|Orange is the new black: Kimmel promised to send Ford some new ties|
Hizzonor never knew what hit him.
There he was, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, losing more weight in 12 minutes than he had ever lost in his life.
“Why are you dressed as a magician?” was Kimmel’s first question. The mayor of Toronto, was all in black except for a bright orange tie and a matching pocket hanky. He looked like one of those fake Batman villains working outside Kimmel’s studio on Hollywood Boulevard.
The much-anticipated meeting of Rob Ford and Jimmy Kimmel had all the build-up of Ali-Frazer III. It wound up more The Thrilla in Vanilla.
“I feel like I’ve been waiting for this night my whole life,” said the talk show host off the top. “I have a lot to discuss with Mayor Ford. I don’t think I’ve had this many questions since the series finale of ‘Lost’.”
“Here’s how it’s gonna work – I’m not sure exactly when – but at some point during the show I will yell “Hey Kool Aid!” and he’ll come smashing through the wall.”
Which is pretty much what happened. Except Ford crashed through the curtain and then started tossing T-shirts into Kimmel’s studio audience.
He could have used all of those T-shirts later to mop the sweat off his face. Red-faced throughout, Ford sweated so much Kimmel apologized to his next guest–the muppet Gonzo–for making him sit in a puddle.
Kimmel asked why Ford had come on his late night talk show. “What good could possibly come of this? Have you ever seen the show?” Ford said it was because Kimmel spoke with him on the phone and asked directly.
Kimmel started off making the mayor sweat and never really stopped. He went over all the major allegations. He made the mayor stand while the two of them looked at all the embarrassing videos on a giant screen. He read emails and tweets from angry and embarrassed Torontonians, mad at Kimmel for having Ford on the show.
“Ford’s a clown, a sick, very bad man,” read Kimmel, “this show is a slap to all Torontonians.”
“Is that all you’ve got?” Ford tried to joke. Kimmel assured him there was much more.
The mayor tried to stick to his simplistic message: respect for taxpayers, build subways, customer service.
|Ford gave a wave on Kimmel’s post-Oscar show the night before–the most-
watched episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live in the series’ 11 year history
When Kimmel asked why the mayor hands out his phone number to virtually everyone, Ford said he worked for the people and when they call, he jumps.
“Realistically,” said Kimmel, eyeing the mayor up and down, “how high can you jump?”
Kimmel did so much homework he might as well have been Koppel. He told Ford a lot of people say he hasn’t done any of the things he says he’s done.
He kept Ford squirming for a third segment–Kanye country. He did everything but pull his pants down the first two. He asked if Ford even exercised. When the mayor suggested he’d lost 40 pounds, Kimmel laughed. He asked if it was true that he had dared the police chief to arrest him. “Is that a good idea?” asked Kimmel.
It was in the third segment, however, where the tone changed. “You seem like a nice guy,” said the host. “Clearly, your brother loves you.”
Kimmel is all about family. Many of his staff members are cousins and other relatives.
Then, the big truth: “You love being mayor, don’t you?”
“I wasn’t elected to be perfect, Jimmy.”
Get help, said Kimmel.
He went right after the addiction. People in their 40s shouldn’t be experimenting with crack, he said. There’s no shame in getting help–he could help others. He could be a tremendous role model. “Something to think about.”
It was a tremendous outreach, and had Ford returned the sincerity, looked Kimmel in the eye, and even said, “I’ll think about it,” he likely would have achieved what he set out to do with this trip–re-election.
Kimmel would have driven him personally straight to Dr. Drew. He would have sponsored the guy.
Instead, Ford looked at the floor, waved off the suggestion and made it clear he doesn’t think he has a problem.
He never expected the guy who used to host The Man Show to ask him to man up.
“You are the most wonderful mayor I’ve ever witnessed in my life,” said Kimmel.
Then the moment passed. Kimmel brought on his next guest, Gonzo the Muppet. Welcome to showbusiness, Mr. Mayor.