It’s usually hard to feel bad for celebrities. Most of them are rich, lots of people love them, etc. But one downside to being a celebrity — especially the kind who played an icon on an iconic sitcom— is that strangers will ask you to perform something you did for work thirty years ago.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the 90s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air opposite Will Smith (who is now known for another thing that people won’t shut up about), said that fans keep asking him to do the Carlton dance for them. In the famous scene, Carlton dances to Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual” when he is home alone. He swings his hips in an instantly recognizable way, uses a candle as a fake microphone, and incorporates some parkour into the choreography by bouncing on the couch.
Kimmel started the interview by saying, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to do the dance or any of that stuff. You must want to kill people when they ask you to do that, right?” That’s a little dramatic, Mr. Kimmel, but fair.
“I won’t say kill, but I don’t have a love for it like they do,”Ribeiro said. “I’m a black guy — I’m just not dancing for you. It’s not gonna happen. What makes you think that you just gonna ask a random person to dance for you, and they’re gonna be like ‘Oh my God, I’ve been waiting for you to ask! Hold on a second, let me get into character.’ It’s not — I don’t get it. It’s not gonna happen.”
Ribiero says that he is asked to do the Carlton dance “every day of my life if I go outside” and he does not feel bad for saying no to the strangers who command it, as is his right.