Funniest Moments From Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel’s 20-Year Feud
Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel's feud that really isn't much of a feud continues to be one of the longest running jokes on late-night television.
"Apologies to Matt Damon, but we ran out of time," Kimmel is known for saying as his show goes off the air each night even though Damon wasn't even scheduled to be a guest.
What started as a throwaway line by Kimmel has turned into a nearly 20-year-old bit. Here's a look at how the feud has evolved through the years.
How Kimmel Started The Matt Damon Joke
Kimmel first uttered the nightly phrase following a show in 2005. It was random and had viewers wondering what they had missed.
Damon was just as confused when he started getting calls from people wanted to know what was up with Kimmel's remark.
"I had never met Jimmy," the Academy Award-winning actor told SiriusXM in a 2021 interview. "He literally pulled my name out of thing air one night."
When Damon finally spoke with Kimmel, he was told it was because he had a "ventriloquist and a guy in a gorilla suit" as guests that night and decided to throw in the line about the actor at the close of the show.
"He could have said Brad Pitt, he could have said George (Clooney), he could have said someone else, but for some reason maybe I had a movie out that week," Damon said. "He just said my name and it changed the course of both of our lives."
The Evolution Of Matt Damon And Jimmy Kimmel's Relationship
It took nearly a year for Damon to join the show in September 2006. While he did make an appearance, Kimmel once again "ran out of time" before Damon could say anything.
Kimmel would venture into Damon's territory the following year, "cutting" him from his own movies. In a parody of The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon is replaced in the lead recurring show character Guillermo.
In the following years, Damon's long-time friend Ben Affleck, Kimmel's then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman, Matthew McConaughey, NFL quarterback Tom Brady and others have participated in bits to keep the joke that the duo really don't like each other going.
As others have been brought in on the fun, Kimmel has kept his same show-closing line almost as a nightly reminder that a Damon appearance could happen at any time.
"Repeating the same joke every single night, you'd think people would eventually get tired of it, but they don't," Kimmel said during a 2013 interview with NPR.
The Times Matt Damon Got Revenge On Jimmy Kimmel
While Kimmel's name is on the show, this has been far from a one-sided quarrel. Damon has found his own creative ways to get back at the host.
In 2013, Damon appeared on the show to take Kimmel "hostage." He then continued as host for the night getting assistance from Good Will Hunting co-star Robin Williams with the show's opening monologue.
The show continues to find creative ways for Damon to make appearances when viewers least expect it.
One time it might be a recorded bit with the two going to "counseling," another time it might be Damon taking a more covert approach using a disguise to sneak on-set.
Affleck returned to the show in 2016 wearing a giant coat as he waddled to his interview seat. A suspicious Kimmel unbuttoned the coat to find Damon inside.
Continuing The Feud Outside The Show
Damon vs. Kimmel has spilled over into other arenas as the two have found fresh ways to keep the bit going.
Kimmel has done three stints as Primetime Emmy Awards host. Of course, Damon was there to poke at his nemesis in 2016 when Jimmy Kimmel Live! failed to win.
Kimmel got his first shot at hosting the Oscars in 2017, the same year Manchester by the Sea was nominated for Best Picture. Damon was one of the film's producers giving Kimmel another avenue to bring up his dislike for the actor.
A Good Morning America interview promoting the upcoming Oscars broadcast turned into Kimmel taking digs at Damon.
"I don't want the film to lose, I want him to lose," Kimmel said. "I would like him to go home with nothing."
Moonlight would end up winning Best Picture with Manchester by the Sea being honored for Best Original Screenplay.
Kimmel returned as Oscars host in 2023. Leading up to the show, he told People he was "thrilled" Damon wouldn't be on the show.
"I hope he never gets nominated again," Kimmel said.
Damon would get his revenge a few weeks later when Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the movie, Air.
As Kimmel ran down the list of cast members, Affleck noted Damon's name was left off the list. The host allowed Affleck to call his friend as a belated wedding gift.
"What's up everybody," Damon yells as he appears on the video screen. "I'm on the show."
Unfortunately, a "connection problem with the wi-fi" ruined Damon's video call. The feud continues.