What Ever Happened to 'Out of the Box' Hosts Tony and Vivian?

Remember how iconic Playhouse Disney was back in the day? We had Bear in the Big Blue House, Rolie Polie Olie, and of course, Out of the Box. Which made us think: What ever happened to Out of the Box’s beloved hosts, Tony James and Vivian Bayubay McLaughlin?

We do a deep dive on the iconic duo’s post-Disney Channel lives on PureWow's nostalgic pop culture podcast, 'What Ever Happened To...?'—where we come together to relive pop culture history and uncover what became of the celebrities and trends that defined our adolescence.

What Was 'out Of The Box?'

Out of the Box was a show that ran from 1998 to 2004 on Playhouse Disney, Disney Channel's old morning program block for toddlers—these days, it’s called Disney Jr. As former Playhouse Disney-watching millennials remember, the series took place in “The Box.”

It just looked like a castle of boxes from the outside. But once they hopped inside, it was a playdate paradise filled with slides, musical instruments, crafting supplies, dress up clothes, pictures that came alive—you name it. They’d do crafts, make music and even act out plays.

At the end of each episode, one of the hosts would walk the kids home, while the other would stay back and recap what they learned that day. Then, of course, the episode would close with Tony and Vivian singing their iconic Goodbye Song, which is probably what everyone remembers most from the show.

Tony and Vivian went by their real names in the show—but what’s the story behind the real-life Tony and Vivian, and what ever happened to them?

Where Is Tony James Now?

Even though the show was short-lived, the Tony legacy lives on. These days, his main job is music and voice-overs. Some of his work includes a Rav4 commercial, promos for kids shows and audiobooks. He also dropped a self-titled album in 2006, which you can listen to on Spotify.

Where Is Vivian Bayubay Mclaughlin Now?

Viv is a voice and piano teacher and music director for several colleges, children's theaters and high schools. She’s been married for more than 20 years and has a daughter who just finished 5th grade. Oh, and her daughter seems to have inherited some of those artsy genes. She’s modeled for Walmart, Pottery Barn Kids and has been in a number of community theater productions. Plus, she sings and plays guitar. That is one talented household.

Are Tony And Vivian Still Friends?

They sure are! In fact, they recently reunited online and gained some major TikTok fame.

In March 2021, Tony’s daughter, Jessa Rose, posted a TikTok of her dad. The video got 1.5 million views, and a few days later, he launched his own TikTok. He posted a video of himself drumming on a box and singing the Goodbye Song, and the video has over 5 million views.

After Tony’s TikToks blew up, Viv made an account of her own to let people know how deeply grateful she is to have been part of their childhood. Then, she dueted Tony’s Goodbye Song video, and the video gained 2.9 million views.

So, that's what happened to Tony and Vivian. They'll always be a part of our cherished childhood memories—and now, apparently our TikTok algorithms.

Want more nostalgia? Tune in to 'What Ever Happened To...?' every Tuesday on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forget to send your "What Ever Happened To's" to—or just comment on one of our TikToks @WhatEverHappenedToPod.

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