Metro Weekly

George Santos Demands $20,000 From Jimmy Kimmel

The ousted congressman says that the late-night talk show host owes him more than $20,000 for Cameo videos.

George Santos left) – Photo: Instagram; Jimmy Kimmel – Photo: Erin Scott, via White House

George Santos claims nighttime talk show host Jimmy Kimmel owes him tens of thousands of dollars for video messages the former U.S. congressman provided in response to requests submitted on Cameo by Kimmel.

Santos joined Cameo, a site where fans pay celebrities for short, personalized messages, after being ousted from Congress by his peers following a damning report that alleged he engaged in ethical and financial wrongdoing.

He initially started charging $75 per video, with his fee rising to $500 per video.

Kimmel, eager to exploit Santos’s story for laughs, announced a new segment during Friday’s show called, “Will George Santos Say It?”

In it, he pranks Santos by sending in requests, using anonymous names, for the gay Republican to respond to questions, offer well-wishes, or read various messages aloud.

The first video in the series, “Jimmy Kimmel Pranks George Santos on Cameo,” brought in 1.4 million views on YouTube.


In preparation for that segment, Kimmel’s production team submitted requests using fake names asking Santos to congratulate the winner of a fictitious beef-eating contest, congratulate a woman for the successful cloning of her pet schnauzer, and ask an estranged wife to contact her husband, who allegedly had burnt down their shed by setting off fireworks.

Kimmel aired the messages from Santos on his show, noting that he had ordered “about a dozen more of these.”

In a more recent segment that aired on Monday, Santos was seen offering congratulations and well-wishes to a legally blind woman who allegedly passed a driving test only to subsequently be hospitalized after an accident and congratulating someone for coming out as a “furry.”

Santos apparently does have limits on what he will parrot for money, claiming to have rejected over 60 requests.

He notes he won’t say “pro-Osama bin Laden stuff” due to the sensitive nature of the 911 terrorist attacks, and won’t engage in anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Santos, who has come under fire for fabricating parts of his biography, had previously claimed he was descended from Jews who fled their homeland in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust, and had once claimed his mother had died in the 9/11 attacks. 

Kimmel says his team submitted the video requests simply to test how far Santos would go in terms of what he’d say for pay. Kimmel also noted during his monologue that the former congressman alleges that Kimmell owes him $21,800 for the videos he’s used on air. 

“Can you imagine if I get sued by George Santos for fraud?” Kimmel joked. “I mean, how good would that be? It would be like a dream come true.”

Santos may have some more legal recourse than Kimmel believes he does.

According to The Spectator, Kimmel’s team submitted the messages through the personal use side of Cameo. But because Kimmel intended them for use on-air — and ultimately aired them — Santos argues that the requests should have been submitted through Cameo for Business. This separate branch grants commercial rights for using Cameo videos, with higher per-video fees. 

According to Santos, Kimmel owes him $21,800 and change, accounting for more than a dozen videos requested by Kimmel’s team and a 50 percent business rush rate.

Santos claims Cameo supports his efforts to be properly compensated for his work.

“The idea that Mr. Santos would claim we shortchanged him and used credit card purchases improperly proves once and for all that the man is a comedy genius,” Kimmel told The Spectator.

As for Santos, he claims that if Kimmel doesn’t pay the full outstanding balance, he’ll sue him. 

“He’s having fun at my expense,” Santos said. “But I’m laughing all the way to the bank.”

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