Jaleel White talks about new web series “BPOV” (aka Broke People on Vine)

Jaleel White is known best for his role as Steve Urkel in “Family Matters”. But Jaleel has been one biggest guy over the last few years going from “Dancing with the Stars” to hosting his own reality series on Syfy “Total Blackout” to guest starring on “CSI” this past January. His latest gig is a absolutely riot called “BPOV”, which stands for Broke People on Vine. It is a new web series that airs on YouTube weekly. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Jaleel about the show. the craze of Vine and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved with Urban Hombre Media?
Jaleel White: I am a partner in the company along with Andres Izquieta, who is the CEO of Five Four Clothing. Five Four is an online based men’s club clothing brand. They put their clothes on everybody. So rather than have me be a brand ambassador for them, Andres reached out to me about branching out into production on the internet. The internet is something that we cannot ignore these days. It is bigger than just tweeting stuff. You need actual content on the internet. But this is a fun company and we are going to have a lot of good things coming up.

MG: I love the title for the show, “BPOV” (aka Broke People on Vine).
JW: Some people have said why call it “BPOV”. I really like the acronym because it is about a point of view of broke people because rich people on Vine ain’t funny [laughs]. Our director whipped up the logo, with a “South Park” version of me, which is cool. It is a great collaboration and we come up with the ideas collectively. So we are just keeping it real and having fun and we are going to keep pumping them out.

MG: So what is it about Vine that has people so hooked?
JW: A lot of my friends and people that I am familiar with are on Vine. I find myself at night just watching Vine on my phone like it is TV show. It is crazy really. After a long day, you are just lying around checking texts and emails and then you skip over to Vine and get stuck there for a half hour. By the time you are done, you aren’t going to watch TV; you are going to do to bed. Sometimes my daughter will come in the room and I will find something that is kid appropriate and we will then sit there and watch the same Vine like 15 times in a row [laughs].

MG: How many times did you have to watch these videos during shooting?
JW: What is really cool about the show is that I actually don’t get to see the Vines beforehand. Even if I like one and submit it for consideration, when the guys put together the top 10 reel I have no idea which ones are in there. If you watch you will see my eyes glance down sometimes because they want me to respond and react in real time. I am watching them for the first time right there. So even if it is one that I submitted, you are still getting an immediate and unknown reaction within the flow of the shot. When we did “Worst Job Interviews” episode and they guy was just hired at Krispy Kreme and does the back flip, that was an honest reaction from me and that was the first time I have ever saw that. We wanted my reaction to be the same reaction that you are viewers will experience. So that makes it fun.

MG: I love how the episodes run three minutes each; quick, tight and effective.
JW: It really channels to people’s attention spans right now. I don’t watch a half hour TV show every night before I go to bed as I would back when I was young kid. I will spend some time on Vine and that is it.

MG: How often can we expect new episodes?
JW: We are looking to keep putting them out, I think every Monday. Then down the line, we are looking to expand and putting them out even more. We will do some year-end stuff as well. It is just one of those things that it out there, it is what I do and I am big fan of Vine. I prefer to cover it then do my own Vines. To get to share these with people is just funnier for me personally. So that is the show man! Check it out and spread the word to your friends!


Related Content

Jaleel White chats about season 2 of Syfy’s “Total Blackout”

Jaleel White has been one busy man on television. He was a contestant on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and started hosting Syfy’s new game show “Total Blackout”. Jaleel took out some time to chat with Media Mikes again to discuss the season 2 of Syfy’s “Total Blackout”, which premieres October 30th, and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: So we know the idea behind “Total Blackout” – challenges played in complete darkness, how is season two going to amp it up for viewers?
Jaleel White: I don’t think we are going to disappoint people. We have definitely improved upon last year. It all boils down to money. At the end of the day the more people to like the show, the more money we will get [laughs]. This season, the exotic nature of the show has been amped with the animals. Last year, we had little dogs and stuff like that. That wouldn’t even been be allowed on the idea table this season. So, definitely the exotic nature is one. Second, I have to say the contestants themselves. We got a lot of our first choice contestants. Last year people didn’t realize what the show was since it was new and we got a lot of people backing out at the last minute. But since the show has become a hit, trending on twitter and people like it – now we have the opposite problem. We have too many people that want to be on the show. So there is definitely no any contestant shortage this season.

MG: Last time we spoke you said “contestants get smarter” and were concerned about the screening process; do you feel that was addressed and planned for this season?
JW: I definitely felt like we chose some really great contestants. I am really proud of the people we got this season. There is an episode also where we bring back people have previously lost. So we have that loser’s all-star episode and in fact, it was particularly touching for the contestant that won and their reaction.

MG: Last season was your first go at hosting a game show, what were you personally looking forward to most in this second season?
JW: I said it last year and will probably keep saying it for as long as this show is on, it is really fun to be a part of TV that I feel like the love and the landscape make it that people want to watch the show. I don’t have to beg people to watch this show. It is just awesome for me man!

MG: What is your favorite challenge this season?
JW: It has to be the mouse trap mazes. It is so creative. They also got the most physical reaction out of our contestants. That is my personal favorite this season.

MG: Have they ever considered doing a celebrity, maybe with some Syfy talent, episode of the show?
JW: Well we got some surprises for you this season. I know we are boys but sorry man my lips are sealed. Stay tuned because it is going to be cool.

MG: Have they tried to convince you to get in that dark room yet?
JW: Joe Rogan doesn’t do his show. Why does everyone want me to do my show? [laughs] I am the host, man [laughs]. Well, I don’t know what circumstances would put me in the dark room but I would welcome whatever it would be. Obviously, I would have a far greater advantage from a psychological stand point. I welcome it if it comes along though. I got it, put me in there with Joe Rogan or some other hosts [laughs].

MG: What would be your worst nightmare to encounter in there?
JW: Oh man! An alligator would be up there. Also for me if wouldn’t be a snake…it would be snakes.

Jaleel White reflects on “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”

Jaleel White recently competed on season 14 “Dancing with the Stars”. He also hosted Syfy’s new reality game show “Total Blackout”. Media Mikes had a chance to catch up with Jaleel again in order to reflect on his experiences with “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”.

Mike Gencarelli: Can you reflect back on your work on “Dancing with the Stars”?
Jaleel White: The last eleven weeks have been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my career. It’s been hard on the body and very chaotic. People also ask me “Was it fun?” and I tell them “If you ran two marathon’s back-to-back, would you consider that fun” [laughs]. That is how I feel about “Dancing with the Stars”, I have survived some pretty awesome shit. I didn’t fall on my ass out there. Everywhere I go people said they were happy to see my dances and that makes me proud. The training was a lot but it was all necessary. My highlight was the cha-cha week, I knew it wasn’t going to get much better than that.

MG: Do you think that the judges where too hard on you throughout the show?
JW: Look, I am so proud of what I survived. I don’t want to be negative, especially because of how proud I am. Also nobody has ever met the five secret men that handle the fans votes. Since no one has ever met them I will not let it get to me [laughs]. After about week three, I stopped caring about the score to be honest.

MG: Any chance of you coming back for season 15 this Fall for the All-Stars season?
JW: I haven’t been approached or anything. I know the competition was tough enough. I do not know how being elimated in the seventh week makes me an all-star but I learned never to say never.

MG: Are you excited with the success of “Total Blackout”?
JW: I am very happy with that way that “Total Blackout” came out. It is very rare that I can say that about something I had so little to do with in the post-production phases. We have been able to build on the ratings week-to-week, so its been great for us.

MG: I got to tell you my sister ordered Syfy just so that she could watch your show.
JW: [laughs]. You gotta write that in your article. I can’t say anything as cool as that.

MG: Any word about a second season for “Total Blackout”?
JW: No word just yet. I have not been in the game show business for too long but I pick up on things quickly. My only concern about the show is that I know contestants get smarter. Even though the lights are off, we will have contestants that will have seen the show and once they know what game they are playing will go back to a mental picture. So they are really going to have to work hard to stay away from contestants looking to outsmart the show and also to keep the show fresh and moving forward.

Jaleel White talks about “Dancing with the Stars” & Syfy’s “Total Blackout”

Jaleel White known best for his role of Steve Urkel on “Family Matters” though 2012 is shaping up to be one spotlight year for him.  He is one of the contestants on season 14 of “Dancing with The Stars”, dancing with Kym Johnson. He is also the host of the upcoming SyFy’s reality show “Total Blackout”, which premieres April 25th.  Jaleel took out some time to chat with Media Mikes again about his work on “Dancing with the Stars” and to encourage his fans to vote for him at 1-800-VOTE4-12.

Mike Gencarelli: So tell us how you got involved with “Dancing with the Stars”?
Jaleel White: They never formally asked me before until this past year.  ABC’s casting department got in contact with my manager properly and asked for a meeting. [laughs] I didn’t want to take the meeting but my manager let me know it was the right thing to do. So I did the meeting and everyone was very nice. After that it was just a the process of working on me. I am not going to lie, there was tremendous trepidation since it is one thing to learn how to dance, that was daunting enough, I had to commit to practice four hours a day and put my ambitions of being a writer to the side. My mom though just keep working on me and here we are today.

MG: Any fun behind the scenes stories so far?
JW: Oh yeah! I got a good one with Tony (Dovolani), one of the pro-dancers, who is dancing with Martina (Navratilova) this season. The couples got gathered together with the producers and they told us the rules and things they expect on show night. Tony raises his hand and said “I got one thing I want to share with all of you, ok?!, no matter how you dance is going you don’t leave your pro out there on the stage. You don’t walk off on them. If you get lost in your dance, you look into your dancers eyes and we will guide you through it.” I love Tony, he is a great guy. I guess he had some problems in the past with people freezing up on him. I thought that was particular funny. I come from a performers background and I know you never run off the stage.

MG: First week of the show you tie for the top spot, does that create and pressure going forward?
JW: Actually I really don’t. I tell everybody, I still see life in five day sitcom blocks. So if you give me five days to learn something, I should be proficient enough to shoot it. That is just the way I see preparation in general. The first episode for me was just such a validating experience. You put in the work and you can deliver the performance based on your work. Kym and I ran that dance into to the ground, as we must have done it at least 523 times. We weren’t just in there chit-chatting. We worked until we had to change our shirts and take two showers.

MG: You seemed to really feel natural on the dance floor, Any prior dance experience?
JW: I have zero dancing experience. Other than dancing as a kid during parties, school dances, church and camp. I just listed all my dance experiences there.

MG: What do you like or fear most about being out on the dance floor?
JW: At this point, my fears are slowly starting to go away. My biggest fear though is injury. I want to keep my body in good shape. I can feel certain areas getting tighter and I can feel my body adjusting. Every dance has it own personality and hopefully you can gel with that personality of the dance. Some people try to fight against that but I just go with it. Luckily for me, when I dance I smile naturally. Some people just have this perpetual panic on their face while they are dancing. I am exactly the opposite. As soon as I start moving I am smiling away [laughs]. The more I get into the dance the more I start enjoying it and that’s when the rehearsal process kicks in.

MG: How does it feel to be compared to a young Gregory Hines by one of the judges?
JW: I mean that is huge man, really. It is a long stretch from being compared to Steve Urkel [laughs]. It is nice to be able to show people that I can do different things. Growing up I never understood the importance of being different. I thought I would just excel at whatever job I was given. I didn’t know at the time that if people only thought of you in one way they will only give you one job. Everything about this experience with “Dancing with the Stars” has been so positive for me, so far.

MG: Do you and Kym Johnson have any special dances planned for the show?
JW: I definitely have a dance that means a lot to me. I obviously need to survive the eliminations to get to it. I told you though I obey the dance, I do not force anything. As much as I love music, you have to understand that not every song works for the dance. I think though the dance I have in mind could make some real noise…if I can nail it. But you have to vote for me though if you want to see the dance. It’s 1-800-VOTE4-12. We are team #12.

MG: Besides “Dancing with the Stars”, you are also hosting “Total Blackout” on Syfy this April, what can you tell us about that experience?
JW: It was a great experience. They are actually still tinkering with the show right now. I have been going in and doing some last minute tweaks and changes. The SyFy people have been over the moon about me participating with “Dancing with the Stars” also. People are really going to love this show. I am calling it ‘guinea pig TV’, it is that thing that you are flipping through and you find yourself watching two episodes back to back without even realizing it. I also think it would be a really fun show to do on the road.

MG: What do did you enjoy most about hosting a show?
JW: The best thing I like about hosting is that this stuff is not happening to me in the dark [laughs]. I am serious. I have test contestants in foam rubber suits, I give my instructions and then go back to my dressing room, watch the live feed and eat some Doritos [laughs]. They can have the tarantulas crawling up their hands. I am all set.

MG: Just recently you also appeared on “Psych” again, is Tony going to be seen again soon?
JW: Who knows man. I always have such a blast with the “Psych” boys.  It is one of my favorite shows that I have ever guested on. James (Roday) and Dulé (Hillare) are excellent actors and we get in some good trouble. I have been on two episodes…so hey, why not make it three.

MG: So after you win “Dancing with the Stars”, what you got planned next?
JW: Right now, I need some votes for team #12 on Dancing with the Stars, it’s 1-800-VOTE4-12. Supposedly you can’t text votes in unless you have AT&T, so a lot of people don’t know that. There is also the option to vote online at http://vote.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote.  This is going to be a fantastic season for sure.