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Late night funnymen take aim at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
Andy Johnson, CTV News Staff
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:52AM EDT
Toronto is getting some free TV publicity south of the border -- but for all the wrong reasons.
On Tuesday night, three late-night television hosts garnered laughs at the expense of the city and Mayor Rob Ford -- the subject of recent unsubstantiated reports that he was recorded on video smoking drugs and making offensive remarks.
The existence and content of the video has not been authenticated by CTV News, and Ford has called the allegations "ridiculous." But that didn't stop Jimmy Kimmel, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart from having some fun with the controversy.
Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, said Ford has been having a "difficult week" since the reports were first published.
"I know it sounds like a joke but it is far from it. The mayor says it couldn't be him and he denies any and all allegations," Kimmel said.
Adding to those difficulties, Kimmel staged a mock interview with a Ford impersonator via Skype who wanted to "clear this up."
In the interview, the Ford look-a-like denies "any and all allegations" against him, says the media is out to get him and says he isn't sure how the video was concocted.
"I don’t know what they did. All I know is this story is ridiculous, it's just embarassing," he says. The impersonator then adds: "It's hot as the devil in here!"
Video clips used during the interview show various scenes, including the impersonator bouncing on a hotel room bed wearing a cape and a shirt with the letter "C" on the front, which he explains is for "Crack Man."
Leno took a more subdued approach to covering the story in his monologue, saying "to be fair, there's not a lot to do in Toronto."
"Allegedly, the mayor is seen on a cell phone smoking crack. There's a video of it. But the good news is he's still qualified to be mayor of Washington D.C.," Leno said, referencing former D.C. mayor Marion Barry.
Barry was recorded smoking crack on surveillance video recorded as part of an FBI sting in 1990. He went to jail for six months for the offence but managed to salvage his political career, and was even re-elected as mayor in 1995. Barry sits as a councillor to this day.
Late night 'fake news' show host Jon Stewart had his own take on the story. His so-called Canadian correspondents, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones, reported from Toronto where they say they bought crack cocaine and claimed it is as much a part of the cultural fabric as maple syrup and back bacon:
"Jon, we all do it. Smoking crack is one of Canada's most cherished pastimes," Bee says in the clip.