Did Theyyyy Do Thaaaat? Jaleel White Says He Didn't Initially Feel Welcomed on Family Matters Set

Uncensored: Jaleel White (2021)
Uncensored: Jaleel White (2021)
Photo: Courtesy of TV One

As days go by,” an opportunity arises to reflect on your past career on a show such as Uncensored or Unsung. In the case of Jaleel White, who famously starred as Steve Urkel in the ‘90s sitcom Family Matters, he certainly has a lot to reflect on. With growth and perspective, there’s ample time to tell your story with no holds barred.


Here’s the synopsis of the upcoming episode via the official press release sent to The Root:

Acting since the age of three, Jaleel quickly stole the show as everyone’s favorite nerd on the classic sitcom Family Matters. He turned what was meant to be a one guest appearance into an iconic starring role.

According to Deadline, White recalled that his character of Steve Urkel wasn’t initially welcomed to the cast as he was initially supposed to be a one-off guest character.

“I was not welcomed to the cast at all,” White said. “They know what it was…I didn’t think anything of it being cast to be on Family Matters, because it was supposed to be a guest spot, one and done.”

As we now know, White’s Steve Urkel character ended up upstaging them all, becoming the main starpower of the series...of course, this was much to the show’s detriment in the latter seasons as it simply became a platform to cheaply exploit the character.

TV One also shared some sneak peek clips in a press release sent to The Root where White talked about how the show evolved from being written by “all Jewish men” to the show we’ve grown to know since.

How the Family Matters’ Cast Came Together / TV One (YouTube)

White also recalled the first time he portrayed Myrtle Urkel, the complications and controversy behind a Black comedian donning a dress and how his father stepped in to console him after feeling bad about the taping.

Why Jaleel White’s Father Had to Intervene With The Family Matters Cast / TV One (YouTube)

Recently, to celebrate 4/20, White launched his own cannabis line ItsPurpl, he brilliantly debuted the strain “Purple Urkle” (probably intentionally spelled that way for legal reasons!). I wonder if the Family Matters cast eventually engaged in some “puff puff; pass” team building exercises to bond?


Uncensored: Jaleel White airs Sunday, May 16 at 10 p.m. ET on TV One.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



I wonder if the Family Matters cast eventually engaged in some “puff puff; pass” team building exercises to bond?

I think Reg would’ve been down...