Jimmy Kimmel Takes Latenight Crack at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s Expense

Jimmy Kimmel Takes Crack at Latenight

Jimmy Kimmel has always been a good company man (in the way, say, David Letterman isn’t), appearing at ABC upfront presentations and seldom missing an opportunity to help promote his latenight program — including his awkward pre-show appearance at the Oscars on Sunday. Still, after getting sand kicked in his face ratings-wise during Jimmy Fallon’s honeymoon period on “The Tonight Show,” he should beware overreaching to make noise.

On Monday, that included a highly promotable interview with Rob Ford, the Toronto mayor who became an international punchline when he admitted to smoking crack cocaine, among other transgressions.

For Kimmel, like every other latenight comic, Ford has been an irresistible punching bag. And having the Canadian politician exhibit the poor sense to show up for the interview sort of oddly dovetails with the image of Ford as an amiable goof who somehow, improbably, got himself elected.

“Why are you here?” Kimmel said, by way of opening the interview. “What good could come of this? Have you ever seen this show?”

After that, though, the host seemed somewhat perplexed regarding how to proceed. He fired off a litany of allegations directed at Ford, without really giving the mayor a chance to respond, then ran a medley of the embarrassing video clips that have been such media catnip, riffing on them but not really providing any context.

Before it was over, Kimmel offered a half-hearted suggestion that Ford seek help for his drinking problem, but in its totality the disjointed conversation made the host look out of his depth. And while the segment will surely receive considerable pickup from cable news (how can they resist?), Kimmel generally squandered the opportunity booking Ford provided, other than getting to see the mayor sweat profusely.

Kimmel will be hosting a week’s worth of episodes from the South by Southwest Festival in Austin next week, and between his Oscar special and the Ford “get,” the show and ABC are clearly trying to position “Jimmy Kimmel Live” for a push now that the initial flurry of Fallon sampling has occurred.

While Kimmel can be quick and funny, Ford’s guest shot — and the tedious interview with the Muppets’ Gonzo that followed — mostly just exposed his limitations. And by the end of the hour, the prevailing thought wasn’t so much “I wonder what Kimmel’s going to do next” as “I wonder who Letterman has on tomorrow.”

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  6. at1212b says:

    Fully agree. Thank you for providing a balanced review. Kimmel had the opportunity to create a positive buzz on his show and gain new viewership by getting into the ‘mind’ of what is behind Ford and get some laughs along the way (Something Letterman would do today) but this was a classless, blatant ambush.

    He tried to be like vintage Letterman when he was more ‘attacking’ of his guests back in the 80s/early 90s, but failed miserably in the wit and creativity of it. It was just easy shots, with 3 whole segments dedicated to it.

    Kimmel has shown he’s still small-time that is unimaginative, and over-obsessive. This guy will not be around for long, and good for Fallon for showing how to treat others

  7. quickdraw59 says:

    Sorry, I wouldn’t give Kimmel the time of day. While he views himself as a legend in his own mind, his “antics” are juvenile and seriously not funny. I’m no fan of Ford–however, if you want to beat someone down who obviously has no clue, while “pretending” concern, that doesn’t make you a better person, just a jack@ss. Kimmel enjoys slamming people and grinning like a deranged Cheshire Cat in the carnage afterglow–then when called on it, pulls the “I’m only kidding” face. Actually, I’d watch the Weather Station over this Letterman wannabe any day.

  8. Raymond says:

    I was a big Kimmel fan until he slammed Leno on the Tonight Show. I still usually would check who the guests are and maybe still watch him. After the way he treated Rob Ford last night showed me that Kimmel will always hit below the belt for a laugh. Fallon would never have done that. I am totally finished with JKL.

  9. cxg says:

    It was as an awkward and uncomfortable interview to watch for sure.

  10. Sally Snyder says:

    Rob Ford states that he is frustrated with the “rich elites” of Toronto and that he’s “one of us”. To put things into perspective, here is a look at the Ford family business:


    Before he became Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford was the Chief Financial Officer of Deco.

  11. Arnie Tracey says:

    Clearly the jouno, Brian, disregards Jimmy. but by being so “relentlessly” downbeat in his beat down, he exposed his own limited gifts. Brian One-Note.

    I think Kimmel did a good to great job with RoFo. He likes Ford, and JK showed a heartfelt concern for his well-being. A concern at the end of the conversation, which the Mayor ignored, and the journo Brian, grossly misinterpreted as insincere.

    The only thing insincere about Jimmy, really, is his idiot cousin Sal, who needs to be canned. Oh yeah : And Jimmy screwed up bigtime in his sucker punch of Leno, dissing the guy’s childlessness was pathetic.

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