When you interview Jaleel White about his 36-year career in show business, there’s inevitably an elephant in the room — and it’s wearing suspenders.
For nine seasons, White played catchphrase-spouting supernerd Steve Urkel on ABC’s Family Matters, a character so beloved by audiences that it saved the then-struggling sitcom from an untimely cancelation. But since the show signed off after its nine-season run on ABC (and then CBS) in 1997, it has been a difficult legacy for White to shake. While this is in many ways a testament to how good he was in the role, it’s an association not every former child star would embrace.
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