Kimmel used Damon as a punching bag even more than he did President Donald Trump, who wasn’t spared Kimmel’s barbs.
“Tonight, in spirit of healing and bringing people together, I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I’ve had issues with. I would. Matt Damon,” Kimmel said during his opening monologue. “I’ve known Matt for a long time now. I’ve known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one, okay? It’s true. And we’ve had problems. He’s a selfish person. Those of you who have worked with him know this.”
Kimmel then reminded the audience that Damon opted not to star in “Manchester by the Sea,” for which Casey Affleck earned an Oscar nomination — and later win. Damon, instead, toplined “The Great Wall.”
“He handed an Oscar-caliber role over to his friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead,” Kimmel joked. “And that movie went on to lose $80 million. Smooth move, dumb a–. See? It’s so easy to reach out and heal.”
Halfway through the show, Kimmel brought tourists inside the theater and introduced Casey Affleck by saying, “This bearded man is not a vagrant,” before adding, “Ignore the jerk behind him,” while pointing to Damon.
Kimmel wasn’t finished. Near the end of the show, he showed a bogus tribute to Damon for “We Bought a Zoo,” concluding with, “He has almost no discernible talent, but he works.”
When Damon and Ben Affleck — who won a screenwriting Oscar two decades ago for “Good Will Hunting” — came on stage to present the award for best original screenplay, which went to Kenneth Lonergan for “Manchester the Sea,” Kimmel tried to play Damon off the stage.
Every time Damon tried to name the nominees, the orchestra music swelled. It turned out that Kimmel was leading the orchestra and yelling, “Wrap it up!”
Finally, as Kimmel brought on Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to present the best picture Oscar — before that now-notorious flub — he reminded the audience that it was a chance to see Damon (a producer on “Manchester by the Sea”) lose an Oscar.