The long-running feud between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon took another turn on Thursday when Kimmel was announcing he'd be taking some time off from his hosting duties on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The feud itself dates back 13 years when after a particularly bad show, Kimmel joked in the closing moments that the had to bump Matt Damon and a running gag was born.
"Tonight is my last new show for the summer," Kimmel said on Thursday's show. "I'm taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family." He stressed that everyone in his family was healthy, he said that after 3130 shows, he "just needs a couple of months off." As Kimmel went on to hype the "kind and capable people" who'll be taking care of things in his absence, Damon, wearing only a robe, socks and a face mask, started lurking around in the background.
Still lurking in the background, Damon began questioning what exactly Kimmel meant by taking time off, claiming he'd been "waiting back there for three months" before he was called out as a guest. The banter between the two starts picking up, with Damon eventually calling out the host for "only" having a copy of Tori Spelling's book, Storytelling, in his collection. "I read it three times, and I got less every time I read it," The Martian star quipped. The bit continued on until Damon proclaimed he was running off with Kimmel's wife, Molly McNeary, while the host turned back to the camera, joking that he was going to get a divorce before resuming that night's show with Pharrell Williams.
Damon himself got in on the gag in 2006, when he appeared in the audience for a staged fight after Kimmel delivered his now-signature "apologies to Matt Damon" line. This led to a more elaborate back-and-forth, which obviously carries on to this day. It even spilled over into the World Series in 2018, when the pair wore matching shirts to Game 5. Both shirts ahd the phrase "I'm with stupid" printed across the front, with the requisite pointing arrows. To celebrate their team spirit, Damon's shirt was Red Sox red while Kimmel wore one in Dodger blue.
Kimmel's sabbatical announcement comes as years-old sketches from his time on The Man Show have resurfaced, which included him sporting blackface. Other severely outdated comedy routines have also come up in recent days amid ongoing civil rights protests, which has caused widespread re-examination of racist practices ingrained in U.S. culture.