In a recent interview with The Toronto Sun, Alfonso Riberio, who portrayed the stuffed shirt rich kid, Calrton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990-1996, explained that the dubbed Carlton Dance “was never intended to be funny”.
I played a character that was as far from myself as possible. They would have to bring me a CD and some articles for me to read up on what the character liked, because I had never heard of Tom Jones. I didn’t know Barry Manilow. These weren’t people that I grew up with or experienced as a teenager. I grew up in the Bronx; I was a hip-hop kid.
The Carlton Dance was created when it said in the script: Carlton dances. It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing. The dance is ultimately Courteney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video “Dancing in the Dark”; that’s the basis. Or in Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious” video, “The White Man Dance” as he called it. And I said, “That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don’t I do that?”
It remains to be seen if Ribeiro will be dusting off out his old dancing shoes on the Fresh Prince reboot Will is producing.