Alfonso Ribeiro Named New Host of ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’

Alfonso Ribeiro Americas Funniest Home Videos
Courtesy of ABC

Expect a little song and dance in between videos of groin hits, cute kids and crazy cats on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” next season. “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum and “Dancing With the Stars” champ Alfonso Ribeiro is taking the reins as host from Tom Bergeron next season.

Ribeiro was one of five finalists in the hunt to follow Bergeron, who has hosted the enduring video-clip series since 2001. ABC’s “AFV” ranks as one of primetime TV’s most family-friendly shows and one with the highest component of multigenerational viewing, a quality that is important to ABC.

The show, which wrapped its 25th anniversary season on Sunday, has become an institution for the Alphabet in its Sunday 7 p.m. slot.

Although the show is built around goofy amateur videos sent in by everyday folks, “AFV” exec producer Vin Di Bona said the host’s role is still crucial. Bergeron, who also hosts ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” announced his intention to step down from “AFV” gig early in the season but the effort to audition his successor only heated up about two months ago, Di Bona said.

“There’s got to be a sincerity and a connection with the audience,” Di Bona told Variety. “You’ve got to be someone who cares about kids. That connection you make with the audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s something you just don’t get by reading copy. In our auditions, it just became very, very apparent that Alfonso is a genuinely nice man.”

Ribeiro brings pop-culture cred to “AFV” thanks to his run opposite Will Smith on the 1980s NBC sitcom “Fresh Prince,” where he became known for “the Carlton,” a dance named after his character that is performed to the Tom Jones hit “It’s Not Unusual.” More recently, he was the 2014 winner of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” and he served as emcee of the “DWTS” live touring show that wended through 40 cities this past winter.

Ribeiro got his start as a child actor on Broadway starring in “The Tap Dance Kid.” His varied resume over the years included five-year run as host of GSN’s “Catch 21” and of the ABC Family spelling quiz show “Spell-Mageddon.” At present he also hosts Cooking Channel’s “Unwrapped 2.0.”

“I’ve definitely spent a lot of time in the past decade in host-land,” Ribeiro told Variety. “I think I’ll be able to really connect with the games they like to play with the audience and with the interviews and banter. I love talking to people.”

Ribeiro’s song and dance skills will surely be put to good use, Di Bona promised. Ribeiro passed the first test when he assured his prospective new boss that he understood “the videos are the star of the show,” while he is the friendly tour guide. Production on season 26 begins in August.

Ribeiro’s appointment marks the fourth entry on the list of “AFV” hosts since its debut as a special in late 1989. Bob Saget was at the helm from 1989-1997, during the period he was also doing double-duty as star of the ABC sitcom “Full House.”

Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang took over as a duo in 1998 and 1999. “AFV” went off the air briefly as a regular series but was revived in 2000 as specials hosted by D.L. Hughley and Richard Kind. Bergeron’s tenure began the following year when “AFV” was restored to weekly series status.

“The show is an old shoe that works,” Di Bona said. “With Alfonso coming on, we’ll experiment more with performance elements and we’ll ease into some new things. But we will do it slowly.”

Bergeron got a final laugh on the May 17 finale which ended with a special cameo appearance by Saget, who drove Bergeron off the set in a golf cart. “Tom was the consummate host and a joy to work with,” Di Bona said.

(Pictured: Alfonso Ribeiro and Tom Bergeron on “AFV” this season)

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  1. Brenda says:

    New host, Alfonso, is a horrible host. I love the show, but can’t stand to watch it anymore. Bring on a new host.

  2. Owen Story says:

    I like Alfonso a lot I remember watching him on Catch 21 GSN. I noticed on his first episode of AFV I could understand him fairly but could barely hear him. I couldn’t tell if he was just talking low or if his microphone volume was low.

  3. Carleen Sloan says:

    Please replace Alfonso, he is ruining the show

  4. susan hall says:

    This show has been my all time favorite for comedy but with the new Alfonso, he is TERRIBLE and NOT at all funny or interesting. Worst mistake this show has made hiring him. I will not watch him any more.

  5. Lynn Fiene says:

    Alfonso is terrible! He blabbles on how this is the best job ever….his little dance moves makes me ill, I watched the first 10 minutes and had to turn it off. The first time I didn’t watch AFV in 20 plus years. If he stays, I’ll watch reruns…Never watch your show again…He shouldn’t have won DWTS, either…

  6. Ivie says:

    I have always liked “Carlton” but on afv he’s not funny at all!!! I miss Tom 😞 Alfonso seems like he’s trying to hard to be funny maybe he needs Will Smith to make him funny!?

  7. Len says:

    Alfonso definitely wouldn’t be my first choice, but since he is now hosting, would it be too much to ask to have less of him and more of the videos.

  8. Biggest Slim says:

    The new host of AFV is nice enough but his voice is too monotone and he sounds like he is always speaking up to be heard.
    Was he the best choice? He may grow on me and maybe I am the only one who thinks this way.
    Hope this decision works out for you.

  9. Jana says:

    I think that Alfonso is doing a good job. No one can come in and fill Tom Bergeron’s shoes right off the bat. It’s always awkward starting a new job. Give the guy a chance.

  10. jayson schuldt says:

    i think that he is horrible, he kinda dull and boring love afv but i think carlton might kill one of the longest running shows in america bad choice afv

    • La La says:

      Congratulations to Alfonso . I’m sorry but the old man host was very boring. I started watching the show again finally . When I heard about the new host . Alfonso keep up the good work . And don’t let those old bitter prejudice jerks . Comments put you down . I always been a fan .

  11. mario vasquez says:

    I am open minded, great to have Alfonso, but… just like John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes… Alfonso is annoying.

  12. I hope and pray that the change of host on AFV doesn’t turn out like the Daisy Fuentes fiasco. We no longer watch “millionaire” for the same reason. As far as OLDER folks like us feel,it would be much better if you could just LEAVE EVERYTHING ALONE!!!
    Thank you,
    Rocky Reno

    • Stephan says:

      Daisy Fuentes was great and beautiful host of the show. Tom Bergeron pretended to be funny but he was so fake and boring. I’m glad he is going. Alfonso Ribeiro the best show. He is awesome!!

  13. Ron says:

    I dunno. We’re just going to have to wait and see. Bergeron’s shoes will be very hard to fill.

  14. dawn n says:

    No, no, no!! If I wanted to watch song and dance, I would be watching a variety show…how sad that we aren’t keeping the same format. I watched occasionally on mute when Daisy and John hosted but my favorite show may go the way of the dinosaur.

  15. Dave says:

    Sounds like a decent choice. I just knew that ABC, one of the most anti American companies in the country would cave in to PC-ness and get a mexican to do it.

  16. Deborah says:

    I think Alfonso will do a wonderful job! He is very talented! Another beautiful man to stare at, while watching AFV! YAY!!!!! I love eye candy!

  17. karynlynn says:

    I give Alphonso Ribeioro one season. He has no personality, he’s lame corny and a nerd. The older he got the more unattractive he became with his big ass head. Mark my word, one season. Then he can go back to Zaxby commercials loser. I know I’m not watching anymore.

  18. Mike says:

    Outstanding selection. I’ll be watching.

  19. Robert Martinez says:

    Alfonso is nothing more than a ” CRY BABY ” because that’s exactly what he did when he was on DWTS when he hurt his foot what a woose! With him hosting I’ll never watch it and probably it’ll get cancelled.

  20. RS says:

    I’m in. I grew tired of Bergeron, mainly when he would have his head pasted over other peoples heads, and make the stupidest expressions. It wasn’t funny. Alfonso is a funny guy.

  21. i am not going to watch it with him hosting it ,

  22. Contessa46 says:

    What a great choice!? Congratulations to him.

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