From the people that brought you sexy Archie, girlboss Cruella and the aggressively grim Perry Mason, it’s time to meet the latest and absolutely necessary reimagining of a beloved character.
On the heels of the recently released trailer for Peacock’s series “Bel-Air” — the upcoming dramatic take on the ’90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” ― “Saturday Night Live” gave “Family Matters” the gritty reboot treatment during the Ariana DeBose-hosted episode over the weekend.
Billed as the “next ’90s show about the Black experience to be given a serious, high-stakes remake,” the new version, which simply goes by the title “Urkel,” casts the bespectacled nerd we all remember in a decidedly darker light.
This time around, Steve Urkel (Chris Redd) reaches for his gun just as often as his schoolbooks, explaining in an overly severe voice-over that he’s just trying to survive on the streets of “Chi-raq,” as the camera passes over a bullet-ridden mailbox bearing his name.
Gritty Urkel’s life is predictably far from rosy, as his alcoholic mother played by DeBose cuts down his confidence at home (“I raised a damn nerd!”) and his crush Laura (Ego Nwodim) brushes off his advances for another suitor. That’s when he snaps and beats her boyfriend to a bloody pulp.
Putting a whole new spin on his catchphrase, Redd’s Urkel exclaims, “Did I do thaaaat?” while holding the man at gunpoint. “What if I shot you in the face?! Should I do thaaaat?”
Kenan Thompson, playing Carl Winslow, thankfully intervenes, but he’s not exactly the “Family Matters” patriarch you might remember. Sure, he’s still a Chicago police officer, but he’s also breaking a suspect’s arm in half during a particularly intense interrogation.
He’ll always have a soft spot for Urkel, however, giving the wayward nerd some tough love in a heartwarming speech at the end of the sketch.
“The Winslows are your family,” Thompson tells him. “And family fucking matters.”
This weekend’s “SNL” episode was the first to air after a winter hiatus, with Bleachers stepping in as the musical guest after rapper Roddy Ricch was forced to pull out of the show due to a COVID-19 exposure.
The late-night sketch series filmed its last episode of 2021 with a limited cast and crew due to the recent spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The heavily pre-recorded episode proceeded without a musical guest as Charli XCX, who was set to perform, had to cancel her set altogether.