Anthony Weiner is taking a less-than-political approach to his return to the public eye. The former congressman and New York City mayoral candidate, disgraced by a series of online sexual follies, is set to play himself in the season finale of Amazon’s original political series, Alpha House.
Weiner, who has not been in the public eye much since storming the New York media with an ill-fated campaign for mayor of New York, is set to make an appearance as himself in the show, along with other big Washington names like Michael Steele, Jeffrey Toobin, and Tom Brokaw. Spokespersons for the show that confirmed Weiner’s appearance have not stated exactly what he will be doing, but from the position of generating more interest in the show from those who would not otherwise watch it, bringing Weiner in to potentially ridicule himself is a decently well thought-out move.
On Weiner’s part, though, it is difficult to see a good reason for doing this. Of course, many argued during his spectacular self-immolation that a major reason his chronic online sex chats with ladies were a political problem was not their lurid content, but that they exposed a certain megalomania that made Weiner unfit for office. The initial suspicions that his problems with sending overtly sexual photos of himself to women on the internet were a sign of bigger problems was confirmed by his open and aggressive lying about the matter. For those who needed even more proof of ego issues, Weiner attempted, without irony, to run for mayor of New York City, only to be unveiled as the shady internet character “Carlos Danger” years after he claimed he was done with sexting.
And here he is again, taking over a spotlight. This time, however, it is under the relatively safer auspices of Hollywood, who will likely make him rib his own follies in a lighthearted, but scripted, way. Democrats showing up in Hollywood is nothing new, but someone as thoroughly humiliated by his own behavior as Anthony Weiner certainly is. Eliot Spitzer may have tried to launch a serious cable news career (unsuccessfully) and made the same mistake of seeking office again, but Spitzer has yet to court this breed of West Coast-style rehabilitation. On the other extreme of the politically disgraced spectrum, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey tried and failed to become an Episcopal priest.
The season finale of Alpha House— a comedy based loosely on the living arrangements of Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Rep. George Miller– is set to premiere on Amazon Prime on January 10.