Today is is the birthday of Jaleel White, who turns 31. Both a comic genius and a master thespian, Mr. White is best known for his groundbreaking role as the autistic character Urkel on the T.V. show "Family Matters". Through his harrowing portrayal of a mentally disabled teenager, Mr. White paved the way for future depictions of idiots, geeks, and simpletons in the popular media. Here's a brief clip of his work on YouTube. Urkel became so popular in the mid-90's that he inspired the creation of a strawberry-and-banana-flavored breakfast cereal called "Urkel-O's"; to this day it holds the distinction of being the only cereal ever to feature a retarded child as its mascot.
Although his acting days are mostly behind him, Mr. White continues to stay in the public eye via his website, a brilliant example of artistic restraint and minimalism in its own right. He also writes a blog about the NBA. Happy birthday, Jaleel!