Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was “upset” and “mad” after being grilled on live television Monday about his substance abuse and bizarre behaviour, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel says.
“It seemed like we were having fun,” said Mr. Kimmel as he opened his monologue Tuesday night.
“But then after the show, apparently he was upset. Why, I’m not exactly sure. I asked him about drinking and smoking crack — what were we supposed to talk about, his other hobbies?”
Mr. Ford said earlier on Tuesday of the appearance that “I knew that I was going into a lion’s den, and I held my own.”
His brother and campaign manager, Councillor Doug Ford called it “a real positive, positive trip.”
But Mr. Kimmel told his audience on Tuesday evening that after the show, Mr. Ford “left right away mad.”
Mr. Kimmel said he had no intention of upsetting the mayor, adding, “I hope we’re still on for go-carting this weekend.”
The Monday appearance by Mr. Ford featured a series of harsh summaries and questions from Mr. Kimmel.
“If you are an alcoholic,” Mr. Kimmel said, “if you’re doing crack in your 40s and you can’t remember … [That’s] something to think about. It’s nothing to be ashamed about.”
In response to that, the mayor looked uncomfortable, laughing off the question and saying “I wasn’t elected to be perfect, Jimmy.”
Even the late-night host seemed bewildered that the mayor had agreed to appear. “Why are you here?” he asked. “What good can come from this?”
Toronto city councillors reacted with similar bewilderment.
Councillor Shelley Carroll said the mayor has become an international punchline, she said, and that fact will reflect back on the city if it re-elects him this fall.
“We as a city really need to give our heads a shake and ask ourselves, ‘Come October [if we elect him], this becomes a joke on us internationally speaking,’ ” she said.
Across North America, there is a new scale for drunkenness: “zero to Rob Ford,” she said.
Councillor Jaye Robinson, who was removed from the mayor’s executive committee after calling for him to take a leave last June, said the positive spin put on the appearance by the mayor and his brother was a political move.
“I think he is just trying to make good of a bad situation because clearly the mayor was humiliated. Toronto was humiliated. He was mocked,” she said.
With reports from The Canadian Press, Elizabeth Church and Ann Hui