Urkel or Screech?

As a society evolves, so does it’s culture.  At some point, that culture reaches such a high level that the citizens can only stand in awe of what is happening around them.  We are likely at this very moment experiencing the 21st Century’s high point.  Only once in a century do we get to experience the ongoing media frenzy around Anna Nicole Smith, Britney Spears cutting her hair off, and the search for nude pictures of American Idol finalist Antonella Barba.

The 20th Century was a kinder, gentler era that reached its peak with the creation of two legendary characters: Steve Urkel and Screech Powers.  Never before had such dynamic characters graced the television. And sadly, it is unlikely we will see quality characters like this ever again.

But perhaps it is too easy to anoint these two acting legends as co-greatest characters of all time.  As they say in Highlander: “There can be only one.”  Bofa D’s is not afraid of making controversial calls.  But first …

The Tale of the Tape


Steve Urkel


Played by

Jaleel White

Dustin Diamond

TV Show

Family Matters

Saved By the Bell

Girl lusted after


Lisa Turtle

Character Believability – Early Years

High.  Urkel was an annoying nerd, and as a result, Carl Winslow didn’t want him around.

Low.  Screech was equally annoying and nerdy, and yet the ‘cool kids’ like A.C. Slater and Zack Morris would hang out with him. 

Character Believability – Later Years

Off the charts low.  After he hit puberty, Urkel was some kind of pimp or something.  And Laura started dating him.

Reasonable if you count later shows.  Screech was a nerd, so it isn’t inconceivable that he would go to college.  What is not reasonable is that he would go to the same school as Slater, Zack, Kelly Kapowski.  But it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe he could be a principal.

Catch Phrase

“Did I do that?”


Trademark Clothing


Bright neon colors, crazy patterns

Career highlight after show

Hard to tell.  Puberty hit White hard, robbing him of his trademark voice.  Apparently he had the role of “talent booker” in the hit movie Dreamgirls.  He also scored a UPN series called Grown Ups.  But it pretty much sucked and was cancelled after one season.

Depends on what you call a highlight.  The Screech character went to college on Saved By the Bell: the College Years.  Then, Screech was hired by Mr. Belding as a principal on Saved by the Bell: The New Class.  Or, his highlight could be the fact that he made a porn tape, which apparently features a “dirty sanchez.”  And no, I haven’t seen it.

Where are they now?

There was an internet rumor that Urkel killed himself.  Apparently this is not true. He did manage to score the choice role of the voice of cartoon character Sonic the Hedgehog.

The reason Screech made the porn tape was that he’s broke.  His house is facing foreclosure.  And he’s hawking t-shirts on his website: GetDShirts.com
Here’s how rock bottom he’s hit: for legal reasons, he has to spell Screech with 3 E’s. 

What does this all amount to?  Not much.  The race is almost too close to call.  The characters were eerily similar, so we have to look at the full body of their careers.  Screech has a website … but it’s a website that pretty much advertises how much he sucks.  Screech has been on celebrity fit club and celebrity boxing, but Urkel is the voice of a cartoon character based on a video game.  On the one hand, Urkel doesn’t have a celebrity sex tape.  On the other hand, I can’t imagine anyone in the entire world wants to see either of these guys naked.

So, the win goes to URKEL.

UPDATE! Apparently, our little debate has caused a firestorm of controversy. The debate rages on in these two brilliant arguments:

The case for Screech (by Mr. B, a semi regular contributor): Urkel loses this debate for one VERY simple reason. NEVER, and I mean NEVER did Samuel Powers ever attempt to transform himself into a cool kid. Oh no, although he was made fun of a lot, SCREECH was happy with himself and wouldn't compromise his integrity by building a time machine/ getting cooler machine. Are we forgetting who StefAN urKEL was???? Samuel Powers truly loved Lisa, and would go to the end of the world for her. But he would have never transformed hiself into a cool, good looking, dancing, rico suave', who went on a trip with the Winslow's to Disnery World, only to ask Laura to Marry him during the fireworks, just for a little hoo hoo. No Screech was better than that. Screech's only slip up was when he got mad at Zach for kissing Lisa after her fashion show. But who wouldn't have got mad. Zach could get anyone, why did he have to pick Screech's girl, (Especially when he had the current King of Queens hottie...Stacey Karosee). Anyway, Screech wins, hands down. Also the believability factor should really come into play. There is no way in H$$$ that there is a person who could really talk like Urkel does. Screech was a down to earth nerd...regular voice and all. The next debate, if you are interested should be.........Rudy Huxstable...or Punky Brewster.......Now if you are EVER to debate hot/cute actresses from our childhood.... my vote will ALWAYS and forever be...Garfield's girlfriend....the gray skin/fur tone, and the socks...mmmmm Can't get enough......

The Case for Urkel (by A.S.): Urkel is by far the better character and for four reasons: a) he's funnier, his quirky acts and quick witted catch phrases that made audiences go wild. b) his character acted as a foil against the other characters creating greater contrast and shedding light on each characters strengths and weaknesses allowing for the audience to connect with the characters and their relationships and the family matters (wow I'm clever). This adds more depth to the show. c) TGIF d) The only thing Screech has over Urkel is believability, he (Screech) has far more common traits that Steve but therein lies the problem. While SBTB was a good show, it's success wasn't due to it's characters, but it's circumstances. Youngins connected with the coming of age show because it was in Southern California with beautiful people and common yet important events that affected teens like dating, break ups so on. FM was about a working class family who appears ordinary on the outside (except Urkel) but who were a lot more conflicted on the inside. FM's success was Character driven. Audiences connect with characters, not locations.



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