Look Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince's Carlton) is back on TV Dancing With The Stars and his running mate Will Smith lives in the movie star stratosphere. But what about that young black actor from the 1990s who was his own sort of fresh prince--the kid who stole Family Matters away from its cast and made it into the Urkel Show? Jaleel White is his name. And there was no more memorable character on television in the years just before the Internet emerged than his Steve Urkel. Even people who had never seen Family Matters, even people who didn't know which show he was on, knew Steve Urkel. The glasses, the nasal enunciation, the too-short pants, the suspenders and the unrequited love. Urkel was huge! He was the consummate nerd in a critical moment before nerds became our new national heroes as tech became the new entertainment industry.
Key & Peele can't resist exploring the Urkel legend this week in a new sketch. Peele plays an angry Reginald VelJohnson, the actor who was just as frustrated in real life--at least in the skit--as his middle class patriarch character was on screen with Urkel's presence. An informal poll shows that most people still believe the show was actually called Urkel. You'll see why when you tune in Wednesday to Key & Peele (10:30pm on Comedy Central). For the record, White was on Dancing With The Stars, too, in 2012. But Carlton has way better moves.
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