Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's admission that he "probably" smoked crack cocaine during "one of my drunken stupors" proved a swift and sure gift to comedy and an inspiration for Canadians' trademark talent for self-deprecation.
"This is a hoser country. We admire hosers, we have sympathy for them and, sometimes, we just let them run things," Globe and Mail television writer John Doyle observed, inducting Ford into the pantheon of "Hose-Heads" made famous three decades ago by Second City TV, Canada's "Saturday Night Live" alter ego.
In his musing on "Rob Ford and the Triumph of the New Hosers," Doyle cast His Dishonor as personifying the cluelessness and backwoods comfort zone of the fictional characters Bob and Doug McKenzie, played by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas on SCTV's "Great White North."
"They simultaneously celebrated and mocked heightened Canadian clichés of boorishness, to our national delight," Doyle said of the hosers of old. "Since then, the figure has morphed and ripened."
Brothers Rob and Doug Ford, the latter a member of the mayor-appointed city council, "do an achingly close simulation of Bob and Doug McKenzie on their weekly radio show," Doyle said. He called the mayor's first bungled attempt at admitting substance abuse during their Sunday broadcast, when Ford observed that “I shouldn’t have got hammered,” as the kind of bumpkin behavior that is "hoserdom defined."
Even before Ford admitted illegal drug use, telling reporters Tuesday "Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine," late-night comedians resumed ridiculing the mayor this week after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair revived the controversy that had gone dormant after unproven accusations this spring. Blair announced Thursday that a video had been found in a related drug probe in which scenes matched an allegedly captured cell phone shot reported by the Toronto Star and gossip news site Gawker in May.
In Monday's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," the incredulous host lampooned Ford for exhibiting the kind of poor judgment associated with cocaine use.
"Smoking crack, making racist and homophobic remarks -- I believe in Canada that's referred to as a hat trick," Stewart said in a clip included in a Canadian Press roundup of jokes at Ford's expense.
Canadian Press reported that Ford was also the target of a mock game show on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and made it into Monday's monologue on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
How likely is the Toronto mayor to make it into the next SNL skits, eh?
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