Jimmy Kimmell, the host of the 2017 Oscars, has let his beef with A-List actor, Matt Damon, spill out onto his work once again. And while it’s not a real feud on par with the Nicki Minaj/Remy Ma tiff, that doesn’t mean that we can’t sit back and enjoy it as the pair trade jabs.
Two days ago, Jimmy took to Instagram to show him pranking Matt Damon’s placeholder at the Dolby Theatre with a pen, giving Matt’s face a pair of pointy ears, a mustache, and blacked out teeth, calling him, “Best Picture Vominee Matt Damon.” He also said during an interview with E! that, “I will do my best to ruin [Matt’s] evening any way I can.”
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It’s expected that the pair will share at least a couple of on-screen jokes for the benefit of the audience. Matt already took a jab at Jimmy at a red carpet interview with Michael Strahan before the show, saying the following.
“He’s [Jimmy Kimmel] talentless himself. But unfortunately, he’s got an incredible group of writers who work for him. So I’m afraid…I think I’m in for it tonight.”
Jimmy wasted no time in responding with this tweet, saying, “Dead man walking the red carpet.”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 27, 2017
Jimmy tweaked fun at Matt during his opening monologue, crediting Matt with giving up a starring role in the Oscar nominated Manchester by the Sea, and choosing instead to star in a “Chinese ponytail movie instead” that went on to lose $80 million.
How Did The Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon Feud Begin?
The running gag between the pair started nearly 12 years ago, during the third season of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, when Jimmy ended a dour show with an off the cuff joke. He apologized to Matt for bumping him because the show ran out of time. Jimmy explained the gag in a 2013 interview with NPR.
“We had a bad show. … The guests were bad, and I was feeling pretty bad about myself at the end of the program, and I decided to say, for the amusement of one of our producers who was standing next to me … ‘I want to apologize to Matt Damon. We ran out of time.’ … And he got a kick out of it, the producer, so I just started doing it every night to amuse him”
Why did Jimmy choose Matt? There was no particular rhyme or reason, Matt’s name was just who popped into his head. And it’s a good thing that Damon’s name did, because the bit has given the world some very memorable bits.
In 2006, Jimmy invited Damon onto a primetime taping of his show, going to credits as soon as Matt was introduced. The mock fight had Damon shouting at Kimmel to the delight of the audience.
The Best Running Gag Ever?
Over the years, the pair has become a Hollywood trope, with Jimmy sending his sidekick Guillermo to crash interviews and oust Matt from his own movies. In 2008, Sarah Silverman, then Kimmel’s girlfriend, came on his show to premiere a video titled, “I’m F***ing Matt Damon.” The video has racked up over 16 million views since it was posted on January 16, 2009.
Jimmy retaliated with a video of his own, telling the world and Matt Damon about Jimmy’s relationship with Ben Affleck while enlisting stars such as Robin Williams, Joan Jett, Harrison Ford, Bruce Springsteen, and Brad Pitt.
As the years passed, the bits got better and better, with Matt taking over Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2013, and the pair taking jabs at each other during interviews and on other talk shows. Matt interrupted Jimmy as he was hosting the Emmys to poke fun at Jimmy after he lost in the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category to John Oliver.
Most recently, Damon disguised himself as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to sneak onto Live! after the Patriots won Super Bowl LI. He cheered, saying that he finally made it on the show.
Where Jimmy and Matt will take this friendly rivalry in the future is anyone’s guess. But no matter what direction they go, we’ll all be watching and laughing along.
[Featured Image by Vince Bucci/AP Images]