Jimmy Kimmel a 'tool' for Rob Ford 'ambush'

Rob Ford on

Rob Ford on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

Remember when Matt Damon hijacked Jimmy Kimmel's show and bound and gagged the celebrity interviewer?

In retrospect, it's hard not to wonder if there was a touch of animosity in there, under all the joking around. As everyone witnessed when he interviewed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Monday night, Kimmel turns out to be a tool.

Kimmel is mean. He couldn't have looked happier at the mayor's discomfort. It's unlikely that Kimmel made his intention to humiliate Ford clear when he invited the politician to be on the show. Having lured him to Los Angeles, Kimmel then ridiculed Ford with various embarrassing bits of video -- for which Ford appeared to be completely unprepared. Kimmel brought up past history and used it for fun and profit in a wildly unfair confrontation.

Kimmel would like you to think he took the moral high ground, but this was an ambush -- talk about swatting flies with a hammer. Must have been a nice change for the normally sycophantic Kimmel to feel superior to someone, but it was puerile television and Kimmel revealed some deeply unpleasant corners of his personality.

Let's just put that unfortunate interview in the bin with all the other infamous awkward interviews everyone has seen, starting with that weird and beardy Joaquin Phoenix appearance on David Letterman of a few years ago. Was it art? Was it a hoax? Luckily, Letterman kept it light and kept it going.

Then there was last year's Jesse Eisenberg TV interview with a young female junketeer for the movie, Now You See Me. The reporter seemed unprepared and unprofessional, and Eisenberg needled her mercilessly.

And who can forget Billy Bob Thornton's epic interview with the CBC's Jian Ghomeshi, when he overreacted at being asked about acting? Thornton -- who is obviously best known as an actor -- was in Toronto to perform with his band, the Boxmasters, and appeared insulted when Ghomeshi asked about anything other than music. What a knob. Ghomeshi was cool and calm while Thornton sulked like an adolescent. It was sort of hilarious.

Tom Cruise jumping up and down on Oprah's couch remains one of the legendary awkward interviews of our time -- second only to Cruise's furious throw-down with Matt Lauer back in 2005 about psychiatric drugs. Cruise had criticized actress Brooke Shields for using anti-depressants to fight off postpartum depression and she responded by telling Cruise to take a hike. When the subject came up during Cruise's interview with Lauer, the actor angrily unloaded his contempt for psychiatry on the TV host. Squirms a'plenty.

More recently, you can see Samuel L. Jackson rip a new one for the KTLA news anchor who confused him on-air with Laurence Fishburne. Jackson verbally hammered the interviewer ("We don't all look alike") for his gaffe.

And please check out Justin Timberlake's interview with Brazilian TV interviewer Sabrina Sato for the film Runner Runner. It's genuinely bizarre and funny. As Sato is also known as a comic in Brazil, it's anybody's guess how much of the interview is a humorous hoax.

If you're interested in awkward interviews on a regular, rather than unusual basis, check out just about anything involving Tommy Lee Jones, who does not suffer fools gladly, or Bruce Willis, who seems to enjoy being a knob. They're both so prickly with the press. Just sayin'.


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