Alfonso Ribeiro on doing ‘The Carlton’ along with his youngsters: ‘The bizarre factor is I’ve by no means taught them methods to do the dance’

Alfonso Ribeiro on being a father of four. (Getty Images; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Alfonso Ribeiro on being a father of 4. (Getty Images; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life’s parenting sequence on the fun and challenges of child-rearing.

He might endlessly be often known as Will Smith’s privileged preppie cousin Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, however there’s far more to Alfonso Ribeiro’s CV. An actor because the age of 8, Ribeiro landed a lead function on Broadway, starred on the ’80s sitcom Silver Spoons, danced in a Michael Jackson Pepsi business and launched a rap file by the point he was sufficiently old to drive. Highlights from his post-Fresh Prince profession embrace being topped the Season 19 champion of Dancing With the Stars, internet hosting gigs on America’s Funniest Home Videos and Catch 21 (the final one not too long ago incomes him a Daytime Emmys nomination) and his most vital function of all: fatherhood. 

Ribeiro is now a father of 4 youngsters ranging in age from 2 to 18. Here, the Cheez-It Snap’d spokesman shares how he tries to be a dad who is hard however nonetheless enjoyable — “Carlton” dance-offs included.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how near Uncle Phil — or, I assume, “Dad,” in your case — are you as a father? Are you strict? Are you a secret teddy bear? Where do you fall on that?

Somewhat little bit of each. I would not say I’m as strict as Uncle Phil was on the present, however I consider in doing issues the suitable approach. But I’m additionally enjoyable, proper? Like, I play with my youngsters and we do lots of issues and we play video games and we shoot hoops and we play baseball and we exit on the scooters … I stability being robust with love. 

I believe the most important, most vital issue is being there. There are lots of dads who’re the one who walks within the door on the finish of the day and has to turn out to be the strict, authoritarian father determine. And I really feel like, no, I’m going to be there all through. During the pandemic, we purchased an RV and we have been touring across the nation for the final yr and a half-plus and being there with the youngsters. I can let you know’re doing one thing unsuitable after which I can even provide you with a hug and maintain you once you’re crying. 

Do you do “The Carlton” together with your youngsters? Do they realize it?

Funnily sufficient, I used to be simply in Lake Tahoe on the American Century championship [a celebrity golf tournament} and normally on the 17th hole, it’s a big thing that everybody does something there. And so rather than be by myself, I actually brought my kids out to do the dance with me. The weird thing is I’ve never taught them how to do the dance; they just learned it themselves. I think my oldest son A.J. learned how to do the dance and then taught my younger son, Anders, how to do it. I just did it with Ava in my arms. 

You host America’s Funniest Home Videos. As a dad, do you ever panic when you watch some of the submissions sent in?

I wouldn’t say I panic on them because we have a rule on our show that no one is seriously injured on the show. So any of the videos, even if we cut it short, we make sure that no one was injured in those videos. We feel like that’s an important part of the fabric of our show. Like, we don’t really want people to get hurt. We just want people to get a little hurt [laughs]. So I do not actually panic as a result of I do know nobody acquired damage. 

I’ll watch all of the movies, clearly, to organize for all of the voice-overs. I watch them at home and lots of the occasions my youngsters will hop on my lap and we’ll watch all of the movies collectively earlier than I’m going off to do the voice-overs, That’s what makes it enjoyable for me, as a result of it nonetheless retains that household environment. I’ve them with me studying and seeing what I’m doing and watching me do my strains. I really feel prefer it’s vital for my youngsters to form of find out how I do what I do. I all the time really feel like most individuals view it like, “Daddy just does it.” And it is like, no, there’s lots of work that goes into all of the issues that we do. I would like them to all the time be part of that. So we’ve got enjoyable as a result of we watched the movies they usually’re additionally seeing me how I’m doing it, [breaking] down my strains after which studying it and getting a sense for a way it will work off the video. 

You’re turning 50 this yr. In 2018 you served as emcee when Will Smith celebrated his personal 50th birthday by bungee leaping over the Grand Canyon. So I’ve to ask: Are you planning on doing one thing like that?

Not in any respect. I like all my limbs, so I’m not going to do something loopy. We haven’t decided on what my 50th will seem like. It’s solely a few months away, however we’ll determine it out. I’m definitely not going to do any bungee leaping over the Grand Canyon or something like that. You know, we have been simply in a spot the place Evel Knievel jumped the Snake River. I’m not doing that both. I’m not going to do this. I’m now not the daredevil. I used to do every kind of craziness, however now I’m simply form of just like the dad who [says], “Don’t do that, you’re gonna hurt yourself,” after I damage myself daily of my life as a child. 

You began acting at a younger age. Do you see that impulse in any of your personal youngsters?

Somewhat bit. My 18-year-old goes to start college this yr. She auditions and she or he reads for issues and she or he’s gotten a number of issues, however she is also that younger lady who needs to do it on her personal. She does not need it to be handed to her from Daddy’s contacts. So, you understand, I’m within the background, I’m watching, I’m paying consideration, I’m nonetheless letting her do it on our personal, and if she ever wants assist, that is what daddies do. 

A.J. is a sports activities nut, so I do not actually foresee him desirous to do present enterprise stuff, or Anders doing that. Ava, perhaps … I really feel like my ladies are those who can have a little bit “swag” that approach. Ava, really, for a 2-year-old, has unbelievable pitch. She sings all day lengthy. So, you understand, we’ll see, however she does have excellent pitch. 

You’re working with Cheez-It Snap’d on the Snap’d My Sandwich sweepstakes, the concept being that individuals can submit their “sad lunchtime sandwich” for an opportunity to win $10,000.

I would like individuals to degree up their lunch. Too many individuals skip their lunch in America. It’s, like, breakfast after which it is dinner, and lunch is only a meal [where] you simply toss something collectively. We wish to change that. We need individuals to have an amazing lunch. … If you are going to have a sandwich, get an amazing sandwich, however let’s add Cheez-It Snap’d so that individuals can up their worth of their lunch. Somewhat bit extra enjoyable, much more taste. … We need individuals to have some enjoyable with it.  

So we have created this marketing campaign the place individuals can go on to my Instagram or Facebook and enter for an opportunity [to win]. Show us the worst sandwiches that you’ve got — the boring, the plain… The winner will get $10,000 and a yr’s provide of Cheez-It Snap’d. 

Being a baby actor, did you miss the entire lunchbox expertise? Was lunch as a child simply craft companies?

If you are engaged on a TV present, you go to lunch, proper? So both lunch is equipped otherwise you exit to eat. So you’d go to a pleasant restaurant and have a pleasant lunch, and you then’d come again and end up your day, otherwise you’d go to craft companies. If you go to a present and the craft service is not good, I can let you know one factor: You’ll have some actors and a few crew that will likely be fairly pissed off. So I’m used to truly having a beautiful lunch. You know, a number of the finest tales from Fresh Prince can be days when the whole forged would go to lunch collectively. We’d go someplace and seize an exquisite lunch and sit down. Sometimes we would have lunch that may be an excessive amount of, after which we would return and go to sleep. But lunchtime was a time wherein we shared tales, we shared concepts, we shared ideas about what we have been going to do creatively on the present. You could possibly be out of labor and luxuriate in a little bit little bit of that point collectively.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.

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