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March 4, 2014

Toronto mayor laughs off Kimmel's idea to get help

TORONTO (AP) — Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford laughed off Jimmy Kimmel's suggestion that he get help for his drinking problem and was reported to be upset about his appearance on the late-night TV talk show.

Ford's appearance Monday night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in Los Angeles was the culmination of months of wooing by the talk-show host to get Ford to appear as a guest.

Ford tossed T-shirts to the audience to loud applause as he came onstage after Kimmel introduced him by saying, "Our first guest tonight has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness."

Kimmel told Ford that if he's an alcoholic, and drinking enough that he would try crack cocaine in his 40s, "and you don't remember it, maybe that's something that you might want to think about, like talking to somebody."

Ford shot back his head and laughed before saying he "wasn't elected to be perfect."

"I was elected to clean up the mess that I inherited, and that's exactly what I did," Ford said, defending his record as mayor.

Ford made international headlines last year when he acknowledged having smoked crack cocaine while in a drunken stupor. He continues to draw attention for his erratic behavior, but has resisted pressure to step down and is seeking re-election in October.

The audience applauded after Kimmel told Ford that accepting help "is nothing to be ashamed of" and would set a "good example for other people who might be in a similar situation." When asked again about getting help, Ford said: "Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words. We'll let the people decide on Oct. 27. I'm just a normal, average, hard-working politician that's real."

"You are not the average politician," Kimmel quipped. "You are the most wonderful mayor I've ever witnessed."

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