The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot is a turning point in history: the first YouTube parody greenlit to series. It’s the ultimate reboot, the pinnacle of this Golden Age of Reboots. Scholars will look back on it and say that 2022 was the year we reached “peak rebootity”. Which made it ideal fodder for a Saturday Night Live sketch this weekend. (Watch the episode’s cold open here.)
Urkel asks the question, “What could be more ridiculous than a gritty reboot of one of the silliest sitcoms of the ’90s?” Of course, it’s a reboot of the silliest sitcom of the ’90s: Family Matters, which began as a mostly grounded comedy that quickly refocused on the absurdity of nerdy next-door neighbor Steve Urkel.
In the sketch, Chris Redd plays Urkel, a classic nerd, his walls covered with Carl Sagan posters and chemistry puns. But since it’s gritty, he’s a nerd pushed to the edge. In love with Ego Nwodim’s Laura Winslow, he beats her boyfriend and tags it with his catch phrase, “Did I do thaaaat?” Guest host Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) brings Broadway gravitas to her role as Urkel’s alcoholic mother (all ten seconds of it).
Kenan Thompson is, of course, patriarch Carl Winslow. He’s a considerably less friendly police officer here than he was in the ’90s; we get a scene of him in an interrogation room breaking a suspect’s arm. He’s still got a soft side, though, which we see in a heartfelt speech to Urkel that reminds us of the classic refrain we all remember: “Family [bleep]ing matters.”
That is what the show was called, right?
You might notice the similarity between this and another gritty take on Family Matters. Back in 2014, another great sketch comedy show, Key & Peele, imagined what the show looked like behind the scenes.
Press PLAY on the video above to watch the Urkel trailer, then hit the comments with your thoughts.