Waldo From The Little Rascals Is Unrecognizable Now

In an era where kids doing the darndest things were at the forefront of entertainment, 1994 couldn't have been a better year to take those tropes to new heights. With classics such as "Little Giants" giving the spotlight to young stars in the making, there would be another hit movie with a similar name that'd play with the dynamics of childhood friendship. Based on Hal Roach's comedy short "Our Gang," Penelope Spheeris turned the classic tale into "The Little Rascals" decades after its short-lived television series. As the title suggests, the film follows a tribe of children mocking up schemes to keep Alfalfa (played by Bug Hall) and Darla (played by Brittany Ashton Holmes) apart in hopes of protecting their He-Man Women Haters club.

Despite their questionable motives, the true villain of the film was the wealthy Waldo Aloysius Johnston III, who, through lies and deceit, tried to steal Darla's heart. After auditioning five times, Blake McIver Ewing's portrayal of the snobbish preteen managed to steal the show instead. With exceptional acting credits on television series like "Full House," this only facilitated what was already a thriving career for the young star. While many of the child actors involved in the project went on to live noteworthy lives, none are quite as awe-inspiring as Ewing's. From his journey of self-discovery to his musical successes in film and television, here is what Waldo from "The Little Rascals" has been up to since the film's release!

Blake McIver Ewing went on to portray the Little Boy in the musical Ragtime

As the son of well-known actors Bill Ewing and Susan McIver, Blake McIver Ewing successfully followed in their footsteps. After "The Little Rascals" and "Full House," Ewing played minor roles in "Minor Adjustments" and on the TV spin-off of "Clueless" before transitioning to theater. In 1997, Ewing found theater success when he was offered the role of the Little Boy in the musical "Ragtime." Based on E.L. Doctorow's 1975 novel, the musical follows a set of distinct families from different ethnic backgrounds in New York searching for the American Dream. Given its popularity, the musical premiered in 1996 and eventually made its way to Broadway.

During his appearance on Justin Martindale and Justine Marino's podcast "Glitter and Garbage," Ewing spoke on what attaining this role meant for him at the time. "You know, I look at my kid success, and I got extremely lucky ... I was the right type in the right place at the right time ... a lot of that stuff is really timing and luck, and the stars aligning, and all of that," he said. "And when I started getting serious about theater, I realized that there is a craft inherently in that I knew nothing about. ... So that changed my whole perspective on what art can be, what it can do, and where my place was in it because I had sort of been handed my place before."

He released an anti-bullying song in support of the LGBTQ+ community

Although Blake McIver Ewing had a successful career, transitioning from a child to a teenager was difficult. During his appearance on Leah Knauer and G.G. Sauvage's podcast "Basic Witches," Ewing spoke about how he faced discrimination due to his perceived sexuality during his time at a religious private school. "That was the first time that I was really, really bullied in an aggressive way, like where I could be attacked for the assumption of gay because it was a Christian environment, and so that was wrong," he stated.

His particular experience motivated him to use his platform to inspire those who have had similar experiences. In 2011, Ewing took to YouTube to unveil a song titled "It Gets Better" — which is the same title of a well-known LGBTQ+ organization — to support those who have been bullied for their sexual orientation. In the video's description, Ewing opened up about his experience as a teenager who faced assault and prompted his viewers to raise awareness of the issues those within the LGBTQ+ community face. "This is a song I wrote for anyone who has ever been bullied or taunted or made to feel 'less than' by others," he wrote. "When I was 14, I came very close to becoming a gay teen suicide 'statistic,' but I then turned to music, my piano, my loved ones, and discovered that it does, in fact, get better."

Blake McIver Ewing briefly worked as a go-go dancer

In many cases, a child actor's trajectory into adulthood can take unexpected turns. For some, this means picking up regular day jobs, halting their careers for higher education, or simply staying off the grid for good. Despite his success in theater, Blake McIver Ewing made headlines in 2013 for something many thought was just a means to an end. For Ewing, however, this particular experience also benefited his well-being, more or less.

In 2013, Ewing found a resurgence of attention online due to his newly found occupation as a go-go dancer. As publications picked the story up, Ewing grew more aware of this sudden rush of popularity after a friend forwarded several emails to the actor. In an interview with RumorFix, Ewing spoke about his experience as a go-go dancer and the positive effects it had on his self-esteem. "I had so much shame about my body," he said. "This was a way to express myself that was safe, sensual, and fun." While the mass public was amazed by this venture — complimenting the ex-villain from "The Little Rascals" on embracing his newfound self-confidence — it didn't last long because the actor had ultimately taken the job to fund his other interests.

He won Logo TV's Mr. November pageant in 2013

Blake McIver Ewing's journey of self-discovery didn't stop at go-go dancing. Thanks to his newfound experience, Ewing continued to express himself through other means. In 2013, Ewing competed in an online pageant held by Logo TV's YouTube channel to crown their new Mr. November. The monthlong contest was hosted by Colby Melvin and consisted of five male models showcasing their hidden talents and personal interests in an episodic series. In a video introducing the male contestants, Melvin stated that each week, viewers would get to vote for their favorite contestant based on their body, style, talent, and intellect.

Though his recognizable presence could have swayed viewers to vote for him, Ewing used other means to gain the upper hand against the other contestants. This feat proved effortless for Ewing as he won the viewers' hearts thanks to his background in singing and his unique fashion sense. Whether he was divulging his idea of a bad kiss, sharing his opinions on marriage, or expressing his love for Lady Gaga, Ewing was a clear shoo-in for Mr. November. After tallying up each of the male contestants' votes, it was announced on December 4, 2013, that Ewing won the contest, winning the most stylish and talented category over his fellow competitors. 

Blake McIver Ewing got to be a couch potato in The People's Couch

With the rise of content creators making a name for themselves by uploading reaction videos on YouTube, many assumed that it would be a short-lived way to make a living. Ironically enough, there has long continued to be a market for such forms of content. What's more surprising, however, is that Blake McIver Ewing was at the forefront of introducing this to viewers in the United States. Based on the highly successful "Gogglebox," Bravo TV created their own adaptation of the British classic with "The People's Couch." According to one of the show's stars — and Ewing's future beau Emerson Collins — the show followed a group of friends and families sharing their reactions to popular television shows. 

From its conception, the show proved a success. In an interview with Lavender magazine, this opportunity fell into Ewing's lap thanks to his connection with comedian Scott Nevins. Given the show's general premise, Ewing said that he wasn't entirely sold on the reality show, but eventually came around when he saw just how unique this form of entertainment could be. "I was like, 'Okay, this is the end of civilization; we have reached the bottom of the barrel,'" he told the publication. "But it was sort of this amazing and interesting social commentary and sociological experiment. It became this crazy, funny, interesting thing that had more depth than I ever imagined it being."

He released his debut solo album in 2014

If you got to witness Blake McIver Ewing's appearances on "Full House" and in "The Little Rascals," then you'd know that Ewing is something of a musical genius. In 1992, Star Search crowned Ewing new best junior vocalist, and he has infused his acting roles with his musical gifts. In addition to this, Ewing has composed music for various television series, including "Welcome to Myrtle Manor," "Toddlers & Tiaras," "Futurescape With James Woods," and more. Although he released solo music periodically, it wasn't until 2014 that he put out a full body of his own solo work. According to his interview with RumorFix, his go-go dancing venture was primarily motivated by his need to fund his album "The Time Manipulator." "The tips were good. In fact, I raised so much money I was able to finish my record — mission accomplished," he said.

The album included his prior singles "It Gets Better" and "Start to Believe" — which he teased during the hidden talent portion of the Mr. November pageant. In an interview with Aria Ligi published on LinkedIn, Ewing wanted to relay the importance of self-acceptance. "Each song represents a moment or a period of my life. The overarching theme of the album is empowerment," he said. "It took me quite a while to reconcile my unusual past and make way for my future. My hope is that the listener will be inspired to move forward on their own personal empowerment journey."

Blake McIver Ewing also became a noteworthy director

Aside from a few minor roles in film and on TV, Blake McIver Ewing seemed keep his distance from the big screen after "The Little Rascals" and set his attention on theater. Despite his apparent success as a child actor, his interview with Broadway World suggests his transition from film to theater wasn't a sudden decision. "When I was 6, I saw the first LA sit-down production of 'The Phantom of the Opera' with Michael Crawford and Dale Krisien," he recalled. "It was completely life-changing. I was so transfixed, and I immediately wanted to know how every aspect of a big Broadway show was made." From his successful stint in "Ragtime," Ewing continued to hone his craft throughout high school and college.

His strong interest in theater eventually propelled him into directing live shows. In an interview with Thotyssey, Ewing explained that he started directing when he was only 19. "I started a theater company in Southern California at 19 and cut my teeth as a producing major during my time at UCLA," he stated. "Writing came shortly thereafter, first with songwriting, and then it expanded from there!" According to his LinkedIn profile, Ewing directed musicals like "Aida" and "The Light in the Piazza" for his company, the Youth Musical Theatre Association. His other directorial productions "West Side Story," "I Dream of Jackie," and Rockwell Table & Stage's "A Star Is Born 3."

He reprised his role as Derek in the finale of Fuller House

Aside from Waldo in "The Little Rascals," Blake McIver Ewing is best known for his role as Derek Boyd on "Full House." After starring in the episode "The Play's the Thing," Ewing became a recurring character who frequently shared the screen with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. In his Thotyssey interview, Ewing recalled his experience acting in the ABC sitcom. "It was a joy to be on that set every single time," he recalled. "It really was a cohesive family by the time I entered the cast, and they all made me feel right at home."

Although he reunited with his former castmates from "The Little Rascals" in 2014, fans never got to see Ewing reunite with the "Full House" cast. With Netflix behind the show's revival in "Fuller House," fans were eager to see his character make a cameo. Luckily, in 2020, Ewing briefly reprised his role as Derek in the fifth season finale of "Fuller House." The actor took to Instagram a month later to share words of gratitude. "With everything going on in the world, it didn't feel right to plug any gigs on my feed. But in doing so, I failed to say what a true joy and honor it was to return as Derek on the final episode of 'Fuller House,'" he wrote. "Thank you to Candace Bure, Andrea Barber, and Jodie Sweetin for welcoming me back with open, loving arms!

Blake McIver Ewing kept himself busy with online projects during the pandemic

Blake McIver Ewing's love for live theater surely took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the Los Angeles-mandated quarantine, this meant that Ewing was out of work for the better part of 2020. As a performer, however, Ewing didn't allow the pandemic to affect his work too much. 

According to his Broadway World interview, Ewing adjusted to the time of uncertainty and creatively turned to online content as a means of finding work. "Like so many performers, I turned all my focus on what could be done under the given circumstances," he stated. "Stopping was not an option for me, so my partner Emerson Collins and I produced a series of livestream shows. We did about one a month for the duration of the lockdown." Their livestreams consisted of musicals that included happy hour events as well as more story-driven shows like "Once Upon a Lockdown" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Lockdown."

In addition to these, Ewing started a podcast with actress Alison Robertson titled "The Con Artist." On the show, the two shared various insights into the acting world, mental wellness, and much more. With guests such as casting director Steven Tylor O'Connor and Ewing's partner Emerson Collins, it seemed the two were succeeding as content creators. Unfortunately, it appeared that after 30 episodes, the two have since ended their podcast, last updating it on May 26, 2021.

He recalled some not-so-fun memories of working with Donald Trump

Blake McIver Ewing's portrayal of Waldo in "The Little Rascals" is a frequent talking point whenever he is interviewed. From his L.O.V.E. medley to his mischievous schemes, it's hard not to remember just how impactful his performance was. More surprising, however, was Donald Trump's short cameo as Waldo's father in the 1994 cult classic. Thanks to his political ventures, it's easy to forget that Trump was, at one point, a highly praised figure in business and entertainment. Though Ewing tends to refrain from speaking ill of others, he had some harsh choice of words for the former president.

In a 2021 interview with Vulture, Ewing shared his experience with Trump when the cameras were off. In addition to being nervous, Ewing stated that Trump wanted to have lunch with the actor and his family to improve their chemistry on camera. Aside from witnessing Tiffany Trump crying, Ewing suggested the whole experience was pointless. "I remember nothing from the lunch because he's so horribly unmemorable in person, but what was hilarious is that when they got him on set, he didn't realize that the whole conversation is just over a cellphone," he recalled. "So he was never going to interact with me anyway — the whole thing was for naught. Well, isn't that the perfect encapsulation of Trump as a human? That it was all for naught."

Blake McIver Ewing worked alongside Del Shores to direct The Red Suitcase in 2023

Although the pandemic made Blake McIver Ewing prematurely stop his live theater pursuits, the quarantine lift gave Ewing the opportunity to get back to his passions. In 2021, Ewing made his onstage return alongside his partner Emerson Collins and a New York-based duo that likes to perform in their underwear (no, that's not a joke), The Skivvies. The following year, Ewing and Collins were included in the duo's brief "Sleigh My Name" tour in the greater Los Angeles area.

But his theater tear didn't end there. In 2023, Ewing partnered with Jiggs Burgess and Del Shores to direct "The Red Suitcase." Making its world premiere at Hollywood's Broadwater Theatre Mainstage — just months after Ewing performed a Stephen Sondheim celebration event — the production met with positive reviews. Some of the actors involved in the project included Collins, Mat Hayes, Pam Trotter, and Tiago Santos. Following the show's immediate success, Ewing took to Instagram to announce its other dates to his 16,000-plus followers. "I'm incredibly proud of the work that Del Shores and I did on this world premiere production, and this brilliant cast is not to be missed," he wrote.