Alfonso Ribeiro joins WTOP to share excitement about hosting ‘A Capitol Fourth’ again on PBS

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'A Capitol Fourth' with Alfonso Ribeiro (Part 1)

He’s known for “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

This Fourth of July, Alfonso Ribeiro returns for a second year to host the annual music and fireworks show “A Capitol Fourth” from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol that’s airing nationwide on PBS starting at 8 p.m.

“I had to come back,” Ribeiro told WTOP. “It went fantastic (last year), I just enjoyed every minute of it and had such a blast. It was a wonderful show, the show was put together incredibly and I just enjoyed every moment. It was funny, when the show ended, there was a little after-event that we went to and the producers were like, ‘Hey, we’d love to offer you to do it again next year,’ and I said, ‘Absolutely, we’ll see you again,’ so it was a win-win.”

This year’s event features hit talent like Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Darren Criss, Sheila E., Fitz & Noelle from Fitz & The Tantrums, Chloe Flower, Sister Sledge featuring Sledgendary, Loren Allred, Shawn Johnson East and Britt Stewart.

You’ll also see the National Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of Washington, Ministers of Music, U.S. Army Band, U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery and Military District of Washington.

“We’ve got a full show,” Ribeiro said. “We’ve got the greatest fireworks in all of the land, so it’s going to be an incredible evening. … We’re going to kick the show off with me singing and doing a little dancing with Britt Stewart from ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ so we’re gonna kick it off, we’re gonna have some fun (and) have such a great night.”

You’ll notice that neither Tom Jones nor The Sugarhill Gang are on the lineup, so don’t expect Ribeiro to bust out “The Carlton Dance” or the “Jump On It” dance from his iconic TV sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-1996).

“There is a likelihood that you will not see either; I try to not do those whenever possible,” Ribeiro said.

“I was fans and friends (of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith), we had hung out before ever doing the show. … We actually went to Disneyland together, a group of us, and I met them when they were performing at an Endless Summer Jam here in Los Angeles and became friends with them. I was a big fan of their music, so it was cool getting to work with them.”

Since 2015, he has hosted the good, clean, family fun of ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

“I love the fact that I get to do that show,” Robeiro said.

“I truly, truly enjoy it. I’m honored that I got to follow in the footsteps of Tom Bergeron and Bob Saget. … It’s making people from all ages have a great time and laugh and enjoy themselves on a Sunday night before getting ready to start a busy week, being able to sit down and enjoy something together. Family entertainment doesn’t really exist much anymore — we’re one of the last.”

Ribeiro also currently hosts ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” after winning Season 19 as a contestant.

“I’m creating my own new path from being a contestant on the show to being a co-host to now being one of the hosts with Julianne Hough,” Robeiro said.

“It’s a great show, I love the show, I wanted to be on the show from the very beginning. It took them 19 seasons to let me on, I don’t know what that was, it took forever, but I finally got on and was lucky enough to win. … I can’t wait to find out who we’ve got this year, I’m sure it’ll be a great group.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'A Capitol Fourth' with Alfonso Ribeiro (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation on the podcast below:

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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