When almost 18 years have passed since their first fight, it seems that actor Matt Damon (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 52 years old) and presenter and comedian Jimmy Kimmel (New York, 55 years old) are not willing to bury the hatchet. Not even on a red carpet, where attention and spotlights are on them. The supposed enmity that the two Americans have been starring in for more than fifteen years, when the presenter made a bad joke on television about Damon, has been loaded with insults, memes and even songs. The last public scuffle between the two took place this week, at the world premiere of aira film directed by Ben Affleck and starring Damon, which deals with how the union between Michael Jordan and the sports firm Nike was conceived.
On his way down the red carpet of the Regency Village Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles (California), and in statements to Kevin Frazier, journalist for the portal on celebrities and cinema Entertainment Tonight, the interpreter has assured that he is not willing to make peace with the well-known presenter. “No, no, he’s a jerk. Why would he do that?” he expressed. “He is a terrible human being. He is a manifestly bad man, ”added the actor.
The apparently tense situation on the red carpet did not end there, as Jimmy Kimmel was invited to the premiere and, just a few steps behind him, witnessed the actor’s statements. “Hey! I’d love to take a picture with you, but our time is up!” Damon yelled at Kimmel, referring to a joke that has been with them since December 2005, when the presenter used that tagline —”We’ve run out of time , sorry, Matt Damon ”— to end his late-night show and that, since then, he brings out in each and every one of the broadcasts of Jimmy Kimmel Live. After that sentence, and in full red carpet, the interpreter of the saga Jason Bourne he gave Kimmel a clear comb.
If Damon and Kimmel seem to agree on anything, it’s that the reconciliation between the two will not be imminent. “Honestly, I can’t imagine that happening. I really can’t ”, Kimmel commented on that same red carpet, assuring that the next day Ben Affleck would be present on his program and that this was “the closest” he was going to get to Damon, since the director of air he is a childhood friend of the actor. During the broadcast of that program last Wednesday, Damon finally ended up appearing by surprise. Of course, from a screen and without stepping on the set.
“We had a bad show…”, explained the comedian about how it all started in an interview in 2013 for American public radio npr. “The guests were bad and I felt pretty bad about myself at the end of the show,” Kimmel recalled about that night when Damon was not among those guests or had anything to do with that Show. But he said that the actor’s name was “the first name” that came to his mind and that there was no particular reason why he chose it. He just came up with it and blurted it out as a closing quip: “I was trying to think of a top star, and someone we absolutely wouldn’t bump into if he was on the show.” “People laugh every time I say that sentence. Repeating the same joke every night, one would think that people would eventually get tired of it, but it hasn’t,” he added. He, the producers and the public loved it and, almost 18 years later, are still using it.
Since then the joke has continued, if only to continue stretching a false enmity that the public seems to like a lot. The actor, winner of an Oscar for best original screenplay for The unstoppable Will Hunting (1997) —he has another four nominations—, he even once entered the set to receive the rejection in the flesh seconds after Kimmel said the famous phrase. From that appearance, and to continue stretching the gum of the false grudge, the actor left screaming and breaking the furniture. Since that day, Matt Damon has never been an official guest on the show, but he is one of the ones who has appeared the most, whether it was in absurd costumes, in parodies of his movie, in the viral I’m fucking Matt Damon or even when the actor hijacked an entire episode and tied Kimmel to a chair. The joke has even reached the Oscars, where Kimmel has continued with the joke in the three editions that he has presented (2017, 2018 and 2023) and ha attacked Damon live in front of millions of viewers.