Behind every joke, they say, is a grain of truth. Which is why there aren’t very many jokes on “Jimmy Kimmel Tonight.”
However, there is one running, absurdist bit on the show — which has spilled over to real life — that has more than a grain of truth to it. Or, at least it did on the red carpet at a West Hollywood film premiere on Monday, where actor Matt Damon called Kimmel a “terrible human being” as part of their “feud.”
According to Entertainment Tonight, Damon ran into his “nemesis” at the premiere of his film “Air,” where he shouted at the late-night host.
When asked by ET whether he was ever going to “kiss and make up” with Kimmel, Damon replied: “No, no, he’s an a**hole. Why would I ever do that?”
“He’s a terrible human being,” Damon continued. “He’s a terrible human being. He’s a demonstrably bad man.”
Matt Damon is not afraid to call @jimmykimmel a “terrible human being” after revealing he’ll never end his feud with him. 😜 pic.twitter.com/SV2fa9bLAC
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) March 28, 2023
Now, in case you’re wondering what this is all about, you’ve missed one of the weirdest extended pieces of air-quotes “comedy” on late-night TV, in which Kimmel and Damon pretend they hate each other in a kind of pro-wrestling rivalry. It’s like something Andy Kaufman would have done — which makes sense, given Kaufman’s interest in pro wrestling. But he also had comedic talent.
Is Jimmy Kimmel a terrible human being?
Yes: 97% (270 Votes)
No: 3% (7 Votes)
So, a bit of backstory: The feud began, according to Time, when he decided to end a bad show with the line, “I apologize to Matt Damon, we ran out of time” — as if the famous actor had been bumped for some bad guests. That was in 2005.
Since the line got a laugh, he kept repeating the joke. And repeating it. And repeating it. (As one commenter noted, Damon/Kimmel lore has become stale.)
This “joke” is about eight years too stale.
— mimismowball (@mimisnowball) March 29, 2023
In 2006, Damon was finally invited on the show — and told they had run out of time, which led to a “fight.”
Since then, this “rivalry” has included, inter alia, a music video in which Damon and Kimmel’s former girlfriend, comedian Sarah Silverman, sang about having a sexual relationship.
This clip, by the way, is from 14 years ago. In four years, people born on the night it was uploaded to YouTube will able to vote. Maybe it’s time to put this whole thing to bed.
But at least it lasted until Monday — because, for once, Matt Damon was completely and utterly correct.
Wow! I never thought I’d agree with Matt Damon on something (mostly because I don’t know his position about anything other than this), but here we are. I agree with Matt Damon, Kimmel is a tool.
— @WolfpackMiitomo (@Wolfpackmiitomo) March 29, 2023
They both are terrible human beings
— FactPush (@FactPush) March 29, 2023
Kimmel regularly dukes it out with Stephen Colbert for the title of most witlessly liberal late-night host — and often wins. Keep in mind, Colbert got his gig by playing a fake right-wing pundit on a show making fun of Fox News. That says something.
Earlier this year, for instance, Kimmel tried to humiliate MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell by making him sit inside an arcade claw machine full of stuffed animals during an interview. It was transparently designed to humiliate Lindell — and yet, he took it in stride and came out looking the better for it.
And sometimes, the anti-conservative stance isn’t so nice. Like the time Kimmel said hospitals should turn away those who chose not to be vaccinated for COVID-19 — no matter whether their malady had to do with the virus or not — and tell them to “rest in peace, wheezy.”
During the border crisis in 2019, he called for then-President Donald Trump’s children to be put in cages. In another joke, he said, “Donald Trump has taken more kids away from their parents than Michael Jackson.”
In 2018, Kimmel was forced to apologize after a series of tweets about Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity were deemed “homophobic.”
WARNING: The following tweets contain vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
When your clown makeup rubs off on Trump’s ass, does it make his butt look like a Creamsicle? https://t.co/DEhmfOh0Hn
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 6, 2018
Don’t worry – just keep tweeting – you’ll get back on top! (or does Trump prefer you on bottom?) Either way, keep your chin up big fella..XO https://t.co/R4QJCoGYCL
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 6, 2018
Although his “apology” left something to be desired:
re. @seanhannity pic.twitter.com/DMtWJTMsDU
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 8, 2018
Also in 2018, during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings (and attendant allegations of sexual misconduct), Kimmel said that if “Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court … in return we get to cut that pesky penis of his off in front of everyone.”
Etc., etc. The point is, the actor has it right: Jimmy Kimmel is “a terrible human being” and “a demonstrably bad man.” That’s more than a grain of truth — it’s unvarnished fact.
As for the rest of the thespian’s political opinions, apologies to Matt Damon, but we’ve run out of time.