an institution. You know, it's been on the air in one form or another for more than 25 years. How do you think it survived the age of YouTube, you know, now that everybody's got funny videos at their fingertips all the time.
RIBEIRO: Well, I just think it's a home for it, right, where, you know, if you go online, yes, you could go and search and find probably most of these videos that will end up being on air. But this is a place where you can sit down and not have to sit in front of your computer. And "America's Funniest Home Videos" is one of the most popular shows that are co-watched, where people sit down with the family and watch. And it's one place where you're going to find, you know, 70 videos throughout an hour of all the funniest videos that are out there rather than just sitting on the computer and doing it just by yourself. So you can share in that.
RATH: And I think probably the family angle there is crucial, because I know I'm not generally thrilled about my kids just surfing on YouTube for videos.
RIBEIRO: Absolutely, because you never know what they're going to find. You never know where their search is going to take them, whereas sitting down, watching the show, you can enjoy it together, and you know that it's going to be family friendly and it's going to be something that everybody in the family will approve of.
RATH: So what's your favorite type of video? What really busts you up - gets you laughing?
RIBEIRO: Well, the one that gets me always is one where people try to do something and it's an epic fail. Those are the ones that I just absolutely love. I find those to be the best.
RATH: Are you saying you like seeing people get hurt?
RIBEIRO: No one gets hurt on "America's Funniest Home Videos." We make sure. We actually go through and call the people and make sure that any of the videos where no actually got seriously hurt, so...
RATH: That's nice.
RIBEIRO: ...We won't say where they got hurt, but it was an epic fail.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S NOT UNUSUAL")
RATH: Alfonso Ribeiro is the new host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," and he'll take the show into its 26th season. Alfonso, thanks very much, great talking with you.
RIBEIRO: Absolutely, thank you for having me.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "IT'S NOT UNUSUAL")
TOM JONES: (Singing) It's not unusual to be loved by anyone. It's not unusual to have fun with anyone. But when I see you hanging about with anyone... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.