While running for Congress in 2021, Santos told some potential donors he was a producer on the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, according to people familiar with the discussions. That show, which ran from 2011 to 2014, was an ill-fated production that lost tens of millions of dollars and suffered from technical mishaps and actor injuries.
The lead producer, Michael Cohl, denied Santos's involvement, saying through an assistant that he wasn't a producer on the musical. Santos's name also never appeared in the playbills for the show.
Look, I'm sorry, but this is fucking funny. As a playwright, Spider-Man fan, and someone who has technically received (though not won) a Tony Award, I still fondly remember watching the development of that musical with the hyper-focus of morbid curiosity. Everyone involved in that shitshow was desperate to distance themselves from it, unless they could profit from the disaster (or, in the case of Julie Taymor, they were apparently just shielded from reality for several years, oblivious to anything going on, including injuries and/or basic narrative structures). So why the hell would Santos lie about this of all things? What do you gain from that? That's not con-artistry — it's either an Andy Kaufman-esque performance art bit, or a manifestation of a compulsive lying habit that is indicative of much more deeply concerning mental health issues.
Or, it's like the Green Goblin infamously sang: "A freak like me needs company."
George Santos Produced Ill-Fated Spider-Man Musical. At Least, He Claims He Did [Laura Davidson / Bloomberg News]