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Jaleel ‘Steve Urkel’ White is now a Syfy game show host

The Juice
January 9, 2012
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With his suspenders, nasally voice, and glasses, Steve Urkel is one of the most recognizable characters from '90s television. But what ever happened to Jaleel White, the teenager who played Urkel on "Family Matters"?

It's hard to believe, but Urkel now has muscles, a smooth voice, and facial hair. (He'll have no problem wooing Laura now!) He also has a new gig hosting "Total Blackout" on Syfy, a game show in which contestants complete tasks in the dark.

But despite his new look and new job, it seems White, who is now 35 years old, can't escape Urkel. (Now he understands how the Winslows felt!)

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"I get recognized everywhere I go. I take plenty of pictures with flight attendants," White told TheWrap.com while promoting "Total Blackout" at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

"I made a lot of people laugh," said White. "I was on one of the longest-running African American shows that has been viewed across the globe. I step off a plane in Sweden, I step off a plane in Brazil, I step off a plane in London, Paris, wherever, and people know me. That's a pretty cool thing when I'm trying to get a reservation at a restaurant."

While the iconic role may help White get a reservation at a restaurant, it seems his part on "Family Matters" hasn't helped White get acting jobs. Despite recent appearances on "NCIS" and "House," he hasn't scored any big parts. It seems White is enduring the curse of typecasting.

However, the actor holds out hope thanks to his acting idol, "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, who once was better known for his role as Hal on "Malcolm in the Middle."

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"For a generation, he is Malcolm's dad. So when people want to talk to me about typecasting, I'm like, don't talk to me about typecasting before you give me the opportunity to work with some of the finest writing there is out there," said White. "He's a terrific actor. Gosh, he's a terrific actor.  But before the show aired, let's just be honest, not too many movie studios would have considered putting him opposite George Clooney -- because he was Malcolm's dad."

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