Jaleel White was very close to joining this classic sitcom before family matters

During the 2017 Family Matters reunion hosted by Entertainment WeeklyJalil White has revealed that he auditioned for the role of Rudy on The Cosby Show in 1984, a role that eventually went to Keshia Knight Pulliam, once the production decided that the character could be a girl. “My agent was told that they had pretty much agreed on [me]so I went to the audition thinking I was just going to the last audition,” White recalled. “And then all of a sudden this little girl comes in.” He continued, “I went home and I just… I cried my eyes out.”

The rejection hit White particularly hard, but the following year he landed a role in the very similar but short-lived Charlie & Co. with Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight. According to interview with Thisis50, his audition for The Cosby Show was not White’s only interaction with Bill Cosby. He also once starred in a commercial for Jello Pudding Pop with Cosby.

It’s probably for the best that White didn’t get a role on The Cosby Show. According to CNNVery few networks and streaming services are currently airing reruns of The Cosby Show due to multiple sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, leaving the actors with very little pay.

In another interview with Entertainment Weekly, White revealed that despite not getting the role of Rudy, White and Cosby maintained a close relationship for years. However, White does not defend his former mentor. White said he thought it was appropriate for Cosby to be in jail. “A respected person has done a terrible thing and he is paying the price to match,” White told EW in May 2021. [Cosby was released from prison in June of 2021, via The New York Times]. After all, it was probably better for White not to be associated with The Cosby Show.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, help is available. visit National Network of Rape, Abuse and Incest website or contact RAINN National Help Desk at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: