If you grew up in the 90s, you probably have nostalgic memories of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, the sitcom that launched Will Smith’s career. Between laughs, moments of reflection, and life lessons, one thing has certainly captured everyone’s attention: Carlton’s dance. That’s how he was born, along with a curious legal case. If you like stories like this and are a fan of cult series, Follow UpGo Plus on Telegram.
The Origins of the Carlton Dance
Carlton’s dance has become a symbol of the series, a real cult. But how was he born? Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton, said that the script simply said that his character should dance. It wasn’t supposed to be particularly funny or weird. Ribeiro then drew inspiration from Courteney Cox’s moves in Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” video and The Eddie Murphy Show, where he made fun of “white people who can’t dance.” The rest is history, the seemingly simple and fun Carlton Dance became a pop culture icon of the 90s.
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Carlton Dance in Court
However, Carlton Dance did not stay within the sitcom. It has actually been included in some video games such as Fortnite and NBA 2k16. This led Ribeiro to sue video game companies, alleging they copied his dance moves without permission. Ribeiro also tried to obtain copyright for the dance.
The legal issue turned out to be more difficult than it seemed. The US Copyright Office expressed skepticism that the actor could copyright this particular ballet. Ribeiro’s lawyers were told that the motion should be denied because his “choreographic work” was in fact classified as “simple dance steps”. Also, the 1991 episode in which the movements in question first appear is actually owned by NBC, the American network that produced and aired it, so individual claims are excluded.
Carlton Dance tonight
Despite legal problems, Carlton Dance continues to be a popular phenomenon. It has become a meme, a popular gif, and continues to be reproduced and imitated around the world. No matter how much time passes, it seems that Carlton Dance will never lose its appeal.
A little curiosity about the series
And finally, some interesting facts about the TV series “Willy, the new prince of Bel-Air.” Will Smith, before becoming the main character of the series, had no experience in the world of television. His career started as a rapper and he has never acted except during the filming of the first episode. During his early years in the music industry, Smith spent all of his income and paid no taxes. In fact, 70% of what he earned in the first two seasons of the series was used to pay off his debts to the state.
Smith met his future wife, Jada Pinketts, while auditioning for a role on the show. However, the actress was rejected as Willie’s girlfriend because she was too short.
The series’ original theme music was composed by Quincy Jones, the same person who produced the first two Michael Jackson albums. The producer is also featured in the theme song, he is the taxi driver who picks up Willy.
In 2022, Peacock TV aired a reboot of the series created by Will Smith.
The role of Aunt Vivian was played by two different actresses: first Janet Hubert-Whitten and then Daphne Maxwell Reed, it is said that the first actress was fired on Smith’s recommendation.
Finally, the house shown in the series is not in Bel Air, but in Brentwood, another posh area of Los Angeles. These details add another charm to the story of this beloved sitcom.