NEW YORK -- Saturday Night Live has joined its late night TV brethern in claiming a stake in the Rob Ford comedy gold mine, lampooning Toronto's embattled mayor over his erratic behaviour.

The NBC show opened with cast member Bobby Moynihan portraying Ford in a skit that parodied the mayor's repeated public apologies for such things as smoking crack, buying drugs, driving after drinking and using vulgar language on live TV.

The Ford character would issue a chastened apology for actions unbecoming and then quickly follow it with an expletive laced rant against his critics. At one point Moynihan ducks behind the lectern to do a drug deal, and then is heard exclaiming "WOW! ... that's a lot of crack."

The sketch also mocked the many unflattering photographs of Ford that have graced front pages since the scandal erupted with reports of a video that appeared to show the mayor using crack cocaine.

Ford was again targeted on the show's Weekend Update segment with co-hosts Seth Meyers and Cesily Strong.

They took aim at the crude sexual remarks the mayor recently made to City Hall reporters and also the booming sales of Rob Ford bobblehead dolls.

"Interesting fact," Meyers joked, "bobblehead is one of the side effects of smoking crack."

SNL joined the pantheon of shows for whom Rob Ford has provided a veritable joke treasure chest. David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and several others have had a field day with the on-going Ford train wreck.

On a somewhat more serious note, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside city hall Saturday morning to demand that Rob Ford leave office immediately.

They said the current moves by city councillors to strip him of his mayoral powers don't go far enough.

The protesters accused Ford of being a buffoon who has deeply embarrassed both himself and his city, and said he needs to step aside -- now.

On Monday, city council will vote on a motion that would see Ford's office and budget essentially moved to the control of the deputy mayor.

Ford is threatening a court fight over council's actions.