Matt Damon Takes Over ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ With A Little Help From Some Famous Friends
Matt Damon tasted sweet revenge last night on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
After five years of being the butt of Jimmy Kimmel’s signing off gag, “Apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time,” which has escalated over the years into full-on video wars — finally, Damon returned the favor.
A teaser for the payback ran on Thursday morning. Featuring Matt Damon as a twisted kidnapper who had tied up Kimmel in a chair with duct tape, the actor asked:
“Is there a new host in town and his initials are M.D. That’s right, the doctor is on.”
So, to Thursday’s show.
“Welcome to tonight’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Sucks!,” Damon greeted the audience, while a tied up Kimmel watched silently from the back of the stage.
“Just for starters, let me ask you guys this: As an audience, is it weird to see a person with actual talent host this show?” the actor went on.”I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long, long time. This is like the time I lost my virginity, except this is going to last way longer than one second.”
A roll-call of huge stars then stopped by to praise Damon and throw Kimmel under a proverbial bus.
E! reports that Kimmel’s loyal sidekick Guillermo was replaced by Andy Garcia. Sheryl Crow took over for band leader Cleto Escobedo III, and at the end of Damon’s host monologue, Robin Williams walked on to close it.
Ben Affleck, long-time friend of Damon and newly anointed director of note, also showed up to put a spanner in Damon’s takeover.
To hilarious effect, Affleck held up cue cards stating Kimmel was funny, good, smart, good to his family, and “an excellent lover.”
At one point, Damon said of the new show, “This is unbelievable. It took Jimmy 10 years to accomplish what I just accomplished in 90 seconds.”
Later, Damon explained to the audience that the reason for the “hatred and bitterness” between him and Kimmel, was his success as an actor and Kimmel’s failed attempts to compete.
That, of course, was the set-up for a medley of Kimmel auditioning for movies such as Good Will Hunting, Stuck on You, The Bourne Ultimatum, Adjustment Bureau, Happy Feet 2, and We Bought a Zoo.
Later, more stars turned up in the shape of Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Demi Moore, and Gary Oldman. One and all piled in on Kimmel with stories that varied on a theme of how inferior as a host he was.
Sally Fields, Robert De Niro, and Oprah echoed the joke in recorded messages, and the fun continued with Kimmel’s parents and Don Cheadle who also appeared via video.
To Damon, Cheadle said: “Thank you for allowing America to laugh again,” while Kimmel’s parents told Damon that he was “the son we always wanted.”
Final moments on the show went to Kimmel’s real-life ex-girlfriend, Sarah Silverman. Most will remember Silverman and Damon’s infamous 2008 video in 2008 — “I’m F*****g Matt Damon”— which went viral.
After comparing Kimmel to a rotten hot dog , Damon asked her: “Is there anything you’d like to say to Jimmy?”
Silverman paused for drama, before replying, “No, I’m good.”
At the end of the show, Damon’s delivered his inevitable parting shot to Kimmel, asking:
“Is there anything you want to say before we wrap things up? Wait, I’m sorry, we’re out of time.”
Kimmel promised revenge during the show’s airing, tweeting, “You win this round Matt Damon. But I will win the war.”
The Associated Press notes Jimmy Kimmel Live!’s new schedule is 11:35 pm ET/PT, putting the 45-year-old host head to head with Jay Leno and David Letterman.
Judging by last night, Kimmel’s bringing his A-game to the table. Check out the clips below.