Jaleel White‘s role as Steve Urkel was an iconic part to the beloved sitcom Family Matters. It wasn’t always that way, though. Jaleel revealed during a sneak peek of an interview coming out this Sunday that he didn’t get the warmest of welcomes from his fellow co-stars. Jaleel quickly stole the show as everyone’s favorite nerd on Family Matters. Jaleel White and his character Steve Urkel had so much charm that they both stole the hearts of everyone who tuned into the famed family sitcom.
Jaleel will be on TV One’s new episode of Uncensored. In a new sneak peak about his appearance on the show, White says “he was not welcomed to the cast at all,” he adds, “I didn’t think anything of it being cast to be on Family Matters, because it was supposed to only be a guest spot, one and done.” Little did he or anyone at the time know that the quirky and nerdy Steve Urkel would turn into one of the most beloved and iconic characters of sitcom history.
Jaleel White joined the cast of Family Matters in 1989, for what was only meant to be a one-episode guest spot. It became very clear that that was not the case with Steve Urkel, as he returned as a recurring character with his iconic catchphrase, “did I do that?”
While the writing was meant to show that the on-screen characters were annoyed with quirky Steve Urkel and his antics, it seems there was some tension off screen, as well. What TV or movie star wouldn’t be annoyed when someone meant to be a one-time guest ended up stealing the spotlight? While the welcome may not have been warm, as time went on it was clear to see that there was chemistry between all of the actors. Especially between Jaleel White and Michelle Thomas.
Jaleel remembers his late co-star, Michelle Thomas, who died at the age of 30 in 1998. In the sneak peek clip, Jaleel, now 44, recalled her and their relationship together, “Michelle Thomas became a very special person. I literally cannot say her name or I’ll cry,” he says, holding back tears. Michelle Thomas played his on-screen girlfriend.
It may have been a bumpy start, but it’s no secret that the role launched Jaleel into stardom. Since Family Matters, Jaleel White has appeared in many other projects, shows and movies since. One of his most notable appearances was reprising the role of Steven Urkel on Schooby-Doo and Guess Who.
The show that airs on TV One takes a glimpse into the everyday lives of today’s celebrities. The show has included guests like Tiffany Haddish and Rick Ross. Now Jaleel will get the chance to talk about growing up on screen. Tune in at 10 p.m. EST this Sunday to watch the rest of Jaleel White’s interview on Uncensored.