Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel showered the audience with sweet treats, made a group of tourists’ Hollywood dreams come true, and even tried to save the night following a historic blunder. But it was his ongoing faux-feud with Matt Damon that was truly worthy of gold Sunday night.
Kimmel kicked off his night of Damon torment with a nod to the actor — who has long been a playful target of Kimmel’s — in his monologue.
“Tonight in the spirit of bringing people together, I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I’ve had issues with — Matt Damon,” he said. “Now, Matt, I’ve known Matt for a long time. I’ve known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one.”
The burn was just the beginning.
“We’ve had problems. He’s a selfish person,” he said. “Those of you that have worked with him know this.”
Kimmel went on to praise Damon for being “unselfish” and allowing Casey Affleck to star in “Manchester by the Sea” in his place.
Damon was originally slated to star in “Manchester by the Sea” but couldn’t due to his schedule.
Affleck ended up winning best actor on Sunday night for his role in the film, which Damon produced.
“He handed what turned out to be an Oscar-caliber role over to his friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead,” Kimmel said. “And that movie, ‘The Great Wall,’ went on to lose 80 million dollars. Smooth move, dumbass.”
Kimmel didn’t stop there.
When a group of tourists were surprised with a stop at the Oscars, Kimmel instructed them to “ignore that jerk” sitting behind Affleck.
Later, Kimmel dedicated a whole bit to mocking Damon’s movie, “We Bought a Zoo.” And when Damon took the stage to present with childhood friend Ben Affleck, Damon was introduced as Affleck’s “guest.”
Kimmel also pretended to be conducting the orchestra and attempted to play Damon off the stage.
“You gotta be kidding me,” Damon said. “I’m just presenting. You can’t play me off.”
Damon got a small bit of revenge at one point by tripping the host as he was introducing some presenters.
Damon and Kimmel have been fake feuding for more than a decade.
Damon did not end up walking away with an award Sunday night, but it may have saved him some more teasing.
Ahead of his hosting gig, Kimmel told CNN that he was rooting against his nemesis.
“Listen, there are certain people who are winners and there are certain people that aren’t. I put Matt in the latter category,” he said. “I don’t see him getting his grubby, overly moisturized little hands on an Oscar on Sunday night. And if he does, I’ll be heartsick.”