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Alfonso Ribeiro Reveals His Favorite Memory As Carlton On The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air - Exclusive

Alfonso Ribeiro is responsible for bringing one of sitcom history's most beloved characters — Carlton Banks, part of the cast of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" — to life. Fans knew Carlton by his humor and, of course, his dance skills. But when Ribeiro spoke with Looper about his favorite memory of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" in an exclusive interview leading up to the Cheez-Its Snap'd giveaway, it was all about a surprise he pulled on set.

"I think the one memory that I have that's the most fond was an episode where the end of the episode Carlton runs through the audience and runs through the different sets. And he gets down on his knees and he pulls himself across the floor and he's screaming the whole time," Ribeiro said. "No one knew that we were going to do that, the other cast members. I went to the director, Shelley Hanson, and I said, 'I want to do something and have some fun. It's the end of the show. Let's just be silly.' And I told him what I was going to do. I just said, 'Hey, put your camera here, put the camera here. And let's just go.' And so the show came to the end and I did it. And I never thought that it would ever be aired on TV," Ribeiro explained. When the scene was aired, it brought a whole new level to his surprise twist.

It was about more than being silly, though

When the scene ended up airing, it was a pivotal moment for both Alfonso Ribeiro's character and the show as a whole. "Because it was not something that ... It wasn't inside of the show," he explained. "It was an extra thing. And then they ended up airing it. And I think it actually was a moment that changed, at least for the Carlton character. Will broke the fourth wall a few times. But for my character to break that fourth wall also changed the way I think the audience viewed the character, viewed all of the show," he added.

That moment was a revelation for Ribeiro because it taught him that the show could be so much more. "We were a performance, it was a show. It wasn't reality. And it was that moment that changed it for me, where it was like, 'Oh, we can have some fun and laugh and the audience can laugh with us,'" he said. 

That new understanding helped Ribeiro reach a new understanding about the sitcom too. "I think part of the reason why 'Fresh Prince' was so iconic was simply because you weren't watching just a show. You were engaged, you were connected because we could break that fourth wall and look at you on your couch and say, 'Wink, wink, see what's happening here?'" he said. "Those moments made it, I think iconic, because it connected them in a way that was very different than any other show at the time," Ribeiro added. Clearly, it was an impactful scene for everyone one involved from Ribeiro himself to the director who chose to keep the unexpected scene to the viewers at home. No wonder that moment is one of Ribeiro's favorite moments on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."