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Matt Damon News Column
Kimmel, Film Festival
  • Matt presented Ben with the 'Modern Master' award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Friday night. Photos are at Getty, Yahoo,and Santabarbarians Twitter, with some tweets from the ceremony below. Video of Matt's funny and sweet speech, and Ben's unusually serious and honest response honoring Matt, is at YouTube, courtesy of THR's Scott Feinberg, with Feinberg's report available here (the transcript and any errors are mine).

    Matt's final words when presenting the award: "Please welcome somebody who is undeniably two things: my very old friend, and a very young Master."

    Part of Ben's response: "I want to say thank you to Matt Damon, who, when he gets this award, I hope will invite me here to give a speech like him. I will be a bit more verbose, because so many of the brilliant characteristics of Matt are so blatantly self-evident. Matt Damon actually is... we traffic in these adjectives and in hyperbole in this business an awful lot, so it's rare to actually know a genius, and I know that Matt is a genius because I know and I've known him for more than 30 years and I've seen him do about everything you can do, including we've played sports together, I saw him in the shower, which is why I know it's in my speech, because you don't roast somebody who has seen you in the shower. But what I've seen about Matt is who he really is, so I know, and I've seen what I have considered to be the entire range of his personality, his emotions, his life experience and all that, is that when I go see a movie that Matt's in, I see a fully realised, particularly nuanced, completely complicated person. Who not only have I never met, I have never even seen, not for a second. I am humbled, and I am completely blown away. Matt talked about directors... there are a lot of things I would have cause to envy Matt over, the one thing I probably envy him the most is Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, the Coen brothers... a whole shitload of directors who are geniuses... Clint Eastwood, twice, Cameron Crowe, it goes on and on. Matt has worked with basically all the great directors who can still get up out of a chair. And the reason why is because they are great directors and they can recognise greatness, and they've seen it in Matt, and so have all of you, and so has America, and so have international film-going audiences, and so have I." [Matt here interrupts him with 'Who is the one getting this award Ben?' to audience laughter, and Ben's joking response isn't caught on the audio.] "I am lucky because I saw it before all of you, so thank you very much to Matt."

    Scott Feinberg ‏@ScottFeinberg
    VIDEO: Matt Damon presents Ben Affleck with @OfficialSBIFF's Modern Master Award; touching intro and acceptance

    Claudia Puig ‏@claudiapuig
    Matt Damon gets choked up re Affleck winning award at Santa Barbara film fest: " No one's gonna be surprised if he wins the Oscar."
    Ben Affleck on his old pal: "Matt Damon actually is brilliant. I am humbled..."
    Affleck at Santa Barbara film fest: "Matt has worked with basically all the great directors who can still get out of a chair."

    Kristopher Tapley ‏@kristapley
    Great speech by Damon.

    Carley ‏@MissCarley
    Awww. Ben Affleck’s acceptance speech is all about thanking his presenter: Matt Damon.

  • Details of how the Kimmel show came together is provided at TV Guide in an interview with show executive producer Jill Leiderman, including:

    TV Guide Magazine: How much time did Matt have to prepare?
    Leiderman: The day before the show, Matt came in and gave us a full day of walking through the set, experiencing what it would be like to drive his own show and doing field pieces. Much the same way Oprah did when she gave us a full day as well for our Oscar special last year. He threw himself into the operation and wanted to soak up everything that we did and was game for anything we wanted to do. It was 48 hours of crunch time when it became a circus, but a very exciting circus.

    TV Guide Magazine: Did he do a test show? Did you give him talk show pointers?
    Leiderman: He did a dry run at our rehearsal and did jokes for the staff and crew to see what played well and what didn't. And Matt himself read up on all the research we gave him on each guest so that he would be well versed and be able to throw his own material in. What you saw on the show was an amalgam of Jimmy's ideas, the writers' ideas and Matt's input as well.

    TV Guide Magazine: For someone who had never hosted a talk show before, how do you think Matt did?
    Leiderman: I thought he was great. Moments before he went on, I looked at him and said, "OK, now's the time when you get to go and enjoy yourself. Go out there and have a great time."

    TV Guide Magazine: Talk about the guests. How did you manage to attract so many A-listers at the same time?
    Leiderman: Our talent bookers worked around the clock. Matt himself chipped in and called friends. There were friends of Jimmy's on the show, friends of Matt's, friends that they have in common, as well as other celebrity guests that we brought in as well to really prove that when Matt hosted the show we were able to blow the roof off the dump.

  • Matt's appearance on Kimmel resulted in great ratings and social media coverage. The episode will be re-aired in primetime at 10pm next Tuesday.

    In addition to ranking as the No. 1 late-night show on Thursday (1/24/13) in both Households (2.92 rating) and Adults 18-49 (1.23 rating) in Nielsen's 56 Metered Markets, ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" also saw huge gains across digital platforms, topping all four late-night competitors in total tweets and unique users. Last night's episode generated more tweets than any other episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on record, up more than 230% above average.

  • A tweet from comedy legend (and Ocean's co-star) Carl Reiner:

    carl reiner ‏@carlreiner
    I say that M.Damon usurping J.Kimme'ls job was one of the funniest and creative shows in the history of late-night T.V.

  • Another skit with Matt aired on Friday's Kimmel show - now available at his YouTube page.

  • Matt filmed a PSA for water.org in LA on Friday.
  • 11 comments or Leave a comment
    4mattdamon From: 4mattdamon Date: January 26th, 2013 01:15 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Wow what a glowing speech Ben gave of Matt. Humbled by each others work. What a loyalty, care, and respect they hold for one another!

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Matt, you are amazing, is there nothing you can't do, thank you for doing what your doing and don't stop, please x
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Matt and Ben awards

    This article about Matt and Ben is amazing and beautiful...Ben's speech was great (I'm at my mom's computer and it doesn't work well so I couldn't actually see the YouTube video). Wow that is a gorgeous award Matt gave Ben :) I wonder if it's real gold? I just want to say that I love Matt and Ben how close they are and I never met them but I can honestly say that I feel like I know them a little through what I have read over the years, looking through thousands of pictures online LOL and I love them a lot. Matt Damon is such hard worker, he is my absolute favorite and has worked with top notch directors because he is so good (probably yummy) and I love every piece of him even if I don't know him for real.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Matt and Jimmy Kimmel

    Matt is so funny the type of funny-serious that I like 'you smell like penguins' and the clip with him and the blonde girl was so cute!!! Why can't I be lucky to be next to him, oh how much I want to...
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 26th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Lots of great photos of Matt and Ben at the Santa Barbara event:

    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 26th, 2013 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Another skit with Matt on Kimmel show

    Belly button lint between the J and I indeed 100% :) M..
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Another skit with Matt on Kimmel show

    Yah that was so funny too he's adorably cute and 100% wantable!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 27th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)

    LA Times


    "We're still a long shot," Affleck said, his underdog sentiments clashing with the words of his old friend Matt Damon, who presented Affleck with the Modern Master award, saying, "No one's going to be surprised if ['Argo'] wins the Oscar for best picture."

    Receiving the weighty trophy, Affleck spent several minutes extolling Damon's "genius," prompting Damon to crack at one point, "Who's getting the award?"

    "I was just feeling really grateful about Matt's speech," Affleck said a bit sheepishly afterward. "His friendship and support have meant a lot. I wouldn't be here without him."
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)


    Wonder if Matt saw that tweet from Carl. He would love it, although, being Matt, he would probably give Jimmy's staff all the credit. But ere are very few major stars - VERY few - who could walk into that job cold and manage it so smoothly and graciously. The guy just does everything well.

    And the video from Ben's award was great. But, even we you didn't know their long history, their relationship shows in the photos. Those guys just love each other - and it's not any less because it's platonic.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: January 27th, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Various/E

    OMG I was totally thinking the same thing how he just pulled it off being the host on short notice and he totally looked comfortable like he belonged there on the stage shining up the room with his presence! He's so popular witty and wonderful!!! (I think I'm in love) shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: January 27th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)

    Full show on YouTube

    Here's a video of the full show on Kimmel, which includes intros and outros not available in the individual YouTube clips (and is available outside the US).


    Matt's now back in NY.

    Edited at 2013-01-27 03:36 am (UTC)
    11 comments or Leave a comment