It takes a lot of cojones (or maybe just complete stupidity) to make the same mistake twice. But that’s just what New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner managed to do when he got caught up in yet another sex scandal. In keeping with tradition, the newest issue of The New Yorker features a clever cartoon cover (say that three times fast) mocking this latest piece of news from the nefarious world of politics.
In the illustration for the August 5 issue, we see Anthony Weiner à la King Kong, straddling a strategically placed Empire State Building, but with a slightly, shall we say, risqué twist. As you’ve probably noticed, Weiner’s scandal lends itself to countless parodies, late-night talk show jokes, and other sorts of fodder for hilarity. (Seriously, his name is Weiner.) But the barrage of media attention and comedic content inspired by his sexual indiscretions is nothing new or unusual. Rather, Weiner’s scandal is just the latest in the slew of politicians’ sordid affairs that have sparked full-on laugh riots in the comedy world. From fake campaign commercials to parody songs to just straight-up hilarious commentary, these are some of our favorite reactions to political sex scandals.
North Carolina Democrat John Edwards was once a state senator, nominee for Vice President, and candidate for President of the United States. But his political ambitions were dashed when news broke that he had fathered an illegimate child with his mistress and former campaign worker Rielle Hunter. The scandal, which caused a national outrage, also inspired an abundance of humorous parodies, including several Saturday Night Live sketches. And we can’t forget MadTV’s “Viva La Cheata,” a musical parody of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” starring Jerry O’Connell as Edwards.
Presidential candidate hopeful Herman Cain was a frontrunner for the Republican Party nomination in 2011, but he was forced to suspend his campaign when four women sued him for sexual harrassment and misconduct. When the fourth season of Arrested Development premiered on Netflix this summer, fans were introduced to a new character named Herbert Love. Mr. Love, a bizarre conservative politician who has an affair with Lindsay Bluth Fünke, is an unmistakable caricature of Herman Cain. If you have a Netflix account, check out his role in the latter half of Season 4. And if you don’t, change that.
When South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford went missing for a few days in 2009, it didn’t take too much investigative reporting to discover that the married politician was visiting his mistress in Argentina. On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a few hilarious choice words about the scandal, calling Sanford “just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis.”
Nothing epitomizes the political sex scandal quite like President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky affair. There are too many jokes, songs, commentaries, and parodies to count, but one of our favorite takes on the scandal is Billy Bob Thornton’s sleazy, womanizing American president character in Love Actually. Also, when the creators of baracksdubs decided to put together a presidential version of Robin Thicke’s suggestive “Blurred Lines,” there was no better fit than good ol’ Bubba Clinton.
In 2008, New York governor Eliot Spitzer made headlines and was forced to resign when The New York Times reported that he had been a patron of a high-priced prostitution service called Emperors Club VIP. In all legal proceedings, Spitzer was referred to as Client #9, a moniker that inspired a musical parody of the scandal, set to the melody of Love Potion No. 9. Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler also had some hilariously incredulous commentary on the subject in their signature “Really!?!” segment.
California governor and Kennedy husband Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to have it all. That is, until it was revealed that he had an illegitimate child with one of his longtime household employees. The Governator’s scandal prompted yet another brilliant “Really!?!” sketch (unfortunately sans Amy Poehler)
When Louisiana senator David Vitter was identified as a client of the the “D.C. Madam” prostitution service, he did not face criminal charges because of the statute of limiations. The Republican congressman did however face a wave of mockery from the press and public alike. Funny Or Die put together a fake campaign commercial with video footage of Vitter accompanied by captions like “David Vitter has a diaper fetish.”