Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Geeks through the ages #7: Carlton Banks

Carlton Banks, (played by Alfonso Ribeiro), born August 4, 1974, is Will's pedantic and preppy cousin. Carlton is a firmly conservative Republican and proves both friend and foe for Will. Although Carlton and Will often trade insults, Carlton obviously cares about Will by referring to him as "the brother I've always wanted." His role model is talk show host Bryant Gumbel, and his favorite singer is Tom Jones. He is obsessed with money with money-makers like Macauley Culkin. He is often the butt of Will Smith's jokes, often about his height and his geeky dilligence towards the right wing and ultra-conservative opinions that seem to contradict his more working-class street-wise and blacker cousin, Will.

One running gag is that Carlton continuously being slapped across the head by various characters, usually due to making comments that are ridiculously self-centered (in second half of the show, for example, he would often make humorous comments about gaining his father's inheritance) or due to portraying ignorance of lives other than his own. Often Will would ask to hold what Carlton is holding and once receiving it he would slap Carlton across the head with the object.

He will always get what he wants. Through whining and general annoyance of everyone around him, resulting in a war of attrition through which he eventually gains his prized entry to Princeton university where, I imagine, he will go on to be the republican Obama. Though by the end of the run of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he has redeemed himself by owning a Notorious BIG CD. Rap legends aside, Carlton, your shimpy stature and wild abandon when it comes to Tom Jones and other white crooners deservedly makes you this week's Geek Through the Ages.

Although, this is just awesome... Who knew that Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor playing Carlton, had his own instructional video on breaking and popping in the 80s!

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