In the United States, the song peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 500,000 copies and earning a gold certification. Additionally, it peaked within the top ten on the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
During a performance[which?] of the song in 1993, members of the homeless community were invited on stage during the performance, furthering the message of the song. In 1993 Kids Incorporated covered "Mr. Wendal" in the episode "One Man Band".