*The season finale of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” airs Sunday night and EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Alfonso Ribeiro to discuss his first year hosting the show, and the unforgettable vacation for six to the Walt Disney World that the grand prize winner will receive.
“America’s Funniest Home Videos” has given away over $14 million in prize money – essentially gifting people for capturing unique comedic moments from their personal lives. While Ribeiro described hosting this season as an overall “a great success,” he did reveal that it took him hosting a few episodes to fully feel comfortable taking over for the series’ longest-serving host Tom Bergeron.
“I’m always critical of myself, and I felt like in the beginning I wasn’t as comfortable. I wasn’t as relaxed and capable of just being truly myself,” Alfonso told us. “It took me almost half a season to get very comfortable and I remember, it was episode 11 or 12, where I was like, ‘Oh, that’s it! That’s the guy.’ That’s when I felt comfortable and natural and it just felt really good. I love the fact that we were able to get there inside the first season.”
Alfonso acknowledges that the show lost some “Tom Bergeron super fans in the beginning,” but he also notes that many fans said the show was “wonderful,” and that it “feels fresh again” and that they “love watching it now.”
On the season finale of AFV, the season’s two $100,000 winners battle it out for the grand prize. Special guests Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck join Alfonso as he announces the grand prize winner who will receive a vacation for six to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the new Shanghai Disney Resort in China opening in June.
READ RELATED STORY: Alfonso Ribeiro Takes Over AFV, Talks ‘Fresh Prince’ Reboot [EUR Exclusive]
Tom Bergeron returns to play “Who Breaks It?” with Alfonso, who called the former host’s return a “testament to how much he loves the show and respects what we’re doing.” Ribeiro added: “He was a big fan and big supporter of me being on the show. I am forever grateful for that.”
The finale episode is most magical for Disney fan Alfonso because of the colorful characters making a guest appearance, and seeing the reaction of the grand prize winner is what makes the episode “a little bit extra special” from the rest of the season.
“To finally make it through the first season and seeing how they make lives change. It’s very cool,” he said.
Last time we spoke, Alfonso said the “epic fails” and funny videos of babies were his favorites. This time around, the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” alum shared what he personally gained from hosting the longest-running primetime entertainment program on ABC.
“Learning to be myself, and truly myself. Relax and not feeling the need to push and over-push the comedy. My whole comedic style throughout my career has been really over the top. As big and as wild and as crazy as I can get it, I always felt better about it. But I feel like for hosting, you have to be very relaxed and you have to be yourself and you can’t feel the need to push so much. So I learned to do that, and I don’t think that’s necessarily specific to this show, but it’s more specific to just being a better host.
Whether or not you dig him as host of AFV, Ribeiro says he’s “looking forward to hosting another 15 seasons.”
“Next season is just simply the start of hopefully many seasons to come. I’ve truly enjoyed working on the show and I’m just excited to still be a part of it. I hope that America continues to love this show and support us throughout the years.”
Produced by Vin Di Bona and Michele Nasraway for Vin Di Bona Productions, the season finale of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” airs tonight, May 22, on ABC at 7/6c. Get caught up on past episodes here.