Rob Ford
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is the target of a police investigation into his alleged drug use. Reuters

While discussing the latest controversy ensnaring Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, a co-worker said she wished Chris Farley was still alive so he could play the outspoken mayor on “Saturday Night Live.” But what if Chris Farley isn’t dead and his spirit is actually inside Ford’s body?

The Rob Ford-Chris Farley comparisons have sprouted ever since the Toronto mayor was caught on video allegedly smoking crack in footage that first surfaced over the summer. Now that an investigation into Ford by Toronto authorities has been launched, the Chris Farley as Rob Ford theory has only gained more steam. Funny or Die created this compilation of GIFs that show Ford emulating some of Farley’s film and “SNL” characters. This imgur collection of side-by-side photos of Ford and Farley also shows the striking resemblance between them.

And there's this YouTube mashup of Farley and Ford:

The theory has also been floated on the conspiracy theory website Godlike Productions, where there’s a thread titled “Is Mayor Rob Ford Actually Chris Farley?”

The idea that Chris Farley is actually Rob Ford isn’t some far-flung conspiracy theory, Here’s why:

Rob Ford started his run for Toronto City Council, his first political campaign, in 1997. When did Chris Farley die? You guessed it – 1997. In fact, the election was held Nov. 10 of that year, roughly a month before Farley died on Dec. 18, 1997. (Ford actually lost the race, coming in third place.) Coincidence? We think not.

But Ford's similarities to Farley have also been discussed in the Canadian media. The Ottawa Citizen pointed to the comparison, but said it's no laughing matter.

"The Ford situation says a lot about how our society views alcohol and drug use. Being drunk or stoned is still considered funny at parties and in movies. So when a public figure is seen with a bottle or a crack pipe in his hand, the default is humor," wrote columnist Mark Sutcliffe. "And yet addiction ruins and ends lives, rips apart families and costs billions in productivity. While we shouldn’t begrudge anyone some weekend fun, a line must be drawn between recreation and abuse. By all indications, Ford is on the wrong side of that line. No one who is serious when he utters the line 'in one of my drunken stupors' is fit to lead any organization, let alone face the pressures of big-city politics and public life."