Did you know that Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon have problems? Because they won’t let us forget it.

If you were hoping to see Matt Damon slap his old foe Jimmy Kimmel at the 2023 Oscars, well, the night is still young (nearly three hours after broadcast).

In all seriousness, or with as much seriousness as I can muster for the above man show host Kimmel: Metaphorical shots were fired inside the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday. But it was Academy Awards MC Kimmel who got the last laugh when he resurrected his decades-long feud with Damon in front of Jessica Chastain (who was sitting just 10 feet away from activist Malala Yousafzai as Cocaine Bear harassed her). Kimmel landed some cheap shots on Damon, and Chastain was a good sportsman through the whole thing.

But where did this whole Kimmel-Damon thing start?

First, it’s important to reiterate that these two are really good friends. They just pretend to hate each other… for laughs or something. Here they are at the 2016 Oscars doing the same:

The (sexual) tension is palpable.
Credit: Getty Images

As for how it all started, well, Kimmel told NPR(Opens in a new tab) in 2013 that began with a well-timed joke after a particularly bad recording of Jimmy Kimmel Live!

We had a bad show. … The guests were mean and I was feeling pretty bad about myself at the end of the show. And I decided to say, to the amusement of one of our producers standing next to me… ‘I want to apologize to Matt Damon. Our time is over. … And he had a lot of fun, the producer, so I started doing it every night to entertain him.

Why Matt Damon, you ask? It’s simple, really: it was the first name that came to mind. The rest, as they say, is pop culture history. And now we can officially call it a bit of an Oscar recurrence.

No word on whether Damon will applaud Kimmel, but the Oscars aren’t over, and for all we know, Damon has been lurking inside that Cocaine Bear suit all night, waiting for the right moment to strike.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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