Giving a heads up. Before Alfonso Ribeiro was announced as the Dancing With the Stars cohost for season 31, the actor made sure to reach out to OG host Tom Bergeron about the opportunity.
“We have talked. I wouldn’t say that he gave advice because [it would be] essentially the same advice he offered me when I was doing American’s Funniest Videos, which was ‘Be you,’” Ribeiro, 50, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, September 13, while promoting his partnership with The Original Donut Shop. “We have enough respect for each other that I wanted to talk to him as a friend. I wanted to let him know how it went down [with] all the love and respect that I have for Tom.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, who will be cohosting alongside Tyra Banks, noted that Bergeron’s career has been a blueprint for his own professional aspirations.
“He will always be near and dear to my heart in every way. I continue to say that I’m building my career on what Tom Bergeron leaves behind,” Ribeiro quipped about the TV personality, 67, who hosted DWTS from 2005 to 2020. “I’m very upset that he doesn’t have a big job right now because when all this ends, I got to go to the next job.”
The New York native added: “I keep joking with him about it. I’m like, ‘Dude, I need you to get something big because then that’s my next job.’”
After winning season 19 of Dancing With the Stars with Witney Carson, Ribeiro admitted that he wasn’t expecting another offer from the show.
“I had no clue what was coming,” he explained to Us. “All of a sudden, I’m on a road trip in my RV somewhere on the east coast and I get a phone call saying, ‘Hey, can you hop on a call tomorrow morning? We want to talk about you being one of our hosts.’ And I was [ready to say] ‘OK.’ There was no hesitation. It was a very simple yes.”
The In the House alum hinted that viewers should get excited about the upcoming season after the show’s move to Disney+. “It is so much fun. It’s going to be a blast for me to kind of be back in the ballroom with all of my favorite people in the world, all those amazing dancers and the crew,” he teased. “Executive producer Conrad Green is bringing back such a great feel and energy to the show. It’s going to be a great move.”
Ahead of his new gig, Ribeiro is looking forward to working with The Original Donut Shop to offer customers a special pick-me-up with an interactive vending machine in Downtown New York City. The company will be giving out treats to promote the launch of their Snickers-flavored coffee.
“Listen, commuting in New York is never fun, but I’ve teamed up with The Original Donut Shop to give people a treat,” the director, who will be live streaming into the vending machine on Tuesday, detailed to Us. “I want to give them the ability to have a nice little something during their day. So we’ve got the pop-up down at the Oculus and I’m going to be treating all of the commuters.”
Ribeiro continued: “We’ve got all kinds of goodies for them. They’re going to have all of The Original Donut Shop coffee. We’ve got the Snickers flavors. It’s going to be fantastic.”