Jaleel White, the actor who played the nerdy Steve Urkel on the sitcom "Family Matters," said in an entertaining interview with Vanity Fair that the Urkel job was a good gig, but it did require some sacrifices.
One set of problems centered on trying to continue to look like a young nerd even as nature was causing him to grow up. The actor said he was “retarding my own growth as a man in order to maintain the authenticity to what I thought that character should be."
As White got older and the show stayed on the air, White said he tried to stay out of the gym and "physically I had made certain sacrifices" to keep the character going, the story says.
Among the issues was the appearance of his pants. Said White: "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."
White said he had good reason to make the sacrifices and put up with the notes, pointing out that he was “making a shitload of money.”
“It’s not overly sophisticated, man,” White added. “I’m the highest-paid black kid in the history of television, just so you understand that. I was trying to prolong the checks! For all of the people who want to scratch their heads about this … we’re probably the second-longest-running African American show in the history of television.”