Most people remember him as the loveable geek next door, but Jaleel White been in many other shows since “Family Matters” went off the air. We spoke with White, who currently stars in the CBS series “Me, Myself, and I,” about what it was like playing Steve Urkel and what he’s been up to since the days of TGIF. If you’re feeling nostalgic, “Family Matters” will be available to binge on Hulu start September 29, 2017. Following is a transcript of the video.
“Did I do that?”
Hi, I’m Jaleel White. People know how I ended up on that show. It was a guest spot that turned into a 215 episode journey.
“Family Matters” was a show that we shot in front of a live audience. It gave you a very theatre feel. You got pumped and jacked like an athlete taking the field.
“Hi Laura, my little sweet potato.”
I’ve lived all of these episodes, so people literally sometimes will quote episodes to me in the streets, and I’m like I can thumb in my head pretty quickly and be like, “OK, season 4.” “No, that’s season 3. That’s season 5.”
“As my grandma once said when she overcooked our noogies, tough noogies!”
What’s cool and relevant, though, about “Family Matters” is that I guess we’re dropping on Hulu. People still appreciate the work and somehow, in a really weird way, it’s being appreciated even more with time. So it seems to be ageing like wine right now. Whereas it wasn’t ageing like wine for a while. It was just there.
“There is no Steve here. I’m Stefan sweet thing.”
You’re always going to have some similarities with your characters. I mean that’s just bound to happen. Steve Urkel was unusually athletic. You know, I was athletic. So that was something that we added to the character that was intrinsically Jaleel.
I would have tried to be an athlete, but I don’t have an athlete’s body. I’m not 6’8″ with a wingspan that, you know, reaches all walls of the room. I would have definitely hovered around the sports community. Maybe even ended up in marketing, or as an agent, or something like that.
I think everybody goes through ups and downs in their life. But the most profound impact on my life was the birth of my daughter. I think I was born to be a father. It helped recalibrate a lot of my life priorities.
My daughter is a YouTube kid. So my parents have tried to foist “Family Matters” on her. And she’ll watch it, and she thinks it’s funny because I’m talking in a high-pitched voice. But she goes right back to her YouTube.
Being a dad, I barely have time to watch the shows I want to watch. I enjoy more of eclectic stuff. Like the food shows you’ll find on Netflix and stuff like that. I’m not so much of a “Bachelor” guy.
I just became a working actor really after “Family Matters.” Everything from “Dreamgirls” to “Boston Legal” to NCIS” to “CSI.” You name it, I did it all.
My favourite probably out of all of the jobs though that I’ve worked were “Total Blackout,” which is a show that I hosted for SYFY, and my guest appearances on “Psych.”
“Now we just have to find the perpetrators who did this evil deed …”
“And kill them.”
“And bring them to justice.”
“Man, what’s wrong with you?”
“Psych” fans are legit fans. They are not fake fans. They love you today. They love you forever. They just have a rabid cult following.
“With my looks and your brains, we’re unstoppable.”
Sonic was this job that I took when I was in high school that I didn’t even want really. I was leaving the set from shooting “Family Matters,” and instead of going to play basketball or what not, I was going to a recording studio and doing about 100 episodes of “Sonic.”
When I look back on it, I’m very happy. I had no idea it was another legit hit on my resume. So nothing but love for Sonic the Hedgehog from me.
You know, for us to be 20 years removed from what “Family Matters” was, and here I am with another family series on CBS, I just feel honored to be a part of the transition.
And I play Daryl on “Me, Myself, and I.”
“You’re living in my garage.”
“So I no longer have a man cave.”
“No, you do. There’s just another man living in it.”
It’s a really, really fun and unique half-hour premise. That’s why I was drawn to the role. It’s not something you would typically see on CBS.
With Darryl, he’s very focused, upbeat, positive, and about getting his money and keeping the train on the track. And so I’m looking to bring that to the screen.
And I know that’s a part of my personality as well.
It’s gonna be good nostalgia for other people. Just with the storytelling in itself. All this 1990s stuff that the show’s going to explore. But, for me, it’s a look back at a journey to say, “Wow, I’m still here.”
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