They were laughing with him, not at him.
That was Councillor Doug Ford's message to reporters the morning after his brother's appearance on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Monday night.
The Toronto mayor was the butt of many uncomfortable jokes and even forced to withstand a playlist of his more humiliating videos — from the Steak Queen rant to the clip of him walking into a camera.
But Kimmel also addressed more serious matters, asking Rob Ford at one point if he might consider getting professional help for alcohol abuse and telling him there's no shame in it.
Rob Ford laughed it off.
Cut to about the one minute mark of this clip:
"I do want to say, as a human being, you seem like a very nice guy to me. If you are an alcoholic, which, listen, if you're drinking enough that you can try crack in your 40s and you don't remember it, maybe that's something you might want to think about, like talking to somebody," Kimmel said.
"I wasn't elected to be perfect, Jimmy" Rob Ford replied. "I was elected to clean up the mess that I inherited and that's exactly what I've done."
Kimmel ended his time with Rob Ford by calling him "the most wonderful mayor" he's witnessed in his many years on the planet.
And Doug Ford told reporters at city hall Tuesday that compliment was "sincere."
The councillor said Kimmel told Rob Ford, behind the scenes, that he found it ironic that Toronto city councillors would strip the mayor of most of his powers then complain he was in L.A. this week, instead of running the city.
"I think Rob did a fabulous job and I truly believe that," Doug Ford said.
The councillor, who is also serving as the mayor's campaign manager, told reporters he wasn't upset that the talk show host suggested his brother should seek help.
"That was Jimmy's opinion. We can respect that," he said. "I think everyone has seen in this city that Rob's looking very healthy."
In fact, Doug Ford said the only thing that bothered him was that there wasn't more time to promote Canada's largest city.
"We wanted to pump Toronto more," he said.
But the councillor added that he and his brother "promoted the heck out of Toronto" on their trip, and handed out hundreds of business cards.
Doug Ford said he received numerous texts and phone calls from American friends who said Rob Ford seemed "real," like the kind of guy you want as a neighbour.
And Doug Ford said the audience went "bananas" for the mayor, who opened his segment by tossing Ford Nation T-shirts into the crowd.
"They loved him," he said. "They were going crazy for him."
Doug Ford also reiterated that the mayor paid his own way.
"We went down there, again on our own dime, unlike the councilors that roam around the world on the back of the taxpayers," he said.
Rob Ford also told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he did a great job on the show.
"I'm getting a lot of support. Was it a tough interview? Of course it was," he said.
The mayor called Kimmel a "nice guy," but added he wanted more time to speak about the city. Still, Rob Ford thinks it went well, overall.
"I was out there to promote the city of Toronto and I did a good job if you ask me," he said.
Torontonians head to he polls on Oct. 27.
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