Toronto, Canada’s embattled mayor Rob Ford made his way to Los Angeles earlier this week for a hotly anticipated appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Whether Ford anticipated Kimmel’s rapid fire questions about his prior drug use, his seemingly racist remarks or anything else that the mayor has said or done over the last couple of years does not really matter. Rob Ford was grilled on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Ford’s true intentions behind his appearance on the show remain something of a mystery.
Rob Ford says he accepted the invite onto the show to promote Toronto as “Hollywood North”, but critics are questioning whether or not this was his real motivation. For all his faults, Ford is not a stupid man. He had to have known that he was walking into an ambush, and while Toronto taxpayers were apparently not on the hook for the trip, Ford would be suffering some significant illusions if he thought his trip was for anything other than having the entire viewing audience in Kimmel’s studio and at home across the world have a first-hand look at how ridiculous the mayor truly can be.
Councillor Doug Ford said his brother’s appearance on the late night show was scripted and that the mayor did not have enough time to promote Toronto as the ideal site for filming, which is what he said the real purpose of the visit was. Kimmel cold called the mayor to invite him to the show, and Kimmel himself admitted to being shocked that the mayor accepted the invite. According to reports, Kimmel’s show covered the costs for one dinner, and Toronto taxpayers did not foot the bill for the late night talk show visit.
As for the mayor, Rob Ford was sweating some as he was put under the gun on Jimmy Kimmel Live, leading Kimmel to offer to dab the mayor off. Kimmel even played that for jokes, saying that he was originally going to sell the damp tissue on eBay and then adding that he was going to get DNA from the tissue to create an army of cloned Rob Fords to spread around California.
Ford seemed to show one day early, as during a joke on Kimmel’s post-Oscars special, Ford came out, wearing a tuxedo, and then realized he was on the show on the wrong night. With a quick apology, Ford exited, but not before the eruption of laughter.
Ford also hit the Oscars after-parties, renting a poolside cabana at one for $2,500 including alcohol. According to reports, the mayor behaved as though he was on the election campaign, handing out commemorative magnets to several of those in attendance at the bash. Ford claims that his purpose in going to California was simply a promotional one to entice the movie industry to film more frequently in Toronto, but there are those who question Ford’s real motivation, and whether the US is now laughing at Canada as a result. A recent editorial from the Toronto Star, for instance, questioned, “Is the US Laughing With Us or At Us?”
While Ford was put under the gun on Jimmy Kimmel Live, it would appear that the embattled Toronto mayor has some difficulty in discerning the difference between an actual promotional visit and being the butt of the joke. Hopefully, he learns the difference before the Toronto citizenry goes to the polls October 27, 2014.
By Christina St-Jean