Mayor Rob Ford’s scheduled appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live is generating much interest, though not everyone is expecting Toronto’s controversial chief magistrate to come out on top.
"Once this host is through with him, he will probably wish he had never gone down [to Los Angeles], and I think there’s a huge setup heading down his way," said Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, just hours before the mayor’s pending sit-down with Kimmel.
Ford, 44, travelled to Los Angeles over the weekend to promote Toronto, he says, though the mayor was greeted by Kimmel at the airport and will be appearing on his show Monday night.
The mayor’s brief trip to L.A. led inevitably to pictures popping up on social media, with Ford, as usual, posing with people who approached him on the street.
Much of Ford's notoriety has stemmed from his public admission last fall that he had smoked crack cocaine, after denying it for many months.
The story about the mayor and his drug use has made Ford a household name and the frequent target of late-night comedians, including Kimmel.
Kimmel said Sunday that he had "never been more excited about a guest."
Gonzo the Muppet will also be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday.
Ford has endured the drug scandal and filed his papers for re-election. More than two dozen opponents are seeking to unseat him this fall.
Back in Toronto, Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong predicted Monday that Kimmel would be zeroing in on Ford’s faults and problems, and said "it's not something that makes Toronto look good."
Yesterday, Ford made a brief appearance on Kimmel’s post-Oscars show.
Midway through Sunday's episode, Ford emerged on the set, dressed in a tuxedo, pretending to be ready for his interview.
"You’re on the show tomorrow night," Kimmel said. "Oh, sorry," Ford responded sheepishly before returning to the shadows.
The CBC's Jamie Strashin spoke Monday to council members and bureaucrats, who all said they were not consulted about the mayor's unexpected trip to L.A.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly was one of a handful of council members who expressed concern that Ford, and by extension the city, will be the target of some harsh ridicule on Kimmel's show.
"[Ford] has a celebrityness that has transcended his office," said Kelly. "One would wish that he didn't play to it as much as he does."
The gossip website TMZ had an entry on its webpage Monday, noting that Ford had been handing out magnets and business cards to people he met.