NEWS

John Tory is Troy McClure in Twitter parody

10/31/2014 04:12 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST
He's hasn't started his new job yet, but John Tory already has a mayoral parody account on Twitter.

Like his predecessor Rob Ford — the subject of the wildly-popular @TOMayorFrod, which continues to be active — @TOMayorTroy pokes fun at Tory, albeit, its creator admits there is not "nearly as much material to work with."

"Things might be a little slow off the top, and basically I will tweet updates based on what [Tory] actually says and does once he's sworn in," said Toronto sound designer Richard Feren, the creator of the account.

"The account may end up being less a critique of Tory himself and more of a vehicle for providing satirical observations on the state of our city and its government, through the lens of its well-meaning but overwhelmed starched-shirt fictional mayor."

The Twitter handle borrows the persona of The Simpsons B-list actor Troy McClure, down to its bio, which references the undoubtedly recognizable catchphrase: "You might remember me from such ..." 

There are no failed flicks for Tory but Feren mentions failed political aspirations, including the 2003 municipal election.

To keep it in line with the Ford parody handle, which reverses the 'o' and 'r,' Feren said he knew he would use "Troy."

"A [Twitter] follower had suggested a reference to Troy McClure, and suddenly it seemed obvious," he said.

"Tory even looked like McClure, and it would be a fun hook, with the potential to tap into people's familiarity with the McClure character, as well as Tory's own background."

Feren said he created the Frod account after news broke in May 2013 of a crack video involving the mayor. He said the official Twitter account for the mayor "continued to blithely tweet updates" — at odds with the evolving controversy. 

"I found this so surreal [so] I created an account to mimic the official account so I could tweet more mundane updates."

"So originally, [Frod] was not so much a parody of Ford himself as of his Twitter feed ... and its strangely official tone."

Twitter briefly suspended the mock account in February.

Given there is less salacious material to work with, Feren said he is unsure if Troy will achieve the social media notoriety of Frod.

"I don't know how enthusiastic many people will be, since it will inevitably be different from the Frod account. It certainly won't have the same bite, because Tory simply isn't as objectionable as the Fords, in the same ways."

Feren said he, in fact, voted for Tory but "not enthusiastically. I considered him the most practical choice given the circumstances." 

"Still, I think I can and should still satirize him, but obviously the stakes are different than they were with the Fords, who I view very dimly."

Feren said he will continue to update the Frod account and will likely update it to reflect Ford's new Ward 2 councillor role. He also operates @DecoLibels, which parodies the Ford family business.

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