TORONTO — The late-night talk show hosts all took jabs at Rob Ford on Thursday night over the latest controversies swirling around the Toronto mayor.
But amid the barbs aimed at Ford, most of the hosts seemed to genuinely wish him well as he seeks professional help to deal with substance-abuse problems.
On “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” the host feigned boredom while showing news clips of Ford’s latest troubles.
But Stewart acted shocked when he played a clip of an announcement that Ford was entering rehab, calling it a “wonderful surprise.”
“Number one on the list of things I thought would never happen,” he said.
Stewart also mocked reports of a drug dealer allegedly seeking a six-figure sum for a video of Ford purportedly smoking crack cocaine.
The Globe and Mail said a drug dealer had shown two of its reporters video of Ford allegedly smoking what was said to be crack in the basement of his sister’s home early Saturday morning.
“Let me explain supply and demand,” joked Stewart. “When you have a lot of an item, like bananas or socks, or videos of Rob Ford smoking crack, price tends to drop. You want a video of something rare, like Justin Bieber stopping a bratty kid from being a public nuisance.”
On “The Late Show,” host David Letterman devoted his Top 10 list to Ford under the heading “‘Top 10 reasons Rob Ford is taking a leave of absence.‘”
The top reason? “The great ones always know when to leave on top.”
Letterman also said he couldn’t understand why Ford is still the city’s mayor.
“Apparently things are different in Canada. He must be friends with the Queen.”
As for Ford seeking professional help, Letterman said, “He should have done this six months ago.“
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who had Ford as a guest on his program earlier this year, applauded Ford’s decision to take a leave of absence.
“He needs professional help, he needs amateur help, he can go see a witch doctor… get help, anything.”
Kimmel said he talks about Ford so much, it feels like he works on the show.
“For us, this is an HR issue.”
On “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” the host took note of the Globe report of new video of Ford allegedly showing him doing drugs.
“We have to say allegedly,” joked Fallon, “because he doesn’t really know whose basement it was.”
“We’ve done a lot of Rob Ford jokes in the past, but we’re glad that he’s getting some help. They have TVs in rehab so if you’re watching this Mayor Ford, we hope that some of these jokes cheer you up.”
Late-night host Conan O’Brien also mentioned Ford taking a leave of absence.
“Of course, he’s earned it. The guy’s been up since 2004.”
Ford left home Thursday bound for rehab hours after being confronted with a series of scandalous revelations, including the Globe and Mail report.
In a separate incident, Ford is heard making anti-gay remarks, using an ethnic slur, and making a lewd comment about rival candidate Karen Stintz in an audio tape obtained by the Toronto Sun.
Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, says the mayor flew to Chicago. The CBC cited Ford’s brother, Coun. Doug Ford as saying his brother would be spending 30 days at an unspecified addictions facility.