One of the longest-running jokes on Jimmy Kimmel Live over the course of its nearly twenty-year run has been the host's "feud" with actor Matt Damon. The show has frequently seen Kimmel ending the broadcast by saying that they had to cut an appearance by Damon for time. There have even been various bits featured on the show where Kimmel and Damon pretend to strongly dislike one another, and even one last year when Kimmel said he was taking a break in which Damon interrupted Kimmel, joking that he'd been hiding out in Kimmel's home for three months. Now Damon is opening up about the origin of the playful feud and it turns out it was nothing that was planned.
Speaking with Jess Cagle on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle show, Damon explained that had never even met Kimmel the first time the joke was delivered.
"No, nobody was watching his show, that was strange, and he, and people started to call me and ask like, 'Hey, what's your connection to this guy?' And I'd never met Jimmy," Damon said. "And he literally pulled my name out of thin air one night. And the way he told me this story, he said he had like a, he said I had a ventriloquist and a guy in a gorilla suit as my guests. And I just said kind of as a throwaway, 'my apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time,' but he could have said Brad Pitt. He could have said, you know, George. He could have said somebody else, but he just, for some reason, maybe I had a movie out that week or something, but he just said my name. And it changed the course of both of our lives. We've kept this feud going for, you know, it's gotta be 15 years now. I've had a lot of fun doing it."
Damon also explained that it's kind of a weird situation because it's a joke that continues to be funny even after all this time.
"It's the weirdest thing," Damon said. "It doesn't behave like any joke ever. He goes, 'I say the same joke every night and it gets a laugh every night. It's the weirdest thing'"
For his part, Kimmel has also addressed the origin of the joke. In 2013, Kimmel told NPR that Damon's name really was just the first one that came to mind, but his producer thought it was funny and it just went on from there and people haven't tired of it yet.
"Repeating the same joke every single night you'd think eventually people would get tired of it, but they don't," Kimmel said.
What do you think about the origin of Jimmy Kimmel's Matt Damon joke? Let us know in the comments.