Jaleel White Says Steve Urkel’s Alter-Ego Stefan ‘Allowed Black Women To See Me And The Way I Actually Am’
Everyone will always remember Jaleel White for his iconic role as Steve Urkel in Family Matters. But midway through the series, his science-crazed character used his magic potions/machines to transition into Stefan Urquelle, the suave and charming dream man of his longtime crush, Laura Winslow. Stefan remained a prominent character on the show in later years. But White had conflicting views about Stefan.
He initially did not like the character
While appearing on The Talk, co-host Sheryl Underwood joked about how enamored she was with Stephan. Meanwhile, White says he was not on board with the character.
“You know what, I never even wanted to play Stefan. I thought Stefan was boring,” he explained. But he later learned that it was good for viewers to see the real him outside of the nerdy character of Urkel.
“I mean, thank God I played Stefan ‘cause it allowed Black women to see me and the way I actually am. I had no idea, and now that’s the standard,” he said.
Now, he says he’s recognized for both characters, and not just Urkel as he was in the beginning.
“I mean, I can be driving down Crenshaw and literally off a bus stop, ‘Hey that’s Stefan.’ You know Black people we got that special vision in the ‘hood. And so I’m very happy I played that character because it saved me with my own community,” he explained.