Thursday, February 26, 2015

Classic Corner: For The Cool in You

by Da CogNegro

"It's Friday night. And the mood is right! Gonna have some fun, show you how it's done T.G.I.F." No, this is not the jingle for the new "Two for Twenty", Jack Daniels' signature rib deal at TGI Fridays. Rather, this theme song signified the beginning of the weekend for us eighties babies. Yes, before we were allowed to go to the club and jam to one of Teddy Riley's fifteen groups, we were treated to two hours of sitcom bliss! Well, really an hour and a half .The 9:30 PM slot was a rotating cast of failed concepts that would drive Ubu into a rampage of humped legs, missing shoes,  and humped missing legs!

You've been wanting me to sit for the better part of the decade. Obviously  your obedience school sucks!

TGIF gave us such great shows as Dinosaurs, Perfect Strangers, Step by Step and the legendary Full House. I mean, without Full House, how else would we have been introduced  to a neutered Bob Sagat, pre-bulimic Olsen Twins, the comedic genius of Dave Coulier (snickers) and Jesse and The Rippers! Did you hear what I said!? Jesse and The Rippers!!

We just pretend we are a real band, like One Direction...and flash!

But the show that left a lasting impact on my adolescent/teen years was the Cosby-esque offering called Family Matters. We all know, love and are quite familiar with the show and characters. Don't act like you've never let Eddie sleep on our couch in between his acting gigs, questioned Carl's sexuality on at least twenty-three occasions and secretly searched for Judy Winslow's other *ahem* acting ventures. I'm still trying to figure out just how many boxes of Just For Me  little Richie had to use to get the perfect bounce for his curled mullet.

Of course, the stand out star was Jaleel White's Steve Urkel. The urban myth states that Urkel's character was just suppose to be a one-off but people enjoyed the clumsy and some time catastrophic antics of the teen nerd so much that not only did he become a regular cast member, but the show soon centered around him and his undying, and quite obsessive, love for everyone's teenage crush: Laura Winslow.The Urkel shtick lasted well into multiple seasons. However, the formula was beginning to grow tiresome and redundant. So through the genius of the Gods, and maybe some cocaine, the writers thought of a way to refresh the Urkel concept by introducing Steve's alter ego: The baddest mofo in the land, Stefan Urquelle!

I'm The Juggernaut....

Tired of coming up short in winning Laura's affection, Steve decided to concoct a Cool Juice, which ain't nothing but Ultra Perm. He used this formula  to fuel his transformation chamber, which is a hit in many hostels abroad, and created this "cool" persona. Stefan was everything that Steve wasn't; cool,suave, debonair, and a great dresser. When Stefan showed up a Laura's house party, well I can show you better than I can tell you!

And that's exactly how I approach every girl that I'm interested in. I don't care what the setting is; club, tollbooth, Library of Congress etc. Of course, the one thing that Stefan lacked was Steve's compassion and this did not sit well with Laura. Therefore, he reluctantly changed back into the Steve Urkel we all know and tolerated for another five seasons. Eventually, Stefan wound up being a separate character  but neither I nor the CogNegro's readers care to unearth such tepid details and jump the shark moments.

I single-handily ruined this sitcom and created a catchphrase aiyeeee!

So why did I decide to detail a sitcom character that came out over 20 years ago? Well obviously you haven't been paying attention to my write ups as they all are so wonderfully random! The character of Steve Urkel  himself is a landmark in television...well, perhaps that is a bit grandiose. But for the first time that I could remember, you had  a young, African American male  who was an inventive genius and did not fall into the rigid confines of what can be coined as being"black". For goodness sake, he liked polka, ate cheese, and had a nasally voice. But suddenly, he was able to flip that persona into the quintessential ladies man! I'm so glad I had the opportunity tell him in person how much I appreciated his portrayal and his dedication to the character. And with that's cold as two polar bears who lost a bet on the Superbowl... "I'm  going home!"  (CogNegro Out)  

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