A recap of Rob Ford’s weekend in Hollywood, from the airport, to the Sunset Strip, to the studio
If Hollywood were to get its hands on Rob Ford‘s story, would the resulting movie be an inspirational one? Would it be the tale of a mayor who was once ashamed to admit he’d smoked crack, but who overcame his fear in time to embrace his new life of international infamy?
That’s the angle the mayor seems to be working, at any rate, and never has that been more apparent than right now, as he prepares to make his much-publicized appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight. Even though the show tapes today, Ford has actually been in Hollywood since Saturday evening, along with a retinue consisting of both of his brothers (Doug and Randy) and at least two staff members. His every step has been dogged by reporters and gawking Angelenos. The former have been wondering just who’s paying for this lavish trip to the left coast (Kimmel? And if so, could this be considered a campaign contribution?), while the latter have mostly been seeking photos with Toronto’s most famous citizen, other than maybe—maybe!—Drake.
The mayor has said that he sees his trip as a way of enhancing Toronto’s reputation, but so far the effect has seemingly been the opposite. Here’s a chronological rundown of the whole transcontinental adventure so far.
1. First class
On Saturday, images of the Ford entourage making its way to Los Angeles via Chicago began appearing on social media and in newspapers. Judging by the Toronto Sun’s photo of Ford in his plane seat, it seems as though he and his brother Doug both flew first class.
2. The gauntlet
After Ford arrived in Los Angeles, things quickly got surreal. Jimmy Kimmel met the mayor and his entourage at the airport dressed as a limo driver. As Kimmel walked the mayor toward a waiting Chevy Suburban, the group was beset by press looking for sound bites from Toronto’s most famous crack user. The resulting eTalk segment is excruciating. Anyone able to watch it to completion without being overcome by embarrassment for all involved may need a Blade Runner-style empathy test. We prefer the TMZ segment, embedded above, because it makes no pretense. “Who is running Toronto right now?” the cameraman asks. “I am,” says Ford, as he walks past baggage claim with Kimmel in tow.
3. At some point on Saturday night, there was steak
Or at any rate, so says the Mayor’s driver, Jerry Agyemang.
— AgyeManMuscle (@AgyeManMuscle) March 2, 2014
4. Ford meets a Star
The idea of finding a fresh start in Hollywood has charmed generations of showbiz dreamers, but it was never going to happen for Ford. The Toronto Star sent city hall reporter Daniel Dale—yes, the same Daniel Dale who once almost sued the mayor for libel—to Los Angeles to keep an eye on things, and on Sunday afternoon the two men met, apparently by chance, at a suit shop.
Here’s the mayor’s tweet:
— Mayor Rob Ford (@TOMayorFord) March 2, 2014
And here are some of Dale’s:
His staffers are dubious of the true fact that I just happened to stumble upon them in the suit store after five hours of wandering.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 2, 2014
Funny PR-vs.-reality moment: Ford account tweets out fun tweet about me finding him; minutes later, Ford himself won't even look at me.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 3, 2014
5. And then they all went out on the town
The mayor seems to have spent the first bit of Sunday night on the Sunset Strip. A number of photos posted to Twitter and Instagram show him posing with giggling bystanders. Above, a picture of Ford with a guy who resembles Jesus.
6. The red carpet
The Fords didn’t attend the Oscar ceremony, but it appears that they did hit at least one after party. Here’s a tweet from the mayor’s press secretary:
— Amin Massoudi (@a_massoudi) March 3, 2014
7. The sneak preview
On Kimmel’s post-Oscar show, Ford made a tux-clad cameo to promote his appearance on Monday night. The cameo is embedded at the top of the post, but far more interesting is the video below, in which Kimmel’s actual Sunday-night guest, Kevin Spacey, lays into the mayor. “I just have to say, that’s the first time I’ve had to follow a Ford,” he tells Kimmel. “And one that was so banged up.”