Last Updated: December 2018
Why does Jimmy Kimmel hate Matt Damon? It seems like a fair question to ask if you just picked up on the occasional random insult and over-the-top appearance that one of them makes to fire a shot at the other. In truth, their “feud” goes back years. That’s why we’ve compiled this abbreviated guide/refresher to how a simple throwaway line early in the show’s history snowballed into a fake Hollywood beef for the ages.
To begin let’s dial back the clock to the mid-aughts when the show wasn’t, um, quite the success it is today. Kimmel explained in an 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.
“Matt Damon was just the first name that popped into my head. I was trying to think of an A-list star, and somebody we absolutely would not bump if he was on the show. … The legs on this bit are unbelievable to me. I mean, people laugh every time I say it. … Repeating the same joke every single night, you’d think eventually people would get tired of it, but they don’t.”
Here’s a quick cut-up of the gag that the JKL YouTube channel released earlier this week. It ends with a clip from Kimmel’s 2006 primetime special where Jimmy took so long to introduce Matt that — of course — time ran out.
Damon turned the tables on Kimmel in 2008 with the help of Jimmy’s then girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, and a little ditty your mom may even have heard of: “I’m F*cking Matt Damon.”
Of course, Jimmy responded to in 2009 with his own version, “I’m F*cking Ben Affleck.” Damon agreed to cameo on Entourage because he was so heartbroken.
The Bourne Ultimatum later became a prop to escalate the feud.
This led to Jimmy being ejected from The Handsome Men’s Club.
Then of course there was the slight found in Movie: The Movie.
All of which lead to Jimmy Kimmel welcoming Matt Damon on his show for the first time with this official statement: “May God help Damon if he dares show his stupid face.” Damon took a combative approach:
You can watch the highlights from that takeover show right here.
Damon would later make it back onto Jimmy Kimmel Live as part of the cast of The Monuments Men. Unfortunately, technical difficulties kept him from answering any of Kimmel’s questions.
Because things may have gone a little too far, Jimmy and Matt tried couples counseling.
It didn’t seem to pan out, as Damon was still waiting to go on Kimmel, and even offered fans to wait with him.