From Congressman to Cameo Sensation: How George Santos Found Fame and Fortune on the Video Messaging Platform

25 December 2023

Expelled from Congress, George Santos leverages his notoriety on Cameo to make more money than he did as a politician.

George Santos, the former representative from New York who made headlines for being the first House member ejected without a criminal conviction since the Civil War, is once again in the spotlight. After being expelled from Congress, Santos joined the celebrity shout-out app Cameo and quickly surpassed his congressional salary in just one week. This article explores how Santos utilized Cameo to become a budding influencer, earning more money than he did as a congressman.

The Rise of Cameo and Its Appeal

Cameo is a website that allows users to request personalized video messages from celebrities and notable personalities in exchange for payment. The platform offers a range of prices, from as low as $1 to thousands of dollars, depending on the popularity and demand for each creator. Cameo CEO, Steven Galanis, explains that the desire for personalized greetings and acknowledgments from admired individuals is a timeless human longing. It provides an opportunity for fans to connect with their idols and feel a sense of inclusion in the zeitgeist. For celebrities, Cameo offers an effortless way to monetize their fame, even if they are not widely known. The majority of Cameo bookings are made as gifts, with the platform experiencing a surge in sales during the holiday season.

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Santos’s Explosive Success on Cameo

George Santos joined Cameo just three days after his expulsion from Congress. Within a week, he had already surpassed his $174,000 yearly congressional salary. Santos’s videos, featuring his signature catchphrases such as “haters are gonna hate,” quickly went viral and gained attention from notable figures like Sen. John Fetterman and Jimmy Kimmel. Cameo CEO Galanis praises Santos for fitting the archetype of what performs well on the platform – someone who is funny, interesting, and known for something. Santos’s posts have resonated with audiences, propelling him to break records previously held by celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Carole Baskin.

The Potential of Internet Celebrity for Santos

Santos’s unique persona as a disgraced politician has garnered him a legion of fascinated followers who find him both intriguing and entertaining. As a viral sensation and a “campy gay” icon, Santos has the opportunity to build a fandom beyond his political career. Cameo allows him to capitalize on his newfound internet stardom and potentially surpass the influence he had as a national lawmaker. Santos’s presence on the platform was self-initiated, with no formal invitation from Cameo. This demonstrates the power of social media in catapulting individuals into the spotlight and creating viral moments that can lead to long-lasting fame.

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The Future of Santos’s Influencer Journey

While Santos’s success on Cameo may be temporary, his ability to go viral and capture the attention of audiences is a testament to his potential as an influencer. As the saying goes, “15 minutes of fame can last 15 years” in the age of social media. Santos’s ability to generate content that resonates with people has proven to be a valuable asset. While his popularity on Cameo may fade over time, Santos has showcased his understanding of how to go viral and captivate an audience – a core skill for any influencer.


George Santos’s journey from congressman to Cameo sensation highlights the evolving landscape of fame and influence in the digital age. Expelled from Congress, Santos found a new platform to showcase his personality and capitalize on his notoriety. His success on Cameo, surpassing his congressional salary within a week, demonstrates the potential for individuals to leverage their online presence and create lucrative opportunities. While Santos’s fame on Cameo may be fleeting, he has proven his ability to capture the attention of audiences and establish himself as a budding influencer. As the world of social media continues to shape the concept of celebrity, Santos’s story serves as a reminder that the boundaries of fame are constantly expanding, with new opportunities for individuals to find success and make their mark on the digital landscape.

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