TORONTO – Comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s roasting of Rob Ford on his late-night American TV show was like a “church picnic,” the mayor’s brother declared Tuesday, as he seized on Kimmel’s pronouncement that Ford was the “most wonderful mayor” he had ever witnessed.
In offering his take on the guest appearance, Coun. Doug Ford sloughed off Kimmel’s reruns of several embarrassing videos and his suggestion that the mayor get help for substance abuse.
“Jimmy Kimmel, as he said, ‘You’re the best mayor’,” Doug Ford said at city hall.
“He was sincere when he said that.”
For much of his 15-minute appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” late Monday, the mayor looked uncomfortable as the comedian razzed him over a serious of incidents that have garnered Ford worldwide attention.
“Our first guest tonight has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness,” Kimmel said by way of introduction.
The comedian then cited an email from one Toronto resident, who wrote that Ford’s appearance on the show was “a slap to all Torontonians,” and referred to “domestic abuse, drunk driving, racism, homophobia and inability to tell the truth.”
“Is that all I got?” Ford responded.
At one point, Kimmel played a cellphone video of Ford ranting about wanting to kill someone.
Ford indicated he had no idea who the target of his wrath was.
“You have that many enemies that you don’t know which one this was?” an incredulous Kimmel asked.
Kimmel drew laughs from the studio audience by playing several videos that have gone viral, including one from a meeting in which Ford mimes a drunk driver, dances in council chambers and almost knocks down a fellow councillor.
He quizzed Ford on the number of times the mayor has had to apologize for behaviour that includes smoking crack in a drunken stupor and uttering profanities on national television.
Time and again, however, Ford trotted out his mantra about how he saves taxpayers money and how hard he works for his constituents.
When they say jump, Ford said, he only asks, “How high?”
“Realistically, how high can you jump?” Kimmel interjected.
Ford also described himself as a “normal, average, hard-working politician that’s real.”
“You are not the average politician my friend,” Kimmel retorted.
None of this fazed Doug Ford, who insisted both the studio audience and “unbiased” Americans they met on the trip to Los Angeles thought the mayor a great guy.
“They went bananas for Rob,” Coun. Ford said.
“Every person we talked to was positive.”