In the ’90’s, actor Jaleel White became a TV phenomenon with his performance as nerdy, nebbish Steve Urkel. In the two decades since the show went off the air, the iconic character has been hard to escape — and now, in a “weird” new car commercial, Jaleel can’t even go for car ride without the glasses-wearing, high-waisted Urkel tagging along.
The commercial for Scion bears the tagline “Weird, right?” so it makes sense (sort of) that the ad begins with Jaleel White driving a car with a life-sized doll of his “Family Matters” character in the passenger seat. “Look, it’s the new Scion iM,” says the voiceover. “And there’s actor Jaleel White, and Wax Museum Urkel.”
For some reason never quite explained, a vintage laugh track keeps exploding uproariously as it follows the duo everywhere, making this perhaps the strangest demented-sitcom viral clip since “Too Many Cooks.”
“It’s weird they’re hanging out,” says the voiceover. “But dual zone automatic climate control keeps one toasty and the other from melting.”
In a word, the commercial is … well, weird. But as the voiceover keeps pointing out, that’s the point.
“It’s weird that they’d want dual-wishbone rear suspension. But the road to redefining oneself has many twists and turns,” the voice says. The punchline, however, comes when White finally arrives at their location — a campground? — and has difficulty adjusting his side mirror.
“Did I do … ?” he begins, almost delivering Urkel’s iconic phrase, but stopping himself short as the laugh track erupts.
One thing’s for sure: Fans need to start writing letters to Scion demanding a follow-up ad with Urkel and Jaleel camping.