Jaleel White Says He Was ‘Not Welcome’ by ‘Family Matters’ Cast

The 44-year-old actor, who played Steve Urkel on the long-running sitcom, dishes about his experience in the upcoming episode of TVOne's 'Uncensored

Jaleel White

Image via Getty/Tibrina Hobson

Jaleel White

Jaleel White’s Steve Urkel character has become one of the most iconic super-nerds of all-time, and is widely credited for helping Family Matterssecure a successful nine-season run. However, the now-44-year-old actor says his introduction to the show wasn’t exactly smooth, as the original main cast didn’t welcome him with open arms.

“I was not welcomed to the cast at all. They know what it was,” White said in an upcoming interview on TVOne’s Uncensored. “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.”

Although he is now known as the Family Matters main protagonist, White didn’t appear on the ABC sitcom until the 12th episode of season 1. It’s reported that White was originally tapped to make a one-time guest appearance, but ultimately landed the starring role after Urkel received an overwhelmingly positive response from viewers.

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In the trailer shared by TVOne, White also touches on the mania surrounding Urkel as well as his relationship with Michelle Thomas, the late actress who played Urkel’s girlfriend, Myra Monkhouse, over multiple seasons.

“Michelle Thomas became a very special person,” an emotional White says in the clip. “I literally can’t say her name without crying.”

White’s Uncensored interview will air this Sunday on TVOne.

The trailer comes just weeks after White and 710Labs announced the launch of their cannabis line, ItsPurpl. The company currently offers a wide range of merch apparel as well as variants of the popular strain Purple Urkle. You can learn more about the cannabis line here.

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