America's Funniest Home Videos
America's Funniest Home Videos (abbreviated as AFV) is an American video clip television series on ABC, which features humorous homemade videos that are submitted by viewers. The most common videos feature unintentional physical comedy, pets or children, and some staged pranks.
|America's Funniest Home Videos|
Current version of logo, used for the Alfonso Ribeiro era since 2015
|Created by||Vin Di Bona|
|Based on||Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan|
|Directed by||Vin Di Bona (2002–present)|
|Theme music composer||Dan Slider (music)|
Jill Colucci, Stewart Harris (lyrics, 1989–96 version only)
|Opening theme||"The Funny Things You Do", |
performed by Jill Colucci (1989–96),
performed by Peter Hix & Terry Wood (1996-1997),
Rearranged ska/reggae instrumental (1998–2015),
Rearranged band instrumental (2015–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||30|
|No. of episodes||691 (as of December 8, 2019)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||22 minutes (1990–99)|
44 minutes (1989 and 1999–2000 specials; series: 2001–present)
|Production company(s)||ABC Entertainment|
Vin Di Bona Productions
|Picture format||1080p |
(home videos upscaled to widescreen)
|Original release||November 26, 1989(as a special) |
January 14, 1990 (as a series) –
|Related shows||America's Funniest People (1990–94)|
World's Funniest Videos (1996)
El Diablito (from XHDRBZ)
Videos After Dark (2019-present)
Originally airing as a special in 1989, it later debuted as a regular weekly series in 1990. The show was hosted by Bob Saget for the 1989 special and the first eight seasons of the series incarnation. After Saget's retirement from hosting in 1997, John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes later took over as co-host for its ninth and tenth seasons. After two years of being shown as occasional specials, hosted by various actors and comedians such as D.L. Hughley and Richard Kind, ABC brought the series back on Friday nights in 2001 with new host Tom Bergeron, who has since become the series' longest-serving host, hosting 15 seasons. Bergeron announced in 2014 that he would be leaving as host of the show, and Alfonso Ribeiro took over as host in 2015.
On October 29, 2018, ABC renewed AFV for two more seasons, bringing to its 30th (which premiered on Sunday, September 29, 2019), and 31st seasons.
Executive produced by Vin Di Bona, Todd Thicke, and Michele Nasraway, and created by Vin Di Bona, it is the longest-running primetime entertainment (non-news) program on ABC (both on the network's current schedule and dating back to ABC's incorporation as a television network in 1948). It is based on the Tokyo Broadcasting System program Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan, which featured a segment in which viewers were invited to send in video clips from their home movies; ABC, which owns half of the program, pays a royalty fee to the Tokyo Broadcasting System for the use of the format (although the original parent show left the air in 1992). A more similar concept in that a whole 30-to-45-minute show consisted of nothing but short clips from amateur home videos with slapstick-like accidents presented by a host began broadcasting only two months after the start of Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan in Japan, under the title Pleiten, Pech und Pannen (lit., "Crashes, bad luck, and slip ups") in West Germany in March 1986, lasting until 2003.
Contestants can send their videos in by uploading them as a digital file onto the show's official website, AFV.com, which launched in 2012. From 2008 to 2012, viewers were able to upload their videos digitally to ABC's website, ABC.com; since the separate website for the program went online, users trying to access the America's Funniest Home Videos page on ABC's website – via the show page link on the site's program menu – have been redirected to AFV.com. Videos can also be sent via conventional mail on VHS and other such home video formats (VHS-C, 8 mm video cassettes, to name a few), and later as the format started to become common for home recording use in the early 2000s decade, DVD to a Hollywood, California post-office box address, with clips placed on USB flash drives and other forms of consumer flash memory formats also acceptable for physical submission as time has gone on.
Due to its very low cost and universal appeal, the format has since been reproduced around the world and AFV-inspired television specials and series continue to emerge periodically in the United States. American television series inspired by AFV's format that are not related to the series itself include The Planet's Funniest Animals, The World's Funniest!, The World's Funniest Moments, Funniest Pets & People and It Only Hurts When I Laugh; however, most of the series inspired by AFV (with the minor exception of The Planet's Funniest Animals) have not matched the success of America's Funniest Home Videos and have not lasted as long. Several local television stations, even those not affiliated with ABC, also developed special funny home video segments in their newscasts during the early 1990s, inspired by the series. With the advent of smartphone technology that include built-in video cameras, social media, YouTube and other computer-oriented internet sites that brought about the era of the viral videos revolution starting in the 2000s, television stations started capitalizing on amateur caught-on-video segments, cute, funny, amazing, or not, during their newscasts again and this time (at present) appears to remain here to stay. AFV also capitalizes on the viral video revolution to their audience and viewers in terms of showing uploaded funny video clips, as well. Also, more and more shows similar to AFV continue to capitalize on the viral video revolution and emerge once in a while.
The majority of the video clips are short (5–30 seconds) and are mostly related to the host's monologues. Videos typically feature people and animals getting into humorous accidents caught on camera; while others include clever marriage proposals, people and animals displaying interesting talents (such as pets that sound like they speak certain words or phrases, or genius toddlers with the ability to name all past U.S. Presidents), and practical jokes. A group of screeners view the submitted tapes, giving them a grade (on a scale of 1–10) based on that particular tape's humor. The videos deemed the funniest by the screeners then go on to the show's producers and then is turned over to Di Bona and another producer for final approval. Home video material that involves staged accidents, or/and adults, children, or babies getting seriously injured or the abuse of animals, or overall does not meet ABC network standards and practices are generally not accepted and will not appear on the show.
Every week, three of the videos seen (which are among those included in the episode) are chosen by the producers and voted on by the studio audience. The winner wins $10,000 and is in the running for the $100,000 prize at the end of a seven- or ten-show run, while the runner-up receives $3,000 and the third place video receives $2,000. In the show's first season, the second and third prizes respectively were a new TV and VCR and a new camcorder. On the initial hour-long special, the grand prize was $5,000 with second and third places both winning a new camcorder; the producer picked the winner, with no audience voting. Periodically, beginning with the Tom Bergeron run of the series and continuing on into the Alfonso Ribiero run, the grand prize winner at each season's final $100,000 contest will also win a free vacation package, supplied by either Adventures by Disney or Disney Vacation Club, in addition to the monetary prize. The program's studio segments are taped in front of a studio audience (although the specials that aired in 1999 and 2000 only featured pre-recorded audience responses); audience members are asked to dress in "business casual or nicer".
Show creator Vin Di Bona has produced two similar programs: America's Funniest People (1990–94) and World's Funniest Videos (1996). Di Bona also created two series featuring home videos that were largely culled from those seen on AFHV and America's Funniest People: the syndicated series That's Funny (2004–06) and the Fox Family Channel series Show Me The Funny (1998–2000). In 2019, Di Bona also created a spinoff Videos After Dark with more adult material. Many of the clips have been used internationally in various comedy compilation programs, with changes such as dubbing and subtitling. The title of the show is usually changed and the studio segments are omitted.
As noted in the closing credits of each episode, most of the videos have been edited for length due to time constraints. In addition, according to the contest plugs, family members (both immediate or relatives) of employees of Vin Di Bona Productions, ABC, Inc., its corporate parent The Walt Disney Company (and for a good portion of Saget's hosting tenure, its legal predecessor, Capital Cities/ABC) and their related subsidiaries are ineligible for the show's contests and prizes.
On October 3, 2010, beginning with the season 21 premiere, America's Funniest Home Videos began broadcasting in high definition. Many of the videos, which are largely shot using standard definition camcorders, began to be stretched horizontally to fit 16:9 screens. However, since the 2012–13 season, videos shot in 4:3 standard definition began to be pillarboxed (particularly videos that are recorded on mobile devices that are shot at a vertical angle that would not even fit the 4:3 safe area of many television sets entirely; since the conversion to HD, the series has featured advisories to viewers to tilt their mobile devices horizontally to when recording in order for their videos to fit 16:9 screens). In 2014, all episodes of the show that were originally produced and aired in standard definition before both the season 21 premiere and the show's initial conversion to HD capability simultaneously in 2010 and/or already airing in rerun syndication for almost over a decade or more (and still are) got stretched vertically downward with slightly re-edited graphics due to widescreen and HD broadcast capability and signals on more broadcast television stations (and cable) networks, AFV's 25th anniversary, Tom Bergeron's 15th and final year as host of the show, and Alfonso Ribiero's entrance as the current host in season 26 that also included an almost-brand-new set, new version of the theme song, new graphics, and new logo among other things; while the funny video clips recorded with the use of camcorders before 2009 or the years preceding the invention of today's mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad (and especially the videos that were aired on episodes in the Bob Saget, John Fugelsang, Daisy Fuentes, and the early Tom Bergeron eras of AFV) continued (and still continue in the Alfonso Ribiero run of AFV) to be stretched horizontally to this day.
1989–1997: Bob Saget
The show debuted on November 26, 1989, as an hour-long special, produced by Vin Di Bona and Steve Paskay, with actor/comedian Bob Saget (then starring in the ABC sitcom Full House) as its host. Saget was assisted in hosting the special by actress Kellie Martin, then the star of fellow ABC series Life Goes On, a family drama which would serve as the lead-in program to AFHV for the latter show's first four seasons. Prior to the airing of the initial special, during the fall of 1989, Vin Di Bona Productions took out ads in national magazines (such as TV Guide) asking people to send in their home videos featuring funny or amazing moments.
John Ritter was Vin Di Bona's first choice as host of the program, but was unavailable.
Originally intended as a one-off special, it became an unexpected hit, causing ABC to place an episode order for the show turning it into a regular weekly half-hour primetime series; it made its debut as a regular series on January 14, 1990, with Bob Saget hosting solo. Ernie Anderson, the announcer for several ABC advertisements and shows of the era, was the program's original announcer. He was replaced by radio and television actor Gary Owens in 1995, who stayed in that role until Saget left, but Anderson briefly returned shortly before his death in February 1997.
Besides hosting the series, Saget also served as a member of its writing staff, alongside Todd Thicke and Bob Arnott. The success of AFHV led to a spinoff called America's Funniest People, hosted by Saget's Full House co-star Dave Coulier (and co-hosted by actress/producer Arleen Sorkin for the first two seasons, then model Tawny Kitaen for the final two), focusing on videos featuring people intentionally trying to be funny by doing celebrity impressions, committing pranks, and performing short amateur comedy routines, among other things.
During the show's first four seasons, America's Funniest Home Videos aired on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time; beginning with the fifth season, the show started the Sunday primetime lineup on ABC, airing at 7:00 p.m. Eastern, followed by America's Funniest People at 7:30 p.m. Eastern as part of an hour-long block of funny home videos. Saget always ended each episode with the phrase "Keep those cameras safely rolling", and saying something to his wife who was (implied to be) watching the show.
Beginning about the middle of the first season, the show began featuring the "Assignment America" segment, which called for a series of videos to be sent in (collected or made) pertaining to a specific theme. Another segment introduced during Saget's tenure as host called "Backwards Classics," shows videos being played in reverse set to classical music. Since the show's debut as a regular series, the show routinely includes two to three times per episode, a montage of themed videos set to a particular song, called the "Music Montage"; classic songs (mostly from the 1950s through the 1970s, with only a few songs from the 1980s scattered in) were used during these montages in the original run of the series, though more recent pop, R&B and rock songs have been incorporated since Tom Bergeron became the show's host. In season five, an animated sidekick was introduced named "Stretchy McGillicuddy" (voiced by Danny Mann), who was known for trying to tease Saget and doing other crazy things. In one episode (in season five), he was shown on the two large TV monitors on both sides of the set and Bob had to turn him off with a remote. Stretchy's catchphrase was: "Don't get a little touchy Bob, I'm just a little stretchy!" The character was dropped from the show at the end of the seventh season.
In 1994, ABC canceled America's Funniest People after four seasons due to declining ratings and had to decide what to do with its Sunday night 7:30 p.m. Eastern. After trying out the short-lived sitcom On Our Own in the 7:30 p.m. slot after AFHV during the 1994–95 season, ABC then later chose to expand America's Funniest Home Videos to one hour with back-to-back airings, with that week's new episode being shown in the first half-hour, followed by a repeat from a previous season to fill the remaining time. On February 1, 1996, another spinoff of AFHV debuted called World's Funniest Videos; which was taped at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida; this series was also hosted by Coulier, along with actress Eva LaRue. Paired with a weekly version of the popular Before They Were Stars specials on Thursday nights, World's Funniest Videos focused on funny and amazing home videos from around the world. However, due to low ratings, ABC put it on hiatus a few weeks after its debut, before cancelling the series outright after only one season and burning off the remaining episodes that summer. For Saget's final season on AFHV, two new episodes would be shown.
Numerous comedy skits were performed on the set during Saget's tenure as host. The set consisted of a living room design (the main set, originally a three-wall design with a bay window, was remodeled for the 1992–93 season as a flatter frame outline with translucent walls – though the furniture featured on the original set remained). The beginning of each episode was tied in with a skit just before the transition was made from the introduction to Saget. This usually consisted of several actors in a fake room (usually in the upper part of the audience section or in another soundstage) pretending to get excited watching America's Funniest Home Videos. This technique was scrapped at the end of the fifth season.
Saget soon grew tired of the repetitive format and was eager to pursue other projects as a comedian, actor, and director. Producer Di Bona held him to his contract, resulting in a frustrated Saget listlessly going through the motions, constantly getting out of character, and making pointed remarks on the air during his last two seasons. Saget's contract expired in May 1997, and he decided to leave the show afterward. However, according to Vin Di Bona, the producers felt a change (and change of hosts) was needed for AFV as a result of ABC going through a change of leadership (hence ABC's ownership transition from Capital Cities to Disney). His former Full House castmates (except for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) were present in the episode prior to the $100,000 season finale (which additionally featured 3-D skits as part of an ABC promotional gimmick week), which was his final episode. Saget returned to America's Funniest Home Videos on two different occasions, first, to co-host a 20th anniversary special edition episode alongside Tom Bergeron, which aired on November 29, 2009 (which was three days shy of AFV's actual 20th anniversary date of its premiere on the air on November 26, 1989); and on May 17, 2015, he made a cameo appearance at the end of Tom Bergeron's final episode as host of AFV in Disneyland where he was driven by Bob Saget in a golf cart.
1998–1999: John Fugelsang & Daisy Fuentes
After Saget's departure from the series, ABC sidelined America's Funniest Home Videos from the network's 1997–98 fall schedule, choosing to bring it back as a mid-season replacement. The show began to be alternately called AFV at this point (though the show officially continued to be titled America's Funniest Home Videos). The series returned for season nine on January 5, 1998, with new hosts, an overhauled look and a new rendition of the theme song, which remained in use with the guest hosts on the specials in 2000, with all episodes of Tom Bergeron's run as host, starting in 2001, until his 15th year and final season as AFV host in 2015, and was still heard on Alfonso Ribeiro's audition tape as the new host of AFV in 2015. Comedian John Fugelsang and model-turned-television personality Daisy Fuentes took over as co-hosts of the show. Jess Harnell also succeeded Owens as the show's announcer and still holds this position to this day.
During this period, the show introduced a segment called "Bad News, Good News," which shows a video of an accident; then one of the hosts makes a humorous statement about the upside of what happened. This segment continued to appear occasionally until the fourth year of Tom Bergeron's stint as host. Another notable segment was the "AFV Hall of Fame", in which a clip is shown, and Fugelsang reveals the moment of impact (a screen that shows a still picture of that clip) that occurred in it. This segment was scrapped at the end of season ten. Another featured segment was "Who Would You Like to See...", in which a random person is asked which celebrity they would like to see involved in a random humorous mishap, with a photo of a celebrity's face posterized over the face of the actual person in the video. Much like their successors Tom Bergeron and Alfonso Ribeiro, they humorously narrate the clips they show.
With the Sunday night 7:00 p.m. Eastern time slot occupied by Disney films aired as part of The Wonderful World of Disney, the show constantly changed time slots, moving from Monday nights to Thursday nights to Saturday nights. The ratings for the show suffered during this period, and both Fuentes and Fugelsang left the show after two seasons in 1999. Their last original new episode – which aired on May 6 of that year – was taped at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, California. Until "AFV: America... This Is You" aired on ABC on December 8, 2019; showcasing footage from John and Daisy's tenure, as well as all of the other AFV hosts, the only honorable mention of John Fugelsang, Daisy Fuentes, and segments showcasing their run was the 2-part 300th episode AFV special in 2003 during the early years of the Bergeron run, which also showcased Saget's run of episodes in select segments, as well. While John Fugelsang has not been seen in new recent never-before-seen footage on the road or in the studio on AFV since he and Daisy left the show in 1999 after only two years co-hosting it together, Daisy Fuentes made a few brief cameo appearances in interview segments likely taking place at her house speaking on behalf of her and John (and AFV; especially during their tenure) on "AFV: America... This Is You" which aired on ABC on December 8, 2019.
In May 1999, ABC announced that it would discontinue America's Funniest Home Videos as a regular weekly series, but the show returned occasionally as a series of specials hosted by various ABC sitcom stars including The Hughleys star D.L. Hughley and Spin City co-star Richard Kind. The show moved to a much smaller soundstage and the set featured various video screens and monitors (resembling iMac computers) placed on shelves. A special sports version of the show called AFV: The Sports Edition, that was hosted by ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, was rebroadcast every New Year's Day and aired occasionally before NBA playoff games with a post 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time tip-off until 2008. A special entitled America's Funniest Home Videos: Deluxe Uncensored (which was released only on home video, and featured somewhat more risque content than that allowed on the television broadcasts) was hosted by Steve Carell and taped on the set used from the 1998–99 season. These specials (except for the special sports edition) were not taped in front of a live studio audience, with pre-recorded applause and laugh tracks were used during commercial bumpers and just before, during, and after video packages being used instead.
2001–2015: Tom Bergeron
In October 2000, ABC announced its decision to return America's Funniest Home Videos as a regular weekly series, ordering 13 new episodes. On July 20, 2001, the show returned in its third format, this time with host Tom Bergeron, who was also hosting Hollywood Squares at the time. The show was expanded to a single full hour-long episode, instead of two consecutive half-hour episodes, and was shown Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time; however, it went on hiatus for two months due in part to the September 11 attacks and also because of ABC airing specials and trying a new Friday night lineup. That lineup was short-lived, and the show returned to the schedule in December 2001. In his earlier episodes, Bergeron used the set (with the bulky see-through iMac computers) from the AFV specials that aired in 2000, until the latter part of his first season, when a new set (with a studio audience) was introduced featuring a round video screen with several monitors.
In September 2003, the show returned to its former Sunday 7:00 p.m. Eastern time slot, still an hour long (though special episodes occasionally aired on Friday nights until 2007). Unlike Saget, who provided voice-overs to the clips, Bergeron humorously narrated them, though he did lend his voice to some clips from time to time. Changes of the set were replacement of the round video wall by a curved video wall, changing the color of the pillars to blue (sometimes other colors), addition of curved light borders hanging through the set, lights under the center with return of the letters "AFV".
The Bergeron version added new segments, such as "Tom's Home Movies", where his face is digitally superimposed over the face of a person in each of the videos with varying expressions shown to match the person's reaction to their mishaps in the videos (a recurring gag referenced by Bergeron in this segment is on his superimposed head being larger than normal size), various audience participation games using funny home videos including "Head, Gut, or Groin," where Tom picked one or two members of the studio audience to guess whether the person in the video would be hit in the aforementioned three areas of the body in order to win an America's Funniest Home Videos compilation DVD (since the 2012–13 season, a bobblehead of Bergeron was given as the prize) and the "slo-mo gizmo", where a video is played first at normal speed and then again at a slower speed and using telestrator. Bergeron nearly always ended each episode with the phrase "If you get it on tape, you could get it in cash", which was later changed to "Upload to us. Get rich, get famous" by the 2009-10 season. That phrase would continue to be used for another 10 years, including into Alfonso Ribiero's first 3 seasons until the season 29 premiere on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
While only three of Tom Bergeron-era segments ("Vs.", "The Dog/Cat Park", and "A Moment With...") continue to be shown on Alfonso Ribiero's AFV at present, the segments introduced (and still seen in reruns whenever and wherever available for airtime) during this period when Tom Bergeron hosted the show include:
- "Vs." (featuring compilations of two sets of related videos, in which the "winner" of the two is revealed at the end, followed by a fictional "preview" of the videos in which the winner is claimed to face in the next segment)
- "A Moment of EWWWWW!" (featuring a video that focuses on something gross such as mucus hanging from a person's nose after sneezing)
- "The Dog/Cat Park" (a compilation of animal videos featuring dogs or cats that is named accordingly to the animals featured)
- "AFV Family of the Week" (featuring funny videos of adults and children, the "family" featured are actually people of no familial relation)
- "Nincompoop Corner" (a compilation of videos of people getting into situations that humorously showcase a lack of good judgement)
- "AFV Dictionary" (featuring a humorous dictionary definition made to apply to the video being shown)
- "Name that Sound" (which features audio of an unusual sound, followed by a clip of the video which the sound came from that usually reveals a person or animal making the noise)
- "Pick the Real Video" (a multiple-choice game in which audience members are asked to choose which video is the one that will be shown)
- "What's Behind the Blue Blob", "Kid, Cat, or Canine" (both it and "What's Behind the Blue Blob" are games which audience members are asked to guess the person, animal or object featured in the video that is then revealed)
- "The Naughty File" (featuring a video incorporating inappropriate behavior such as a child urinating at a family gathering)
- "A Moment With..." (An out of the ordinary video is shown for a few seconds)
- "What's with the French?"
- "AFV Pop Quiz" (a multiple-choice game leading into and out of a commercial break in which viewers are asked to guess what occurs next in the video)
- "The AFV $10,000 Club" (an early segment in which a home video that already won $10,000 in a previous show was showcased)
- Mysterious Mysteries of Mystery (an early segment in which Tom narrates a video with mysterious things happening like balloons replacing faces, in news headline form)
- On This Day in AFV History (an early segment in which Tom narrates a very old video, with a date, which Tom says that date, for example, a video from October 10, 1987, features a kid petting a pig, which bites him in the crotch)
- "A Salute To... " (a segment that salutes specifically themed clips)
Starting with the 2007–08 season, the series began allowing viewers to upload their funny home videos online at ABC.com, but has since the 2012–13 season; launched their own website that same year in 2013 and has viewers upload their videos instead to AFV.com, in addition to sending their videos via standard mail. Except for reruns of episodes from seasons 21 and 22 that referenced uploading to ABC.com, the re-edited season 11–20 episodes that used to originally reference ABC.com on the unaltered versions of the episodes reference uploading to AFV.com. "Name That Sound" and "A Salute To..." were discontinued after season 29; the completion of Alfonso Ribiero's first four years as AFV host. During the 2011–12 season, the AFV iOS app was released on the App Store, allowing users of Apple mobile devices to record and upload videos for submission to the show; a version of the app was released for Android devices the following season.
In the final six seasons of Tom Bergeron's run as host, the show started its "Funny Since 1989" campaign in 2009 and had two anniversary seasons. Season 20, in 2009, had a special 20th anniversary episode that aired on November 29, 2009. The special brought back Bob Saget to AFV for the first time in 12 years as a guest. Both Saget and Bergeron ended that episode with a pinata party skit and a nod to the Star Wars lightsaber fight scenes when the credits started rolling. The pinatas resembled the looks of the two hosts. This was five years later, on March 7, 2014, Bergeron announced on his Twitter account that his tenure as host of AFV would end after season 25. AFV aired a 25th Anniversary Celebrity Celebration special in February 2015. Bergeron's final new episode from his in-studio stage home of 15 years (which was really his second to final episode) aired on May 10, 2015 (and for the final time in rerun form on ABC on September 13, 2015), and was the final (and season 25's second) $100,000 show of his tenure and featured at different times of the episode a look back at classic and modern funny home videos that defined the show's then-25-year run. Bergeron's "real" final new episode aired on May 17, 2015, the season finale, ending his run as host after fifteen seasons (the longest hosting tenure for the series to date). The episode – taped on-location at Disneyland for that season's edition of the annual "Grand Prize Spectacular", AFV's 25th anniversary, and the Disneyland Resort's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration that began on May 22, 2015 (which has appeared in various formats since 2005, in which one of the two (formerly three) $100,000 winners from the current season wins a Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, or in earlier seasons, an Adventures by Disney vacation package) – featured an auto-tuned montage of clips and outtakes from Bergeron's run as host and closed with him being escorted after walking off the outdoor stage near Sleeping Beauty Castle following the grand prize presentation on a golf cart driven by original host Bob Saget in a special cameo appearance. ABC aired encores of this episode on two different occasions. First, on July 19, 2015, to coincide with Disneyland's official 60th birthday on the weekend of July 17, 2015 (the actual 60th anniversary of Disneyland's grand-opening on July 17, 1955) and again on September 20, 2015, as the network's final episode airing, new or rerun, of AFV with Tom Bergeron and him as host signing off for the final time. Tom Bergeron made his first guest appearance in the studio on the season 26 "Grand Prize Spectacular" finale of Alfonso Ribiero's AFV on May 22, 2016, and played the show's final on-air audience participation game "Who Breaks It?" and won an Alfonso Ribiero AFV pillow and socks. Tom Bergeron made another AFV guest appearance alongside Alfonso Ribiero again with Bob Saget and (from the John and Daisy-era) Daisy Fuentes present with the both of them, as well, for an AFV 30th anniversary special called "AFV: America...This Is You" on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
2015–present: Alfonso Ribeiro
On May 19, 2015, two days after Bergeron's final episode aired, ABC announced that Alfonso Ribeiro (known for playing Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) would take over as host of AFV beginning with the season 26 premiere on October 11, 2015. Bergeron formally introduced Ribeiro's new role as host during the latter's guest performance on the season 20 finale of Dancing with the Stars (Ribeiro appeared as a DWTS competitor and won the prior season). Before becoming the current host of the show, Alfonso Ribeiro made his first and only guest appearance in the studio on a season 25 episode of AFV playing one of the show's audience participation games with then-host Tom Bergeron called "Who's Makin' That Racket?". While some of the Tom Bergeron-era clip segments, the in-studio audience, and background parts of the Tom Bergeron-era set props remained intact and/or continued to air for all five years of Alfonso Ribiero's tenure as AFV host, the stage featured a metal floor layout and stairway connected to a cube screen put together like a puzzle using smaller sized flat-panel TV screens and new segments (especially for Alfonso Ribiero's run) continued to be added and aired on the show. The show also introduced the Squares-era (probably in reference to the cube screen) with Alfonso Ribiero's entrance as host in 2015. Additional set props like the arrow screens with flat-panel monitors on them and light-up color-changing versions of the tables where some of the studio audience sit when not in the bleacher areas made their debut to the AFV set starting in 2019. Starting in March 2018 when American Idol returned to television as an ABC show after one year off the air since being cancelled by FOX, the credits started sometimes being shown on some episodes at the bottom of the screen entirely at the beginning and ending (during Alfonso's signoffs) of the show with the spinning Vin Di Bona Productions signature logo and ABC copyright notice being shown in the image shots of the studio without the background bumpers and jingles at show's actual end. Also, starting in 2019, the main logo (not the letter initials) with Jess Harnell using the full name of show as he's welcoming the studio audience and viewers to "America's Funniest Home Videos" (and introducing Alfonso Ribiero to the set) at the beginning of the program was moved to the lower right corner of TV screens after many years and decades seen right at the center of the screen. Ribeiro also humorously narrates the clip, much like his predecessor.
The segments introduced (and still yet to be seen in reruns whenever and wherever available for airtime) during this period when Alfonso Ribiero hosted the show include:
- "#TBT: But On A..." (a "Throwback Thursday" segment that started in the Alfonso Ribiero-era of AFV that reunites viewers, including longtime viewers and fans of AFV on any day of the week, including Thursdays, Sundays, and Mondays, with theirs and the show's nostalgic, classic, and some new modern classic clips submitted over the decades past and present - provided all episodes of AFV with or without this segment and regardless of host - as shows and clips become reruns and classics in their own right when they reach syndication - are aired on any local station, cable, and broadcast network again and again on any day of the week and at present with new episodes of AFV and this segment airing on Sundays on ABC. In season 30, a temporary "Throwback 30" version of this segment debuted in AFV's 30th anniversary season that takes you to clips from specific years - all clips from, let's say 1989 - similar to the "On This Day In AFV History" segment from Tom Bergeron's AFV run, but with more clips and not just one)
- "Hey Alfonso!" (segment not "officially" named until season 30 that since season 26 features kids and adults in videos asking Alfonso to show them and the viewers specifically themed clips - Dogs, slow-mo, the like)
- "This One Time On AFV" (clips shown with a Mother Goose or fairy tale storytelling skit)
- "Alfonso's Flubs" (blooper clips of Alfonso Ribeiro in the studio trying to get his monologue lines right)
- "Alfonso's Rhyme Time" (Ribiero comes up with rhyming words in his clip narration that relate to the funny subject matter of the clip)
- "I Think I See The Problem" (a segment featuring clips of people looking for one way to solve a problem, but unintentionally discover another way household problems can be solved through funny fails)
- "#NotTrending" (clips of attempted trends and fads by ordinary people never thought of that could catch on later, but haven't or don't look like they could trend or catch on soon on social media - AFV is a start for them)
- "Maybe It's Not Your Thing" (clips of people trying to do things and finally fail at doing that not not be their thing)
- "Alfonso's Advice" (Alfonso giving advice to the viewer on how to avoid a fail as clips show people failing to follow the advice)
- "Video Symphony" (Clips featuring sound effects in AFV's version of a musical symphony)
- "What The Fluff" (Clips featuring people disappearing or sometimes attempting and failing to disappear "magically" behind towels by running; to the amazement and/or despair of kids and/or animals)
- "Bad Places To Sit" (Clips featuring people sitting in bad chairs and calling down or animals sitting in strange, bad locations)
- "Something To Brighten Your Day" (Clips to make you laugh and brighten your day after a bad day)
- "The Problem Then/Now" (featuring clips from - let's say 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2004 - likely representing the "Then" and clips from 2017, 2019, and 2020 representing the "Now" while the "Now's" will eventually become "Then's" as the clips and episode become classics and reruns in their own right in the upcoming decades)
- "Horrible Headlines" (AFV's funny version of "Fake News" featuring horribly non-newsworthy funny - or scary - clips)
- "Catastrophe Countdown" (Featuring clips of people who hopefully will avert catastrophe in 3, 2, 1 and catastrophe happens)
Beginning with the 2018-19 season, Ribiero nearly ended each week's episode with the phrase "Good night everybody, and remember, send your video to us (or 'me' referring to Ribeiro), get yourself on TV" after 3 (and including the final 7 years of the Tom Bergeron-era, 10) years of saying "Upload to us. Get rich, get famous". The Assignment America and musical montage segments that started in the Bob Saget-era and the honorable mentions segments and Disney Grand Prize Vacation Sweepstakes Contests that started in the Tom Bergeron-era also continued.
In May 2017, ABC renewed AFV for a 28th season and in June 2017 (and continuing that summer scheduling format even in 2018) started airing summer reruns of current season episodes of AFV on Saturday nights at 8/7 central (until college football starts up in the fall) and Sunday nights at 7/6 central. For the start of the season on October 8, 2017, instead of leading off Sunday nights, it aired Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and was led into at the start of the season by The Toy Box. During some parts of the holiday season starting on November 26, 2017, and remaining that way for almost the first two months of 2018 through January 21, 2018 (and final 'repeat/repeat' on February 4, 2018), AFV aired in a 'repeat/new episode' scheduling format. AFV returned with new episodes in the 7/6 central time slot (still an hour-long on Sunday nights) due to holiday movie presentations and specials airing on ABC on Sunday nights at 8/7 central during the holiday season on December 10, 2017, and then permanently starting on February 11, 2018. ABC repeated the 'repeat/new episode' scheduling format for AFV on January 6, 2019, with new episodes returning to the 7/6 central time slot on March 3, 2019, when American Idol premieres with AFV likely to be pre-empted in some timezones when American Idol airs the live (in all time-zones) finale episodes in May 2019. ABC renewed AFV for a 29th season on March 13, 2018, which premiered at its regular 7/6 central Sunday night time slot (and was the lead-off starting on October 7, 2018, to Dancing With The Stars Juniors) on September 30, 2018.
After every half of the season, the $10,000 winners from the preceding episodes are brought back to participate in a contest to win an additional $100,000. (Previously, there would be three $100,000 shows per season, after runs of shows consisting of either 5, 6, or 7 episodes. Beginning with the 24th season, the format changed to two $100,000 shows, each one after a 9-or-10-episode run. This format was also used in season 9, as well as seasons 12-14.) Two $100,000 contests air each season (the final $100,000 episode originally aired as the season finale until the 15th season, at which point it begin airing as the episode before each season's final episode), though only one aired in the first season.
- 1990–97 (Saget era): ABC stations (5 in season one, 3 from 1990 to 1993, and 2 from 1993 onward) around the country are joined via satellite to cast their votes along with the Los Angeles studio audience (the final $100,000 show of season two was decided by a telephone vote).
- 1998–present (post-Saget era): Three formats have been used at various times:
- The Los Angeles studio audience votes to determine the winner.
- Viewers log onto the show's website to cast their votes.
- The show declares the winner by going to the Disney Parks and asking park-goers, as well inviting characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, to determine the $100,000 winning clip.
- 2002: "Battle of the Best": The Quad Squad ($25,000 and trip to Maui)
- 2005: Disney Dream Vacation ($100,000 and free vacations to all 11 Disney theme parks around the world)
- 2006: Dancing Machine ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 48 years)
- 2006: The Quad Squad ($250,000) (The Funniest Video of All Time)
- 2009: Birthday Blowout ($100,000 and free vacations to 500+ places for 50 years)
- 2015: H20 NO-NO: Trip To Disneyland for 60 People (to celebrate the Disneyland Resort 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration)
- 2016: Donkey Delights: Trip to Disney World Florida and Shanghai Disneyland China
- 2018: Sedated Saber Skirmish: Trip to Walt Disney World to experience the new Toy Story Land
- 2019: Blast with the Laughing Gas: Trip to Aulani: A Disney Resort in Hawaii
America's Funniest Home Videos became an instant hit with audiences, with the original special in November 1989 averaging a 17.7 rating and 25 share, finishing at ninth place in the Nielsen ratings that week. When it debuted as a weekly Sunday night series in January 1990, the show averaged an 18.0 rating/27 share, finishing at 16th place. It placed within Nielsen's Top 5 highest-rated weekly series within weeks of its debut; by March 1990, AFHV became the #1 primetime series for a short time, causing CBS' 60 Minutes to be unseated for the top spot in the Nielsen ratings for the first time in 12 years. Indeed, there was at least one week in 1990 when America's Funniest Home Videos, when put in the same time slot as 60 Minutes, actually beat 60 Minutes for a win in the time slot. AFHV finished the 1989–90 season in the Top 10 most watched shows, with an approximate average of 38 million viewers for each episode.
AFHV finished the 2009–10 season in 55th place, with an approximate average of 7.52 million viewers, and finished in 69th in viewers 18–49, with 2.0/6. In 2016, a study by The New York Times of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that "if you could pick a safe show that appeals to almost everyone, this might be it".
AFV's original theme song was "The Funny Things You Do", composed by Dan Slider and performed by Jill Colucci, who also wrote the lyrics with Stewart Harris. This version of the song accompanied the opening and closing credits for the first seven-and-a-half seasons. This theme was reused once again for when Tom Bergeron introduced Bob Saget as well as a montage of classic videos and Saget's first, original intro moment to the stage from the pilot episode and a latter segment (using the theme's original lyrics) showcasing Saget's run (during AFV's first eight seasons) on the show in the AFV 20th anniversary special, which aired in 2009. The show's online series of videos entitled AFV XD is noted for its use of this version of the theme song, as well as portions of the original graphics from the 1989–97 seasons. During the final part of the $100,000 shows, bands as well as other artists would play the theme. Midway through Saget's final season in 1997, the theme was revamped (as well as the graphics and animation of the show's intro) featuring a duet of new vocals, Peter Hix (who had previously performed the theme song for America's Funniest People) and Terry Wood. The new version was also set in a different key than the original.
When AFHV returned for its ninth season with new hosts Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang in 1998, a completely new arrangement of "The Funny Things You Do" made its debut. Since that time, the theme has been an instrumental (also composed by Slider) with a faster, ska/reggae beat, with the original key restored, making it sound similar to "The Impression That I Get" by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The 13th season uses the trimmed version of 1998 AFV theme song, in which was heard as a guitar chorus which was heard in theme song during seasons 14-22, as well as an alternate version of this theme exists that is stripped of the trumpets (this version is only heard as the closing theme during the 2002–03 season in ABC and broadcast syndication runs, as well as in re-edited bumpers with added video clips from that particular episode in some 2002–03 season episodes in broadcast syndication). In reruns of the Fugelsang-Fuentes episodes on WGN America and later the Bergeron episodes on WGN America and ABC Family, the theme is noticeably slowed down during the show's opening titles and commercial bumpers.
For season 26, with new host Alfonso Ribeiro, a new arrangement of "The Funny Things You Do" was introduced with that season's premiere episode in 2015, replacing the 1998 theme after seventeen seasons. The current theme, which Slider also composed, is stylized more alike the original version with its key of that theme, as well as the additional hook of the 1998 version retained.
The 1990, 1998 and 2015 themes can be heard in their entirety at the Television Production Music Museum. The 1997 theme used during Saget's last season has not been released to this day, as it is reportedly being held by Vin Di Bona.
"The Funny Things You Do" was the theme song to the Australian version between 1991 and 2004. It was replaced by an instrumental version as part of a major revamp in 2005.
Virtually all episodes of AFHV are, or have been, in syndication, with each host period packaged separately from each other. Until 2001, the Saget version was syndicated by 20th Television, which assumed syndication rights through its purchase of MTM Enterprises, which had syndicated the show from 1995 to 1998. Disney-ABC Domestic Television (formerly Buena Vista Television), the sister company of one of the show's production companies ABC Productions, distributes all versions of the series. Ironically, Disney/ABC would acquire 20th Television's parent (21st Century Fox) in 2019, thus effectively giving Disney ownership of the series' original syndicator (along with the remains of MTM).
Bob Saget episodes
The Bob Saget episodes were split into two separate packages: Seasons 1-5 (1989–94) and Seasons 6-8 (1994-97). All episodes from all the Bob Saget seasons aired in off-network syndication. The episodes from Seasons 1-5 aired on TBS from 2004 to 2007, Nick at Nite from April 2007 to October 2012 and Hallmark Channel from January 2010 to April 2013.
When the Saget episodes aired in syndication thru MTM/20th Television, the contest plugs were replaced by a generic version announced by Gary Owens. In addition, the closing credits were slightly edited to include a telephone number to visit the show online.
In the TBS airings of the Bob Saget run, when back-to-back episodes aired, the end credits from the first episode (outside Vin Di Bona's executive producer credit on some episodes and $100,000 shows where marching bands performed the show's theme in celebration) and the opening titles of the second episode were cut and replaced with an announcer saying "Now don't go away, here's more of America's Funniest Home Videos!" before cutting to Ernie Anderson introducing Saget. These episode also removed some videos, along with winner's interviews in order to fit more network advertising within a 30-minute time slot. A practice also used by Nick at Nite and Hallmark. Some contest plugs were also removed, except for TBS airings. Nick at Nite and Hallmark sometimes uses a modern generic contest plug announced by Jess Harnell. Modern scrolling network-projected closing credits also scrolled by at the end of episodes, rather than the original credits.
The episodes from Seasons 6-8 aired on ABC Family from September 2006 to October 2010 with outdated information and contest plugs removed.
Tom Bergeron episodes
The Tom Bergeron episodes began airing in off-network syndication on September 14, 2009; WGN America also aired the off-network syndicated episodes in late night until September 2011. UPtv has aired reruns of the Tom Bergeron-era episodes of AFV since 2016. Since 2014, re-edits of this episode run before the show's HD conversion premiered to fill a 16:9 frame and to remove outdated content and contest plugs. The 2009–2015 Tom Bergeron episodes began airing on TBS on September 15, 2014, with earlier episodes eventually becoming a part of the package until TBS stopped carrying the show in 2017.
Alfonso Ribeiro episodes
Ribeiro's run has yet to enter syndication, though he does regular promotional advertising on the 2015–present AFV set for UPtv's syndication package of Bergeron-era episodes.
ABC of course sometimes airs repeats of the current or previous season on Sunday evenings on weeks without a new episode, and sometimes in other time slots, mainly Saturday evenings when no sports coverage is offered.
In Canada, Corus Entertainment currently holds repeat rights to the Saget (seasons 6-8) & Bergeron era of the series, and it airs on ABC Spark (94-97 episodes) and CMT (Bergeron era) . Currently no network broadcasts new episodes in Canada as of the fall of 2018, leaving viewers to watch the original ABC airing; in the past, Citytv and its sister network Omni Television, along with CTV carried the series, though those networks have since let the rights lapse due to NFL commitments which block any simsub opportunities for advertising if AFV aired later. Australia's Fox8 also carries the series, both in new and rerun form. The 2003-2015 Tom Bergeron episodes began airing on Bite on August 28, 2014, until it stopped airing on June 5, 2015.
|Seasons In The Series:||Episodes In The Series:||Episodes In The Season:||Host(s) & The Number of Seasons & Episodes Hosted:||Premiere:||Finale:|
|Special/1||1-16||16||Bob Saget (8 seasons, 185 episodes)||November 26, 1989/January 14, 1990||May 20, 1990|
|2||17-41||25||September 16, 1990||May 12, 1991|
|3||42-66||25||September 22, 1991||May 17, 1992|
|4||67-91||25||September 20, 1992||May 16, 1993|
|5||92-113||22||September 19, 1993||May 22, 1994|
|6||114-136||23||September 18, 1994||May 21, 1995|
|7||137-158||22||September 17, 1995||May 19, 1996|
|8||159-188||30||September 22, 1996||May 18, 1997|
|9||189-208||23||John Fugelsang and Daisy Fuentes (2 seasons, 45 episodes)||January 4, 1998||May 20, 1998|
|10||209-231||23||September 20, 1998||May 20, 1999|
|11||236-252||17||Tom Bergeron (15 seasons, 340 episodes)||July 3, 2001||January 2002|
|12||253-267||15||January 4, 2002||May 17, 2002|
|13||268-292||25||September 27, 2002||May 9, 2003|
|14||293-314||22||September 28, 2003||May 23, 2004|
|15||315-338||24||September 26, 2004||May 13, 2005|
|16||339-364||26||October 2, 2005||May 19, 2006|
|17||365-389||25||October 1, 2006||May 18, 2007|
|18||390-412||23||October 7, 2007||May 16, 2008|
|19||413-437||25||October 5, 2008||May 15, 2009|
|20||438-461||24||October 4, 2009||May 16, 2010|
|21||462-485||24||October 3, 2010||May 22, 2011|
|22||486-508||22||October 2, 2011||May 20, 2012|
|23||509-530||22||October 7, 2012||May 19, 2013|
|24||531-552||22||October 13, 2013||May 18, 2014|
|25||553-575||23||October 12, 2014||May 17, 2015|
|26||576-597||22||Alfonso Ribeiro (5 seasons, 110 episodes)||October 11, 2015||May 22, 2016|
|27||598-619||22||October 2, 2016||May 21, 2017|
|28||620-641||22||October 8, 2017||May 20, 2018|
|29||642-663||22||September 30, 2018||May 19, 2019|
|30||664-685||22||September 29, 2019||May 17, 2020|
|Series||Episode Total:||685||With All Host(s)||November 26, 1989||Present|
ABC, Shout! Factory, and Slingshot Entertainment have released numerous compilation releases of America's Funniest Home Videos on VHS and DVD in Region 1 (North America).
Parker Brothers released a board game in 1990. Graphix Zone released a hybrid CD-ROM titled America's Funniest Home Videos: Lights! Camera! InterAction! in 1995. Imagination Games released a DVD game in 2007.
- America's Funniest People, people intentionally being humorous, also produced by Vin Di Bona
- Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, 1990–2004 show created by Di Bona
- Australia's Funniest Home Videos, post-2005 show created by Di Bona
- Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos, a similar show created by Di Bona
- It Only Hurts When I Laugh, a truTV series
- New Zealand's Funniest Home Videos (later The Kiwi Video Show)
- Ridiculousness, an MTV series using internet videos
- The Planet's Funniest Animals, an Animal Planet series
- The World's Funniest Moments, a syndicated series
- The World's Funniest!, a 1997–2000 series on FOX
- Video Gag, the French equivalent of AFHV
- You've Been Framed, the British equivalent of the show
- Śmiechu warte, in Polish programs in TVP1 production TVP3 Szczecin in Szczecin (Polish equivalent of the show)
- Juoko įvykiai in Lithuania equivalent of the show
- Video Loco, Chilean equivalent of the show
- Fórky a Vtipky programs in Slovakia on Plus
- Upps! – Die Pannenshow, in German programs in Super RTL
- Nejzábavnější domácí videa Ameriky In Czech Republic programs
- Låt Kameran Gå, Swedish equivalent of the show
- De Leukste Thuis, Dutch equivalent of the show
- Videos de primera, Spanish equivalent of the show
- Paperissima, Italian equivalent of the show
- Drôle de vidéo, French-Canadian equivalent of the show airing on Télétoon la Nuit
- Isto Só Video, Portugalian equivalent of the show
- Сам Себе Режиссёр, Russian equivalent of the show
- Det' Ren Kagemand, Danish equivalent of the show
- Ay, caramba!, Mexican equivalent of the show
- Csíííz!, Magyar equivalent of the show
- Süper Matrak, Turkish equivalent of the show aired on Disney Channel Turkey
- "About AFV". Retrieved March 9, 2014.
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In 1989 Di Bona created what would become a television institution, America’s Funniest Home Videos—a show with a simple concept presented in a format that went down very easy. John Ritter was Di Bona’s first idea for host. When Ritter proved unavailable, Di Bona decided upon a comedian whom he’d seen on The Tonight Show, Bob Saget. With all the elements in place, the show was a hit, and has continued for the better part of 25 years.
- ABC's 'Home Videos' Pays Off Big, The New York Times, February 19, 1990.
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- Darel Jevens. "Daisy Fuentes signs to host 'Home Videos'.", Chicago Sun-Times, August 1, 1997. Retrieved March 7, 2011, from HighBeam Research.
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