Other people’s pain is now Alfonso Ribeiro’s gain, as the Dancing with the Stars champ (and fill-in host) becomes the new host of our nation’s never-ending blooper reel, America’s Funniest Home Videos. EW recently spoke with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum about taking the reins of ridiculousness from Tom Bergeron (who has been the show’s emcee since 2001) and which type of videos are his cup of spilled tea. Read on to learn more about the Ribeiro Era, which officially begins tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ABC with the debut of season 26.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In three words, how will your hosting style differ from Tom Bergeron’s?
ALFONSO RIBEIRO: Hip. Fun. Stylish.
Which types of clips make you laugh the hardest?
The epic fails, when someone puts a plan in motion and things go very wrong. Very wrong.
And what is the type of video that just doesn’t make you laugh?
I’m less about the animals. And listen, don’t take it the wrong way, but I’m not a big animal-lover guy. I’m a human-lover guy. So I don’t have the same fascination with people with pets. I don’t get it.
So if you saw a poodle wearing shoes, shuffling along…
I’m like, “Really?” I’m like, “First of all, the joke’s on you, parent.” It’s not my thing. When other people are like, “Oh my god, that’s so cute!!!!” I’m like, “Eh. It’s kinda stupid.”
Now, what if someone tries to cuddle up to a parrot and it chomps him on the nose?
I like that. That’s epic fail. You thought that you could kiss the parrot and it wasn’t going to bite you. That was dumb on your behalf. So those kind of moments are great. If you’re in your car and you wind down the window to the giraffe and then he spits on you — why are you winding down the window? That’s great! I want to see that.
As a dancing expert—
—Not as an expert, but someone who’s become more knowledgeable…
Okay, as someone who’s become more knowledgeable, what dance mishaps will crack you up the most? AFV has a good library of those….
Not the professional style. But when you get the drunk girl at the party, right? I saw one online the other day where it was a girl at a wedding and she’s dancing all wild and crazy. You see the bride in the background and she’s giving her the look every once in awhile. She’s like, “Can you chill out at my wedding?” And then she uses one of the posts that’s holding up the tent as a stripper pole — and takes the entire thing down. And then the bride comes out from underneath the tent with her nose broken. (laughs) Epic fail. Broken nose, blood all over, it was really bad. But it was funny.
Rank these videos in order of preference: Gibbon rips man’s toupee off head, sleeping guy wakes up to terror of (fake) giant spider on arm, woman dancing on table crashes to floor?
The woman crashing. One, why are you on the table? You chose wrong because you’re on a table. When you fall, that’s funny. I can relate to the spider on the arm because I don’t like spiders. If I woke up and a giant spider was on my arm, I might lose it. The [gibbon] is third, but it’s funny because I don’t understand the toupee thing. Bald is cool now. Why you got a toupee, man? If gets ripped off and you’re freaking out, that’s on you.
What was the funniest AFV-like thing that happened to you this week?
It didn’t really happen to me, but my wife was videotaping my kids — we’ll probably share this on the show — and my daughter’s a gymnast. So she was in a handstand, and my son decided to run up and kiss he belly while she was in a headstand, which tickled her just enough that she lost balance and fell in that direction — wipe out! So it wasn’t a moment that I experienced, but my son certainly did.
What is one pledge you’ll make to viewers as new host?
I pledge to always smile. To always be happy. And to allow that happiness to always come through.
But will we kinda be able to tell if you don’t like the video?
I don’t think you’re going to be able to tell because they never come to you when the video is on — it’s just a voiceover. So YOU’LL NEVER KNOW.