Never were there a pair of frenemies quite like Jimmy Kimmel and #MattDamon. The respective late-night host and Oscar-winning actor have been involved in a very public and comical "feud" for many years now, playing unforgivable pranks on one another and publicly dissing each other's work and personalities. We know that in reality these two are 100 percent joking and are in fact close friends — however, some of the not-so-kind words they have publicly exchanged have sometimes made us wonder.
Tonight at the 89th #AcademyAwards Kimmel took his opportunity as host to try to squash his ongoing conflict with Damon in front of a worldwide audience of tens of millions during his opening monologue. "I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with," Kimmel said to the audience as the camera panned to #MattDamon.
Kimmel continued to insult Damon, calling him selfish — that is, until recently. He explained how Damon was originally slated to star in the nominated Manchester by the Sea — which he also produced — but gave up the role to Casey Affleck in order to star in The Great Wall. Affleck in turn has been nominated for Lead Actor, a nomination that could have gone to Damon (but that Affleck would go on to win). #Kimmel applauds Damon for giving up the role to his friend to make a "Chinese ponytail movie instead." He also notes to the camera that The Great Wall lost more than $80 million at the box office. Ouch.
I don't know about you, but that does not sound like an effort to build bridges to me. Kimmel continued to taunt Damon throughout the show, making fun of his film We Bought a Zoo, calling him "guest" as he entered the stage to present alongside Ben Affleck, and playing music over his speaking part in a bid to try to rush Damon off stage. Hopefully the actor will have a chance to respond to this madness.
While this bad blood is all in jest, tonight's attempt to make things right gives us pause to look back at the volatile history of Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon's relationship.
The Beginning: Apologies To Matt
Kimmel's late-night show didn't start off with a bang. Rather, it was slow to gain an audience and A-list guests. As a joke at the end of one episode, Kimmel said, "Apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time," making fun of the fact that he was yet to host any actors as big as Damon on his show. "Apologies to Matt Damon" became a main shtick at the end of Jimmy Kimmel Live! every night, much to the audience's delight. And so it began.
Matt Rubs It In
Before the Oscars, Kimmel was a host of the Emmys, and that same year he was nominated for his talk show. Kimmel took a loss and Damon was there to make sure he knew he felt that loss deep in his soul — in front of an audience of millions.
Tonight's Academy Awards wasn't the first time Kimmel and Damon tried to bury the hatchet. Once on Kimmel's show the pair attempted couples counseling, but things did not go well.
The Broken Bro-Law: Stealing Your Enemy's Lover
Damon and Kimmel have stooped to lower levels in order to humiliate each other, but none so low as when the pair moved in on the each other's significant other. Kimmel once dated Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon, well, didn't date Ben Affleck, but the two are longtime besties. Both Silverman and Affleck took part in their feuding friends' devious plans — and the results were hilarious.
All in all it seems that Kimmel and Damon's feud is nowhere near over, and for that we are grateful. Without them being such good sports we would not have had such epic insults like we did about Damon's career or Kimmel's lost Emmy. And it all started from a joke Kimmel made during his then-failing show. The only question now is not if Damon will respond, but when. Rest assured it will be painfully and hilariously epic.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights on ABC at 11:35 p.m. EST.