Kimmel to Rob Ford: 'Why are you here? What good could come of this?'
Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014 5:53AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:09PM EST
Despite Mayor Rob Ford’s mission to promote Toronto in Tinseltown, his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night played out more like a highlight reel of the world-famous mayor’s many public blunders and missteps.
Kimmel began the 15-minute interview by asking Ford the question many political observers and average Torontonians wanted answered: “Why are you here? What good could come of this? Have you ever seen the show?”
Ford said he agreed to appear because Kimmel had personally asked him.
Since stories emerged last May of a video showing Ford smoking what appears to be crack cocaine, Kimmel and several other American late-night talk show hosts have gotten great laughs poking fun at the Toronto mayor. Kimmel and his team reportedly spent several months trying to get the mayor to agree to come on the show.
Ford said he wanted viewers to know that Toronto is a great city that has been booming during his mayoralty, and repeated his oft-contested claim that he’s saved Toronto taxpayers $1 billion, and fulfilled “90 per cent” of his promises.
As the interview began, Kimmel told Ford that many Torontonians seemed angry with him for inviting the mayor on to his show. Kimmel said they had chided him, through Twitter and Facebook, highlighting the accusations of drunk driving, domestic abuse, homophobia, racism and dishonesty that have all been aimed at the mayor.
“Is that it? Is that all I got?” Ford laughed in response. “I guess they don’t talk about all the money I’ve saved, how we straightened out the city.”
Kimmel then asked the mayor whether he has to apologize a lot; Ford responded he’s through with apologizing, and is focusing on the municipal election in October.
“The apologies are over. I’m moving on. People are going to judge me on my proven track record,” Ford said.
Kimmel then ushered the mayor to a giant video screen to show some of the videos and images that have made the mayor such a celebrity: falling over while trying to throw a football, miming a drunk driver in city council, cursing after walking into a TV camera, and dancing to Bob Marley’s music in council chambers.
When he showed hidden camera footage of Ford threatening to attack an unknown person, promising to rip the man’s eyes out, Kimmel asked, “Who are you talking about?”
Ford shrugged and said he didn’t know.
“You have that many enemies that you don’t know which one that was?” Kimmel responded, to laughs.
Later, when Ford told Kimmel he’d been exercising and eating right and had lost 40 pounds, Kimmel asked the mayor about his “drunken stupors” and his substance abuse.
“As a human being you seem like a nice guy to me,” Kimmel said. “If you are an alcoholic, if you’re drinking enough that he would try crack in his 40s and you don't remember it, maybe that's something that you might want to think about, like talking to somebody.”
“I wasn’t elected to be perfect, Jimmy,” Ford responded, appearing uncomfortable.
“Talk is cheap; actions speak louder than words,” he continued. “And we’ll let the people decide on Oct. 27.”
Asked about why he dared Toronto police Chief Bill Blair to arrest him, Ford said that he wants the chief to explain why police conducted five months of surveillance on him and yet never laid charges.
“I support the police like no other,” Ford said. “But when they’re playing these political games and are friends with my opponents and they’re spending millions of dollars following me around and come up empty-handed, that bothers me.”
Kimmel then asked the mayor if he had seen the video that allegedly shows Ford smoking crack. Ford responded, "I want the world to see it.”
“Me, too,” Kimmel retorted.
“Look what happened to Kim Kardashian after her video came out,” he added. “She did very, very well for herself.”
For his part, the mayor’s brother, city councillor Doug Ford, told reporters Tuesday morning he thought the entire visit to Los Angeles was “a real positive, positive trip” and that he and his brother were able to “promote the heck out of Toronto.”
Speaking to reporters at city hall, the elder Ford acknowledged that Kimmel threw his brother some “hardball questions.” But he said the comments he received from friends – “without the biased Toronto media” – was that his brother did a good job.
“Rob sat there, very polite, and tried to pump Toronto every second he got. I think Rob did a fabulous job and I truly believe that," Ford said.
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