The great “Hot For Teacher” Waldo hoax has officially come to an end.
Meet Keith Kessinger, a musician from California who, back in 2011, posted a one-man-band tribute video to his favorite Van Halen song and titled it “Hot For Waldo.” In it, Kessinger performs the Van Halen classic “Hot For Teacher” while dressed up as the iconic character in the original video from 1984 – Waldo. Only this is a 39-year old Waldo…still living at home with his mom.
Not only is Kessinger dressed up in classic Waldo garb – nerdy glasses and all – but his facial features look eerily similar to those of the 1984 Waldo. So much so that people couldn’t help but believe that they had finally discovered what really became of Waldo after graduating all those many years ago.
Keith Kessinger’s “Hot For Waldo” Video:
Eventually Kessinger went from being rumored to be the real Waldo on on-line forums to being credited as the actual actor who portrays Waldo as you can see in images taken from both IMDB and Wikipedia below:
The Van Halen News Desk’s Eric Senich recently had Kessinger on his podcast (listen below) to talk about his experience filming the “Hot For Teacher” video. That’s when Kessinger revealed to Senich that he was not the original Waldo.
“That’s not me. I’m not even an actor,” Kessinger told Senich.
Kessinger said he was just as surprised as Senich was as he only just recently found out that he had been cited as Waldo on Wikipedia. In fact, he had only realized he was on IMDB the night before his interview on the podcast.
“I was looking this up last night and I noticed it said that I’m the actual guy who played Waldo on the video on Van Halen’s Wiki [page]. I was like, ‘WHAT THE HELL!’ I just showed my wife like a half hour ago,” said Kessinger. “I saw that [I’m on IMDB] too when I Googled it.”
Kessinger added: “One of the parents [of the students I give music lessons to] said, ‘Are you the actual Waldo?’ I said, ‘NO!’ She goes, ‘You know you’re all over the internet right?’ I’m like, ‘I know that someone mentioned it before a long time ago. I’ve seen that [online] a little bit but it’s like everywhere! I had no idea.”
Kessinger is no stranger to getting himself involved with online rumors. Back in 2007 he posted a Guns ‘N’ Roses parody song in which he gave a spot-on performance of Axl Rose. In it Kessinger (as Axl) sings of having regrets over the breakup of GNR and wanting to finally reunite with Slash and the rest of his former bandmates:
Keith Kessinger’s “Sorry I Ruined The Show (The Guns ‘N’ Roses Song)”:
“That was actually the very first thing I put on YouTube,” said Kessinger. “It took off crazy because everyone started uploading it as Guns ‘N’ Roses and lying and it ended up on Wikipedia. I’m like, ‘Oh my GOD!’
As for the Keith Kessinger/Waldo rumor Kessinger first thought that it all began when reader’s misinterpreted an article posted by The Van Halen News Desk in 2011. The posting included the video of “Hot For Waldo” and stated that the Waldo in the video is “actually solo artist/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Keith Kessinger.”
“So on Van Halen News Desk they actually say that but for some reason I think people want to run with it,”’ said Kessinger.
By the end of the interview, however, it became apparent to Kessinger that he himself had initiated the rumor when Senich came upon a posting on the music information website Songfacts. In it the comment stated that “Keith Kessinger physically played Waldo”. After hearing Senich read the comment out loud it occurred to him – he was the person who posted the comment.
Kessinger’s comment posted on Songfacts:
“That’s how it started! You just reminded me…I put that [on Songfacts] to just kinda create a little bit of interest [in my video],” Kessinger told Senich.
Looks like someone is headed straight to detention…
It turns out that Kessinger has an interesting background which includes connection to the world of Van Halen. He’s played in a band with former David Lee Roth drummer Ray Luzier along with singer Ralph Saenz formerly of the VH tribute band The Atomic Punks. Oh and Kessinger also got to hang out at the home of former David Lee Roth guitarist Steve Vai!
Heare those stories and more during Kessinger’s interview on The DISCovery podcast with Eric Senich below:
To hear more episodes of DISCovery with Eric Senich including ones devoted entirely to Van Halen’s 1978 debut album, ‘1984’, ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge’ and David Lee Roth go HERE.
Find DISCovery on Facebook HERE.