Last night, Matt Damon successfully staged a fake hijacking of Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show, turning it into a surprisingly entertaining roast involving a bunch of A-list celebrities, a lap dance, and some mild bondage. At the outset, Matt mock-forcibly commandeered the show’s hosting duties and left Jimmy, gagged with his own necktie and bound to a chair, watching helplessly from the back of the stage as Matt took the reins.
Jimmy and Matt have been fake battling for years in a cute, prankish way, beginning with a recurring bit Jimmy uses on his show in which he pretends to bump Matt from his show’s line-up, pretty much every night. Then, a few years ago, Matt collaborated with Jimmy’s then-girlfriend, raunchy comedian Sarah Silverman, to create the charming song “I Fucked Matt Damon” … which then prompted retaliatory hotness between Jimmy and Matt’s hometown bestie, Ben Affleck. And the rest is history.
Matt’s first order of business as the host of Jimmy’s show was to replace Jimmy’s usual sidekick, Guillermo, and band leader, Cleto, by Andy Garcia and Sheryl Crow, respectively. Overall, in my opinion, the whole show was pretty great, but Andy Garcia was amazing. He once stood up to DeNiro’s Al Capone, and now we find he can ride a bike whilst swilling Johnnie Walker whiskey from the bottle. Understated and brilliant. Sheryl Crow was also a good sport, though her show-ending song was a bit of a snooze.
Ben Affleck popped up and was sort of funny, but not too. Robin Williams helped Matt with the jokey part of the monologue and gave an uncharacteristically restrained few minutes of clean jokes.
There were short video-messages from lots of fancy celebs, including Jennifer Lopez, Robert De Niro, and Oprah Winfrey, but my favorite was Sally Field’s. There’s very little better than Mrs. Gump unblinkingly using the f-word. Like she really meant it
Matt’s first live guest on the show was Nicole Kidman, who walked straight to the bound-up Jimmy and gave him a surprisingly professional-looking lap dance. Despite Nicole’s apparent non-chalance about peeing on camera and on other people, she always seems so uptight in real life that it was nice to see her loosening up a little bit. Make fun of her Botox all you want, but she’s not plastic when it comes to tight green pants and a friendly lap dance.
Continuing the roast-y atmosphere, while chatting with Matt, Nicole mentioned that she had never been a guest of Jimmy’s show before because “he fucking sucks.” Then, as if by magic, Nicole said that she would like to work with Gary Oldman someday, and surprise! out comes Gary Oldman .. who then mentioned Amy Adams … who also popped right out (looking like she could be Nicole Kidman’s daughter)! Reese Witherspoon and Demi Moore also joined the crowded guest couch, but didn’t add much other than star clout.
Finally, the big celebrities cleared out and Matt introduced Jimmy’s ex-girlfriend, Sarah Silverman who, despite her ludicrous outfit, was fantastic with her dirty innuendos. Overall, the show was very well done and surprisingly funny. To my mind, participation essentially equates to instant mainstream cool, which begs the question: which, if any, celebrities were asked to participate and declined. (I’m guessing, Brad Pitt. And where was George Clooney? Too busy?)