I have a pointed, embarrassing fixation with Jaleel White. A lot of gals-of-a-certain-age might, I think, if only because Family Matters was the first time many-a-preteen tingled at the sight of a guy in too-tight highwater pants. Wait, what? OK, maybe that’s just me. (We’ll call it a neurological misfire.)
Jaleel White is 34 years old now. He’s never had the comeback Doogie had (although maybe Jaleel’s low profile is for the best). Still, he’s spoken before about the challenge of continuing to embody Steve Urkel — a sexually arrested, rodent-voiced geek — even as he entered his teens and his voice deepened.
Um, about that. Jaleel White recently spoke to Vanity Fair, and specifically about Steve Urkel’s crotch:
The fact is that I was maturing. I knew physically I had made certain sacrifices to keep that property alive that just couldn’t be made anymore. I wasn’t changing my hair; I was staying out of the gym. To be honest, I was retarding my own growth as a man in order to maintain the authenticity to what I thought that character should be.
…I was getting network notes on the bulge of my sack! I wore my pants so freaking tight and it was like, after awhile, we got a problem there. So, literally, the last season we loosened up his pants.
I… I’m actually really frustrated right now. I don’t even know what dick joke to make. I didn’t think I could even be this uncomfortable.
It’s like, now I understand why Jaleel White has never successfully staged that career comeback: he’s so synonymous with Urkel, I cannot emotionally distinguish his “sack bulge” from Steve Urkel’s sack bulge. Excuse me while I go die.
But wait! The interview isn’t over yet!