NEW YORK (AP) — Bill de Blasio took part in a New York City political rite of passage Monday, appearing on a late night talk show to tout his record and poke fun at a few gaffes that have provided fodder for comics during his first month as mayor.
De Blasio was a guest on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," where host Jon Stewart tweaked the mayor for his handling of a recent snow storm and his use of a knife and fork to eat pizza.
A photo of the liberal mayor using utensils instead of the traditional New York method of grabbing a slice with his hands went viral last month and sent Stewart into a spasm of mock outrage, saying "you're a man of the people, eat like one!" During the taping of Monday's show, Stewart presented de Blasio with a pizza, but the mayor responded to the good-natured test with a prop of his own, whipping out a knife and fork from his jacket to laughter from the studio audience.
"As mayor of Napoli — I mean, New York City — we are always ready for our pizza," de Blasio said in the show that was set to air Monday night. The mayor had explained his pizza consumption style as a nod to his "ancestral homeland" of Italy.
De Blasio then used his hands to bite into a slice as Stewart slurped on a giant soda that the mayor's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, had tried to ban.
As snow fell outside the Manhattan studio, Stewart noted that it was already the third storm since de Blasio took office on Jan. 1, saying it "never snowed once" during the billionaire Bloomberg's 12 years in office.
"I think he paid the right guy," de Blasio responded. "I mean, he has the money."