Fresh Prince Alum Alfonso Ribeiro Recalls His Favorite Moment From The Show

Alfonso Riberio being interviewed for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Carlton Banks was viewed as the corny and stuck-up cousin of Will Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But while Carlton was the foil to Will’s antics most times, he had some hilarious moments, which were perfectly executed by Alfonso Ribeiro. The actor, who admitted to resenting the Carlton character for years, has been open about his time on the show and what it was like to play some of the preppy student's funniest moments. When discussing the show just recently, the actor recalled his favorite moment. (And no, it doesn't involve the much-requested Carlton dance.) 

The America’s Funniest Home Videos host often went toe-to-toe with Will Smith on the show and that led to some pretty hilarious situations. While promoting AFV and Dancing with the Stars with Gizmodo, the star explained that there's one particular moment involving their two characters that truly stands out as his favorite. Ribeiro pointed out the much-talked-about ending of the Fresh Prince episode “Will’s Misery.” The television personality recalled how the scene came to be:

The only moment that ever comes to mind when I think of Fresh Prince, there was one scene where it wasn’t written right at the end of an episode. The episode was where I thought that Will’s girlfriend, played by Nia Long, killed him. And I set it up where I literally fell down on the floor and I was pulling myself. On my knees, running through the audience, running through the sets, I came out in the elevator, and Will was out in the quad. It was really silly. It was not planned at all.

So the memorable scene was just a last-minute decision that resulted in comedy gold. The mere thought of Carlton running through the set is enough to make one laugh. The moment proved that Alfonso Ribeiro could match or outdo Will Smith’s ability to go for the laughs. The scene was pivotal in changing his view of Fresh Prince. And from a narrative standpoint, it was a perfect way to end the episode, given that Will was trying to get back at Carlton for helping a sorority play a trick on him.

The scene was also unique as not too many shows were breaking the fourth wall outside of Saved By the Bell. Alfonso Ribeiro, during the same interview, shed more light on just how the moment came to be and what was initially planned for it:

The episode was supposed to end with me just running out. And then, I said to the director ‘Just put a camera on me in these circumstances and put them here cause I’m gonna do something crazy. He followed me and went with it. and then, it ended up on air. This was more for the studio audience; it wasn’t for me or the actual show. They’re like ‘let’s just do it, run with it.’

It was nice to know the director and crew were willing to take the actor's advice and go with it. It's interesting how the some of the most memorable moments in TV or film can be birthed from something like a last-minute suggestion. I, for one, am glad that the Carlton Banks actor spoke out and that he now has an awesome memory as a result.

If you want to revisit the episode, you can stream The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air using an HBO Max subscription. Don't forget to watch some of the best Carlton episodes while you're at it. You can also look over CinemaBlend's 2022 TV schedule so you'll know when you can catch Alfonso Ribeiro on America’s Funniest Home Videos on ABC and Dancing with the Stars on Disney+.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).