Jaleel White Tried to Maintain Urkel’s ‘Authenticity’

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HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 04: Actor Jaleel White arrives at the premiere of Relativity Media's "Judy Moody And The NOT Bummer Summer" held at ArcLight Hollywood on June 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Relativity) Photo: Frazer Harrison/2011 Getty Images

Family Matters featured stories in which Urkel went to space, Urkel traveled through time, and Urkel's ventriloquism dummy came to life. But network notes had a more important focus: Urkel's junk was showing. Yes, Jaleel White, now 34, says that a waistline at one's nipples is no one's friend. "I was getting network notes on the bulge of my sack!" he tells Vanity Fair. "I wore my pants so freaking tight and it was like, after awhile, we got a problem there." That problem was solved with looser pants, but other issues couldn't be addressed quite so easily. "[T]he fact is that I was maturing," White says. "I knew physically I had made certain sacrifices to keep that property alive that just couldn't be made anymore. I wasn't changing my hair; I was staying out of the gym. To be honest, I was retarding my own growth as a man in order to maintain the authenticity to what I thought that character should be." [VF]