Late night comic Jimmy Kimmel greeted the new video of Toronto mayor Rob Ford like an old friend Tuesday night, quipping: “He’s back for an all-new season of Super Mayor. Thank you, Canada! This almost makes up for Justin Bieber.”
In a riff during his opening monologue that began with Mr. Kimmel comparing Mr. Ford to a natural disaster, the comic noted the mayor “has been quiet” since pledging to get fit and stay sober last November. “Unfortunately, the streak of good behaviour appears to have ended last night,” he said, as he introduced the video of the mayor speaking in a semi-coherent Jamaican patois while standing in Etobicoke’s Steak Queen restaurant.
After the video, Mr. Kimmel joked approvingly: “Just when you thought he couldn’t possibly pull another nugget out of his bag of crazy, he gets drunk and speaks Jamaican at a Steak Queen. When you’re the best, that’s what you do.”
After the video of Mr. Ford turned up online on Tuesday afternoon, at least two newspapers – The Toronto Sun and The Globe and Mail – renewed earlier calls for Mr. Ford to resign.
That would be a blow for the late-night comics, who have spent months harvesting golden nuggets from his misadventures. “I love this guy – he’s been great to us,” said Jimmy Fallon, echoing the sentiments of Mr. Kimmel, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart, the Daily Show host who pleaded with the mayor to seek professional help, even though the comic would “lose precious material.”
“Mayor Ford’s a lot of fun to ridicule,” said Mr. Stewart, “but my guess is not a lot of fun to eulogize, and that’s where this thing’s headed.”
During a November broadcast, Mr. Leno told his guest Whoopi Goldberg that, as an American, he was enjoying the scandal unfolding in a foreign country, “because for once we’re not the morons!” Ms. Goldberg replied that she doesn’t believe Mr. Ford is addicted to crack: “You can’t be that fat, and be a crack-head.”
While all of the late-night comics have had their fun with Ford, Mr. Kimmel has hit him the most regularly. In December, his show aired “The 12 Days of Rob Ford,” a musical spoof video set to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas” which intercut the mayor’s admissions of misbehaviour with other notorious clips of him.
In mid-December, after Ford joined congregants onstage during services at the West Toronto Church of God, Mr. Kimmel showed videotape of the mayor dancing awkwardly with the choir. “I call that move the ‘I’m-the-only-white-person-in-a– gospel-choir-shuffle,” Mr. Kimmel cracked. Then, noting a congregant had tweeted that “the mayor smells like ganja,” the comic added: “I always imagine him smelling like a 12-piece bucket of KFC.”
Last month, Ford told reporters that he is not bothered by the late-night comics. “That’s okay, that’s alright, that’s their job,” he said.
“Jimmy likes Rob,” added his brother, city councillor Doug Ford. “That’s what I hear, through his folks. We like Jimmy Kimmel, and we’re having fun.”