Tuesday night, the latest chapter was written in the infamous late-night “feud” between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon.
The Boston-bred movie star Damon showed up on the air uninvited, as he often does, to jokingly get under Kimmel’s skin. All seemed normal and pleasant as Kimmel interviewed the director and cast of the new movie, “Thor: Ragnorok.” Chris Hemsworth was seated on stage, and the camera cut to Mark Ruffalo and director Taika Waititi who were back stage. Kimmel was chatting up Ruffalo and Waititi when Damon made his drop-in, slowly poking his head into the shot, much to the delight of the live studio audience.
The subject turned to Damon’s tendency to show up to places uninvited, and Hemsworth joked that he’s friends with Damon only out of pity. When asked to confirm that the two go on vacations together, Hemsworth clarified that Damon shows up at his Australia house uninvited.
Damon proceeded to hijack the giant screen that backdrops the stage, imposing his face over the skyline that normally serves as the background.
“Go back stage and eat the duty potatoes that we made for you,” Kimmel said, clearly bewildered by this intrusion. “You know what, put up the emergency screen saver.”
This feud is over 12 years old, and came from humble beginnings. It started when, at the end of what Kimmel thought to be a bad show, he jokingly apologized to Damon for bumping him. The bit unexpectedly caught on, and he ended up signing off many more broadcasts the same way. The on-air feud has gone on to include staged fights, videos with each other’s girlfriends and a 2015 (unsuccessful) couples therapy session.
Last night’s gag comes at a time when Damon could use some comic relief. He’s faced criticism after reports claiming that he helped protect Harvey Weinstein from facing the consequences of his sexual harassment incidents in 2004, which have come into the public eye this week.
“I did five or six movies with Harvey. I never saw this,” Damon told Deadline. “A lot of actors have come out and said, everybody’s saying we all knew. That’s not true.”