Whatever Happened To… Emmanuel Lewis


Hey gang! Welcome back to Whatever Happened To…, a weekly column where we unearth a pop culture personality from the deep, dark recesses of your over-stimulated psyches. Because nostalgia is fun! For this fourth installment we have to thank Vulture’s Mark Graham for inspiring us with this picture of Webster errr, we mean Emmanuel Lewis humping a waitress. Note: We used to wake up absurdly early on Saturday mornings so we could catch reruns of the show on TV while drinking chocolate milk sip-ups.

But back to Lewis, whose Wikipedia entry notes, “is often compared with Gary Coleman, star of Diff’rent Strokes.” Heh. Actually, this line is even more upsetting: “When Diff’rent Strokes became a hit on NBC with Coleman in the starring role, ABC tried, with some success, to duplicate that show’s formula of depicting a tiny African-American boy being raised in a white family.” Nice. Remember how he would call his adoptive parents the Papadapolis’s “George” and “Ma’am”? (Side note: Did anyone see the last episode of the series, where the entire cast went into space?

OK, so after Webster was canceled in 1989, he played himself on a lot of TV shows throughout the ’90s (Family Matters, Malcolm & Eddie) and had a guest role in one episode of Moesha in 1998. He was also featured on The Surreal Life (2002) and The Surreal Life: Fame Games in 2007.

Lewis is currently filming a movie called Doesn’t Texas Ever End which stars another blast from your past, Ben Savage. There’s also a rumored Michael Bay flick in the works which would pair him up with Gary Coleman. While we’d gladly fork over 10 bucks to see them save the world from a madman, it sounds a little too good to be true, don’t you think?