If someone thought to measure noise levels at Hollywood’s El Capitan on Tuesday morning, they may have gotten an early indicator as to who’s going into Season 14 of Dancing With the Stars with the biggest fan advantage.
Actor Jaleel White inspired the biggest reaction from the crowd when Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet called his name. His brief freestyle moves were greeted by affirming screams and shouts of “Urkel.”
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the Family Matters alum and partner Kym Johnson after the announcement, and he offered a rather simple answer as to why he finally decided to do the show after many requests.
“The offer ran through my mom this time instead of me,” he said, also citing timing as a big factor. “It’s her favorite show.”
Speaking of mothers, White has an interesting connection with one of his fellow DWTS competitors. “Gladys Knight played my first TV mom when I was nine years old,” he said. “[It was] a show called Charlie & Co, so I’m sure that will become a factoid today.”
White and Johnson already had one rehearsal under their belt at the time of the announcement, but Johnson seemed optimistic about her new partner, pointing to his sense of style even going so far as to call him “a natural.”
Naturally, given the morning’s chants and the bold entry on his resume, conversation did turn to his Family Matters alter ego — and the briefly successful novelty dance he inspired.
“I am here to win,” he said of “The Urkel Dance.” “That guy stays on YouTube. And we like him there, because he pays bills.”
With a little prodding, however, White did give some hints as to what fans might see of Steve Urkel this season.
“I was talking to [Kym] about some type of homage. I don’t know what it would be, I really don’t,” he told THR. “If I could find something in there that would be tongue and cheek, I’d do it.”
Watch THR‘s complete interview with White and Johnson above.