Eddie and Urkel become partners in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament ... that is, until Eddie dumps the nerd for a star player named "The Spider." Hell hath no fury like an Urkel spurned, as he turns to...
Laura is desperately looking to shed her "nice girl" image, so she and Maxine obtain fake IDs and go to a male strip club for a wild evening on the town. Problem is, Harriette, Rachel and Estelle are...
A street gang named the Dragons begin causing trouble at Rachel's Place, breaking things and sexually harassing employees; Carl arrives just in time to chase them out. That night, after closing time,...
Tony Micelli, a retired baseball player, becomes the housekeeper of Angela Bower, an advertising executive in New York. Together they raise their kids, Samantha Micelli and Jonathon Bower, with help from Mona Robinson, Angela's man-crazy mother.
Frank Lambert is a construction worker and a single father of 3 kids: J.T., Alicia "Al", and Brendan. Carol Foster, a beautician, also has 3 children: Dana, Karen, and Mark. After Frank and... See full summary »
The Winslow family is a pretty normal family except for one thing, their neighbor Stephen Urkel. A genius and klutz Steve makes some really weird inventions while driving the Winslow's insane. Written by
The show lasted one year longer than its parent series, Perfect Strangers (1986), where Harriette Winslow was an elevator operator. See more »
In the Winslows' home, guests would always walk out the front door and then to the left, but in the picture that is shown as the Winslows' home, there is no walkway to the left. There are a few stairs outside that lead up to the front door, but walking to the left after exiting through the front door would only lead into a wall. See more »
Like it or not, 'Family Matters' did produce a cultural icon. People everywhere knew who you were talking about when you mentioned the name 'Urkle,' the accident-prone next door neighbor who wore red framed glasses, suspenders, highwater pants, and had a passion for cheese and an admiration for Laura Winslow. Funny, too, that his becoming a regular on the show was by mere accident, since they only wrote Steve in for one episode. Like all cultural icons, it will be the one that actor Jaleel White will be forever associated.
'Family Matters' was a terrific comedy series, save the last one or two seasons where the situations became pretty desperate as an aging Jaleel White likely got tired (and too old) to play the hapless nerd character, and wanted to just be normal Steve (which he could because in the show he invented a machine where he often played a Dr. Steve and Mr. Urkle type towards the end of the series). It was also one of the few pleasant black comedies on television then and now, as few these days seem to offer anything more than insulting stereotypes and idiotic characters. The Winslows were a loving family (and one that didn't speak in ebonics just because they're black) who faced difficult problems in their lives and so forth. The show addressed issues of racial pride, of prejudice, of love, your typical family values.
The Winslow family consisted of the sometimes impulsive Carl (VelJohnson), the father; Harriet the intelligent mother (Judyann Elder); the oldest son, Eddie (McCrary); the oldest daughter, Laura (Kellie Shanygne Williams); the youngest sister Judy (Jaimee Foxworth), who appeared occasionally before disappearing altogether; and later, they added a little fellow named Ritche (Bryton McClure). There was also Mother Winslow (LaNoire); and of course, Steve Urkel.
Urkle did compete a few years later with Waldo (Shawn Harrison), Eddie's friend, because like all television comedy series, they need an idiot character. Urkel did create many misadventures because he never seemed to pay attention to what he was doing, but he was no idiot. Or, at least not the way Waldo was. He was a pretty funny guy for the while he was on the show.
And they were a pretty funny family, especially in the moments between Carl Winslow (Reginald VelJohnson), the father of the household, and his dufus friend, Urkel, which went on for some time the way Dennis the Menace often got on the nerves of George Wilson. Likewise, Urkel found it easy to annoy many of those in the Winslow household, namely the object of his affection: Laura, who squirmed around the hopeless dork, but finally managed to look past his faults (basically, just his appearance and awkward manner).
It was a pleasant show that ran in the TGIF line-up for quite some time, with other family comedy series that generated an audience and developed into series in a way that ABC may never again be able to reproduce. Everyone on the show was terrific, although my favorite, wasn't Urkel, but the lovely Rossetta LeNoire who played Mother (Estelle) Winslow. She was always such a pleasant character, and gave such a great performance.
If you ever get to see the reruns of the show, which do appear on network television every now and again, I would recommend watching it. It was a pretty good family series for it's day. And one that produced a cultural icon.
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