Jimmy Kimmel Explains That Final Matt Damon Oscars Joke That Didn’t Happen

And there it is. Jimmy Kimmel is finally going into detail about that Matt Damon joke he had to scrap at the 2017 Oscars because of the epic, cringeworthy Best Picture blunder, which you can relive (again) in the video above.

As Us Weekly exclusively revealed earlier this week, the late-night host, 49, was going to poke fun at Damon, 46, in the audience after the top category was announced. However, due to the La La Land and Moonlight mix-up, the gag was cut, and Kimmel ran on stage amid the unscripted mayhem.

Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty
Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty Eddy Chen/ABC via Getty Images

“The plan for the last joke was — the Best Picture winner is announced, they make a speech. I was assuming the Best Picture was not going to be Manchester by the Sea. I said to [Matt], ‘If it’s not Manchester by the Sea I’m going to be sitting next to you, and it’s going to be my revenge for the Emmys,’ ” Kimmel recalled during the Bill Simmons Podcast.

“I’d be sitting next to him, and it would start on me. I’d start wrapping the show up, but then the camera would widen and we’d see that Matt would be sitting next to me,” he continued. “I would say, ‘Well, you know, it’s unbelievable, you know Casey [Affleck] won and Kenneth [Lonergan] won [for Best Screenplay]. There’s only one person who didn’t win tonight, and it’s you.’ It would have been a nice little button to the whole night.”

Damon, who was a producer on Manchester by the Sea, previously roasted Kimmel during the 2016 Emmy Awards in September. At the time, the Martian actor mocked Kimmel after Jimmy Kimmel Live! lost the award for Outstanding Variety Talk Series to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

“I missed the last category. Did you win? That’s a bummer,” Damon said, interrupting the MC. Quoting his film Good Will Hunting, he added: “Oh, hey, Jimmy, tell your mom I like dem apples.”

Kimmel’s Oscars skit wouldn’t pan out, however. Instead, it was Damon who notified him that presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie.

Brian Cullinan, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck backstage
Brian Cullinan, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck backstage Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

“We’re watching and waiting for the camera, but suddenly the stage manager wanders on set, which is never supposed to happen, and he’s in the shot, which I know is not supposed to happen. So I really don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t hear very well, so Matt picks up someone saying they have the wrong movie for Best Picture,” Kimmel explained. “He says to me, ‘I think they announced the wrong Best Picture.’ And I said, ‘What?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I heard them saying that it’s the wrong movie.’ And I looked at Matt, and I said, ‘Well, I guess I better go out there.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I guess you better.'”

Kimmel tried to make light of the situation, even though everyone was “mad and confused.” He screamed “Warren, what did you do?” and even took a jab at Steve Harvey, who accidentally named the wrong Miss Universe last year.

“I mean I [felt] bad for them, but I [couldn’t] help but laugh because it’s such an uncomfortable situation. I didn’t know if my mic was on. Didn’t know if people could hear me,” Kimmel said. “It wasn’t a great moment for a joke, because people wanted to know what was going on. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Immediately following the show, Kimmel was then wrangled into a group meeting with producers and Beatty, 70, backstage to try to figure out what happened. As the world knows by now, Beatty was accidentally given a duplicate of Emma Stone’s La La Land envelope for Best Actress. The two PwC accountants in charge of the envelopes have since been booted from next year’s show.

“[Beatty] did a very smart thing, and I was impressed by this. He kept those envelopes,” Kimmel said. “He would not hand them to anybody, he showed them to people, but he would not hand them over. The two envelopes, he kept both of them. Because that’s the evidence, that’s the smoking gun. As soon as you give those envelopes up, who knows who switches what.”

Kimmel then asked Beatty to drop by JKL!, but the veteran actor declined his invitation. “There was only one way to handle this. ‘You need to come on my show tomorrow night, and we’ll explain what happened,'” Kimmel recalled saying. “[Warren replied], ‘Well that sounds great for you, but I think I’m just going to wait awhile.'”

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