Executive producer Spike Lee announced Monday night that James Comey had been selected to portray Steve Urkel in the upcoming reboot of the hit 90’s sitcom Family Matters. “Steve Urkel is someone who ruins the lives of other major characters in nearly every episode, yet somehow remains impervious to serious consequences,” Lee wrote in a public statement released by Netflix. “When thinking about who could truthfully portray those qualities, our casting team agreed that FBI Director James Comey was the right choice. Like Urkel, Comey just wants to do the right thing, and in the process of doing so, has earned the number two spot on Billboard’s Top 100 Most Hated Public Servants.” The number one spot is still held by Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
In an interview Tuesday morning with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Lee attempted to calm growing skepticism about Comey’s ability to succeed as the star of a television program: “Though Jim has no professional experience as an actor, he has always loved being in front of the camera. Jim has actually accrued more airtime on national television than Leonardo DiCaprio before he received his Oscar,” Lee explained. “As soon as we told him there would be a camera involved in the taping of the show, he was in.”
NAACP president Cornell Brooks held a press conference shortly after Netflix’s announcement, admonishing the company for casting a white man in a program about an all black family. “Mainstream entertainment’s extreme whitewashing of television and film continues to render me speechless. But this is the last straw. FBI Director James Comey as Steve Urkel? Really? The man grew up in Yonkers!” Brooks’ made his remarks following a report from the New York Times that Netflix had originally considered Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson for the role.
Netflix has spared no expense ensuring that the reboot is a smash hit. In his public statement, Spike Lee wrote that he planned to recruit high school custodian and former cast member of Family Matters Jaleel White who portrayed Urkel on the show. Lee plans to have White serve as an on-set acting coach for Mr. Comey. “Wait. James Comey? Like the FBI director?” White said to The Politic in an exclusive telephone interview.
High production costs have forced Netflix to strike special payment deals with cast members. “We offered him a series of spa days with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange,“ Lee explained. Mr. Comey happily obliged.
James Comey himself is yet to make a public statement on the casting announcement. The FBI Director has been testifying in front of congressional representatives for the past 92 hours on new and relevant findings from every Washington scandal and conspiracy of the last 80 years. The Politic has scheduled an exclusive interview with Mr. Comey following his upcoming hearing on the Kennedy Assassination.