Jaleel White says not getting hired on ‘The Cosby Show’ was a ‘blessing’

Jaleel White is best known for his favorite US nerd job in the hit ’90s TV series Family matters. But years before he started wearing suspenders and big bifocal glasses as Steve Urkel, White decided to play a child Cosby. He didn’t have a role in the show but has no regrets about it.

Jaleel White | David Livingston / Getty Images

Jaleel White’s audition for ‘the Cosby Show’ went well

Five years ago Family matters debuts on ABC, Cosby lounge was already No. 1 on the airwaves. As Family matters, the concept of Cosby lounge focused on a middle class African American family, shattering the idea of ​​negative stereotypes associated with black family life in America.

White was auditioning at the time of The Cosby Show creation and was happy to land an audition to try and impress Bill Cosby.

Source: YouTube

Related: ‘Family matters’: Jaleel White was originally cast as Rudy instead of Steve Urkel

“In 1984, I auditioned”, he says Weekly entertainment in 2017. “They brought in everyone who did the show, all the kids – they probably had us audition for about five or six hours. We told my agent they pretty much agreed [me], so I went to the audition thinking I was just going for one last audition. And then all of a sudden this little girl comes in.

Of course, White was deported. “I went home and just cried,” he recalls. “But I’ve done things a kid does when he’s hurt, and he does it. My mother must have grabbed me and shaking me. She was like, ‘If you ever react like that to an audition again, you’re done [acting]. “

Why Jaleel White didn’t land a role on ‘the Cosby Show’ but sees it as a ‘blessing’

White revealed during his recent episode of TV One’s Uncensored that he did not have the concert Cosby because the gender of the character Rudy (Keshia Knight-Pulliam) was changed at the last minute.

“The network wanted Bill to have two sons, but Bill only had one son in real life,” White explains. “And Bill pushed back and he wanted the actors to reflect his real family. This is why Rudy’s character was named Rudy because he was always meant for a boy.

Source: YouTube

Related: ‘Family matters’: Jaleel ‘Urkel’ White net worth and what he’s been up to recently

After his disappointment wore off, White continued to audition and eventually landed a few guest spots. He was cast in another show that was called Charlie et Cie with Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight. The show was canceled midway through the first season.

White almost stopped acting for good before being dumped Family matters like Steve Urkel. He became the star of the escape. The show lasted for nine seasons, surviving Cosby lounge.

Looking back, White says being rejected by Cosby had its perks due to his eventual work on Family matters. “Not having obtained The Cosby Show has been a huge blessing in my life but I never like to say it wasn’t a blessing for Malcolm [Jamal Warner] or the other actors who made this trip. It just wasn’t for me.


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