After George Santos was booted from Congress on December 1, public sentiment was divided: No one seemed to want him in the House, but … things will be a lot more dull without him in our lives.
“The truth is, this man never belonged in Congress; he belongs on Bravo,” comedian John Oliver proclaimed on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” after Santos’s expulsion was announced.
Oliver’s not the only one who thinks so.
“I would be surprised if [Santos] wasn’t already in talks about something,” casting director and former MTV reality star Jason Cornwell told The Post. “Somebody’s gonna grab him and lock him into a contract and then figure it out from there.”
Troy DeVolld, a producer and reality TV veteran who has worked on series including “Dancing With the Stars” and “The Bachelor,” has an idea for a Santos show:
“It’d just be him doing things that he claimed to have done or that he’s clearly not qualified to do,” he said of the 35-year-old, who — among his many inventive stories — claimed to be a Broadway producer, a Baruch College volleyball star, a Wall Street financier, “Jew-ish” and head of a charity for pets. (Santos denied, however, reports that he once dressed as a drag artist under the name Kitara Ravache.)
“He has this sort of weird adaptive personality — like he can go anywhere,” DeVolld said.
Although Santos claims to have turned down multiple documentary filmmakers, he said he would consider “Dancing with the Stars” when asked by reporters: “If I find the chutzpah to go on television and embarrass myself with my four left feet, maybe someday.”
His lawyers say they’re in talks about a plea deal, as he faces up to 22 years in prison for 23 felony charges including wire fraud and identity theft. Investigators also allege that he used campaign money to pay for botox treatment and OnlyFans subscriptions.
Santos, who is now reportedly making $500 a video call on Cameo, wouldn’t be the first political figure to pivot to reality TV.
Former Texas governor Rick Perry, and former Trump Administration press secretary Sean Spicer have both taken to the “Dancing with the Stars” stage. And, in 2009, disgraced House majority leader Tom DeLay joined the cast after he stepped down from office for money laundering.
Casting producer Ian B. Connor isn’t convinced “DWTS” isn’t the right fit for Santos — “Well, first, can he dance?” — but he does think the former pol’s brazenness makes him a perfect contender for unscripted TV.
“We’re looking for people who are naturally villains,” Connor told The Post. “He’s the kind of bad guy who thinks he’s a good guy, and those always make good TV.”
Connor said he would pitch Santos for “The Traitors,” a show on Peacock where cunning contestants play a murder mystery game: “They look for real life liars and manipulators and traitors … It feels like an appropriate show for him.”
One thing Santos shouldn’t play up is his old life on Capitol Hill. Said one reality exec: “The interaction of politics and reality never works. Who remembers ‘Real Housewives of DC?’”
But Cornwell, who has helped launch more than 300 reality shows, said he can envision a follow-along show of Santos’s day-to-day life.
“It would be such a s–t show to watch,” he told The Post. “If he’s not already referencing himself in the third person, he probably will be soon, which is a sign of insanity. He thinks highly of himself, but he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.
“All of these traits are good for a certain type of trash reality TV.”
DeVolld worries that Santos — who he describes as “an inconsequential traffic accident” — could make it through a season without trouble.
“Based on how he’s being investigated, he would be an awfully risky choice as a character,” DeVolld said. “Things could go sideways.”
Additional reporting by Evan Real
This story originally appeared on NY Post