Jaleel ‘Steve Urkel’ White Is Doing Dancing With the Stars? Everyone Else, Give Up

The latest batch of Dancing With the Stars contestants was announced today and, in a dramatic turn of events, someone, somewhere appears to have made a grave error in competitive balance. Here are all the people who are going to lose Dancing With the Stars next season, which kicks off March 19:

Weepy pop-rock fedora guy Gavin DeGraw, soap actor Jack Wagner, telenovela actor William Levy, Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, opera singer Katherine Jenkins, fictional Tracy Morgan wife Sherri Shepherd, Little House on the Prairie-r Melissa Gilbert, Disney star Roshon Fegan, celebrity Patriots fan Maria Menounos, tennis champ Martina Navratilova, soul legend Gladys Knight.

Here is the person who is going to win Dancing With the Stars next season:
Jaleel White. Yes: Steve Urkel.

Look, everyone on this page has some right to be here. Donald clearly knows how to use his feet and/or hands. Martina has skid-stopped in dramatic fashion more times than I’ve used a straw. Gavin has had to pretend to know how to dance in music videos for years now. But can it really be possible that no one remembers that Steve Urkel had his own signature dance?

It was called The Urkel, of course, and it was deceptively simple but sickeningly brilliant. As explained by Steve himself, the moves go like this:

“If you want to do the Steve Urkel dance,
All you have to do is hitch up your pants,
Bend your knees, and stick out your pelvis;
(I’m telling you, baby, it’s better than Elvis!)”

And it was good enough to break out from Family Matters and land itself a crossover plug on Step by Step. Check it out in action below, and watch as Jaleel glides effortlessly across the middle school dance floor. Patrick Duffy is basically like, “WTF IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.”

And if you think The Urkel is a one-man operation, an independent phenomenon that cannot be translated into the doubles format of Dancing With the Stars — well, I am sorry for how wrong you are. Note the below clip, in which White rips his moves alongside fellow star-dancer Bea Arthur.

The footage might be grainy, but the message is clear: Goddamn, this man can move.

But this is only half the scouting report on Jaleel. Remember when he would change his DNA and become the smooth operator Stefan Urquelle? Of course you do. Below, note his grace, his ease — his preternatural cool — as he snaps his fingers around the Winslows’ living room. As YouTube user Pisces311911 correctly notes, this is “The True Definition of Swag.”

By the way, this is as good a time as any to point out that the “Stefan Urquelle” Wikipedia entry is a timeless delight. A sample: “Steve later improved the formula to limit the effects it had on his new personality, and re-dubbed the formula ‘Boss Sauce.’ He also invented a ‘transformation chamber,’ which allowed him to turn into Stefan for extended periods of time. In Season 6 Steve was stuck as Stefan for a while, after Carl was accidentally transformed into Carl Urkel, due to Myra’s tampering with the transformation chamber to sabotage it and preventing Stefan. Late in the sixth season, Steve transformed into Stefan as part of an inventors competition at Walt Disney World.”

In conclusion: Fall back, pretenders! The crown is Jaleel’s!

Filed Under: Dancing With the Stars, Television

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad

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