How Family Matters’ Jaleel White Became A Television Superstar Overnight

Family Matters was a huge hit during the 80s and 90s. The show revolved around an overly friendly next-door neighbor and a family who couldn’t stand his crazy antics. Jaleel White, who played the beloved character, had no formal acting training but became one of the most iconic TV actors in history. Let’s take a look at the reasons why fans everywhere were obsessed with Steve Urkel.

Steve Urkel Is Based On A Real Person

There’s an Urkel after all. He’s a friend of series co-creator Michael Warren. When Warren needed an appropriately goofy name for a nerdy character, he was inspired by his friend Steve Erkel, who was a writer and director.


However, due to the show and the character’s increasing popularity, problems arose. It wasn’t anything terrible, but the real Erkel encountered difficulties using his name. He even received many prank phone calls from “Laura” asking for “Steve.”