Jon Stewart mixes laughter with somber concern over Mayor Rob Ford’s drug issues

Matthew Coutts

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has smoked crack, continues to garner the attention of television talk shows south of the border. And while much of the coverage is justified laughter, the serious realization that Toronto is led by a man with admitted substance abuse issues was not lost.

Ford admitted on Tuesday to smoking crack cocaine, after denying drug use allegations for six months, and claimed to have done it once during one of his "drunken stupors." If that wasn't enough, he apologized last weekend for his history of public drunkenness. This whole affair has caught the attention of comedian/talk show host Jon Stewart.

[ Related: Rob Ford will not step down after smoking crack cocaine ]

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" again teased Ford on its Tuesday broadcast, but the segment ended with a somber message. First, Stewart spoke directly to Torontonians and asked them a very pointed question.

"I heard your mayor's approval rating went up after he admitted to smoking crack. You know what that makes you, Toronto? Enablers, eh?" Stewart said.

"Now, let me ask you a question. Are you waiting for this man to hit rock bottom? I’m going to say this. I don’t know you, I don’t live in your city. Mayor Ford is a lot of fun to ridicule but my guess is not a lot of fun to eulogize and that’s where this thing is headed.”

Stewart concluded: "Please go to rehab. Will I lose jokes in the short term? Of course. But my guess is it is a long-term investment. You'll be back, get some help."

[ More Brew: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s full crack admission ]

Dr. Drew Pinsky, a celebrity addiction councillor, also opined that Ford has "rather significant alcoholism" and urged the mayor to get help.

Appropriately, that stance is shared by many Toronto city councillors, including some of Ford's closes allies. Two motions have been drafted intended to freeze Ford's decision-making powers and request he step out of office temporarily.

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