Munya Vomo

Calling out all Steve Urkel fans, the man is finally back on TV. Much to my surprise, Jaleel White (pictured) will not return as the nerd from Family Matters, but as a host for a new TV show called Total Blackout.

Formatted as a game show, Total Blackout sees contestants complete several tasks, but there’s a catch, they have to do them in the dark. The winner will walk away with $5 000.

It is almost laughable that the show is so popular it was given a second season and that this, of all things, is White’s comeback plan.

We saw him in a Cee-Lo Green music video a few years ago looking nothing like the adorable little boy we all loved. Obviously that was him knocking again on the doors of the entertainment industry which are really hard to re-enter. To be fair, he’s the only member from Family Matters who has actually fared well. The rest of the cast were buried with the show.

Looking at the entertainment industry there are several youngsters who did well in the past and then faded into oblivion. They then tried to resuscitate their careers, but it didn’t work.

Take that kid who starred as John Connor (Edward Furlong) in The Terminator. He tried to drop an album and even acted in several low-budget films, but nothing really came of it.

Another sad example is McCauley Culkin whose claim to fame was the Home Alone movies. We later heard the disturbing news of his associa-tion with Michael Jackson. As far as his acting career is concerned, the 33-year-old is struggling as he picks bizarre material that no one ever talks about.

We would like to think it is perhaps because the industry is tough, but then there is truth in the notion that these actors can’t face the pressures of longevity in the entertainment industry. Talent is one thing, reinventing yourself is quite another.

Success stories include that of Christian Bale who started acting in classic films like Empire of the Sun when he was just a boy. He has managed to morph his career by determining the needs of the industry and is seldom without work.

Justin Timberlake is another case where versatility and talent push an individual further than their peers. He has done the music and the films effortlessly for decades now and it seems there is not stopping him.

Sadly, this can’t be said for everyone.

l Total Blackout, Tuesday, 9pm Sony Max (DStv channel 128).