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Family Matters (TV Series 1989–1998) Poster

(1989–1998)

Trivia

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Jaleel White was growing into an adult as the series progressed. To retain his character's appearance, he was required to shave daily and avoid weightlifting.
Jaimee Foxworth originally played Judy, the youngest Winslow child. Her character had little screen time. When Foxworth requested a salary increase, producers wrote her off the series. Later episodes revised the show's history so Judy never existed.
The character of Steve Urkel was named after a producer's friend. He was only supposed to appear once, but the audience's response was so overwhelmingly positive that the producers decided to make Urkel a regular character. Urkel merchandise included a talking doll, trading cards, posters, books, lunch boxes, T-shirts, and a limited-edition cereal.
Michelle Thomas left the show shortly before it was canceled because she had stomach cancer. She passed away the same year, at the age of 30.
Although the interiors of the Winslow house were stage sets, the exterior was taken from a real-life house on Wrightwood Ave in Chicago. As of 2009, it looked the same as it did during the series run.
Rosetta LeNoire was 85 when she left the show.
The show is one of the longest-running U.S sitcoms with a predominately African-American cast.
Jaimee Foxworth stated in an interview with Tyra Banks that she auditioned for the show seven times. That may explain why a different actress, Valerie Jones, played Judy Winslow in the pilot episode.
Darius McCrary, who plays older brother Eddie, is actually a month younger than Kellie Shanygne Williams.
The theme song for the first five episodes was "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. The series' more familiar theme, "As Days Go By", was first used in episode six. For the first 3 seasons of the original ABC broadcasts, and later airings on ABC Family, episodes use an extended version of the "As Days Go By" theme, accompanied by clips from selected episodes. Syndication edits of "Family Matters" use the abbreviated version of the theme used in seasons 4 through 6. ABC Family airings use an extended opening sequence.
JoMarie Payton said in a 2010 interview that she would've left the show sooner if she hadn't been under contract.
On the show, Carl is older than Harriette. In real life, Jo Marie Payton is two years older than Reginald VelJohnson.
The show lasted one year longer than its parent series, Perfect Strangers (1986), where Harriette Winslow was an elevator operator.
Reginald VelJohnson and Jaleel White both wrote for the show.
Reginald VelJohnson appears in every episode.
When ABC delayed making a decision to renew the show for a ninth season, CBS made a deal with Warner Bros.Television to renew the show for a ninth season. The producers hoped for a 10th and final season on CBS, but the ratings for the 9th season were so bad that the network cancelled the show, and aired the series finale with no fanfare during the summer season. In a nod to plans to have Steve and Laura get married in a 10th season, they got engaged in the series finale. 'Jo Marie Payton' decided to leave the show when it moved from ABC to CBS because her contract was finished. She agreed to appear during the first half of the ninth season, then was replaced by 'Judyann Elder'
Many sets used for scenes inside the house were also used in Valerie's Family: The Hogans (1986) (after it became "The Hogan Family") and Step by Step (1991).
Steve Urkel crossed over to three other series: Full House (1987), Step by Step (1991), and Meego (1997).
Throughout the series, two actresses played Harriette Winslow (Jo Marie Payton and Judyann Elder), three actors played Richie Crawford (twins Joseph Wright and Julius Wright, (credited as Joseph Julius Wright) and Bryton James), three actors played Fletcher Thomas, Mother Winslow's husband (Arnold Johnson, Whitman Mayo, and Ed Cambridge), and two actresses played Judy Winslow (Valerie Jones and Jaimee Foxworth).
Musical guests included New Edition, Dave Koz, Shanice Wilson, Tracie Spencer, Freddie Jackson, Missy Elliott, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, Portrait, All 4 One, Immature, MC Lyte, Donna Summer, and Shai.
Waldo's full name is Waldo Geraldo Faldo.
Myra's full name is Myra Boutros Monkhouse.
Jaleel White found it difficult to find work after the show ended, as he was so typecast as the Urkel character.
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Jo Marie Payton decided to leave the show when it moved from ABC to CBS because her contract was finished. She agreed to appear during the first half of the ninth season, then was replaced by Judyann Elder.
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Mother Winslow's late husband was Sam Winslow.
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Rachel's late husband was Robert Crawford.
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This is the first of two shows with an all Black cast to air on ABC's TGIF lineup. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper (1992) was the second.
Darius McCrary, Jo Marie Payton, Jaimee Foxworth, Telma Hopkins, and Bryton James have all released professional music recordings. Some even displayed their musical talent on the show.
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Laura's full name is Laura Lee Winslow.
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Carl's full name is Carl Otis Winslow.
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Urkel's three inventions that actually worked on the show (in order of episode) were: the transformation chamber, the cloning machine, and the UrkPad.
Michelle Thomas was in her mid-20s when she joined the cast as high school student Myra Monkhouse.
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3J's full name is Jerry Jamal Jameson.
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Carl has four brothers: Frank, Daryl, Calvin, and a fourth who was never mentioned. Frank was Carl's only brother to appear on the show.
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Steve's full name is Steven Quincy Urkel.
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Juan Pope played four different characters on the show: a thug named Chain in Family Matters: Born to Be Mild (1991), a hospital orderly in Family Matters: Number One with a Bullet (1992), an army recruit in Family Matters: An Officer and a Waldo (1992), and Curtis Williams, Laura's boyfriend throughout seasons 7 and 8.
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By the time the show ended in 1998, the then 22-year-old Jaleel White had grown sick of the role of Urkel. In 1999, he said in an interview, "If you ever see me do that character again, take me out and put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery." He addressed this quote in 2011: "It's one of those things that it's very unfortunate how quotes are taken out of context. I remember that interview very vividly. I loved playing those characters. But the fact is that I was maturing. 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."
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Many sources say Maxine's last name was Johnson. It was never actually revealed on the show. Cherie Johnson played Maxine.
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Garcelle Beauvais played four different characters on the show. In Family Matters: Old and Alone (1991), she played Lulu, Steve's wife in a dream. In Family Matters: Scenes from a Mall (1993), she played Garcelle, a woman at the mall Eddie tries to hit on. In Family Matters: To Be or Not to Be: Part 2 (1994) she played an alternate version of Mother Winslow in a dream. In Family Matters: A Ham Is Born (1996), she played an actress named Nicole Moses.
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During the 1997-1998 TV season, the show was the second-longest running sitcom still on TV. Murphy Brown (1988), had been on the air one year longer, and was also in its final season. By the time the series was canceled in July 1998, it had been on the air a few months longer than Seinfeld (1989) and The Simpsons (1989).
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Every season had an episode in which a set was completely demolished.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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