This is Venom with another article for Saturday’s #OldSchoolSaturday specials. This time we look at the world of television. The 1970’s saw the first set of black families on television. We had Good Times that represented a struggling family unit doing their best to survive headed by James and Florida Evans. On the other side of the coin, we had the coming of age family that realize their “American Dream” and “moved on up” in “The Jeffersons”.
When it came to the mid and late 1980’s the middle class was more of a focus in tv shows such as “The Cosby Show” and “Family Matters”. Just as JJ became a huge hit for his comical phrase of “Dynooooomite”, so did Urkel become famous for his “Did I do that?” catch phrase.
The show had many episodes as it ran for 9 seasons and was a hit with viewers of all kinds. The only black family sitcom that had a longer run was “The Jeffersons”. It was apart of ABC’s popular “TGIF” (Thank God It’s Friday) line up and was a spinoff of “Perfect Strangers” as the matriarch of the Winslow family was on season 3 of their series. The premise of the original format of the show was the father, Carl Winslow, was the breadwinner for the family that consisted of a mother, two sons, and two daughters. Yes, the original scripts had two daughters in Laura Winslow(who Urkel was smitten of) and Judy Winslow. Whatever happened to the second daughter? Check out the video below.
Darius McCrary who portrayed the son Eddie, doesn’t seem fond about speaking about the removal his TV sister in the interview below.
In 2007, there was a reunion of “Family Matters” cast which expounded upon all the questions that fans were pondering over the years. What is an amazing reveal is that Urkel wasn’t suppose to be on the show. It goes without saying that “Family Matters” without Urkel would look drastically different. Steve Urkel was slated for only one episode.
The co-creator of the show, Michael Warren, has a friend named Steve Erkel, who was the inspiration for the iconic character. Luckily for ABC, Bill Cosby, chose Keisha Knight Pulliam for the role of Rudy as it opened up the opportunity for Jaleel White to be Steve Urkel. That’s right, Rudy Huxtable was originally cast as a boy, but was then switched for a little girl after Pulliam’s audition Check out the reunion below.