Matt Damon Hijacked ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

matt-damon-hosts-jimmy-kimmelMatt Damon hosted Jimmy Kimmel Sucks last night and paraded half of Hollywood through the show. (Photo via ABC)

Last night, Matt Damon “hijacked” Jimmy Kimmel Live! for what could have become one of the most viral occasions in recent late-night talk show history. Too bad the hour-long publicity stunt, called Jimmy Kimmel Sucks, only reminded us why all our major late-night hosts should be comedians and not actors.

The program had its moments. After being Jimmy Kimmel jokingly denied Damon appearances on his show night after night for years, Damon finally decided to exact revenge and take over the show for an evening. Ben Affleck and Robin Williams made appearances, reminding us of the good old days of Good Will Hunting. A somberly funny Andy Garcia stood in for Kimmel’s usual sidekick, Guillermo. And of course, the stars just kept rolling in …

That was part of the problem. Despite all of Damon’s top Hollywood connections popping in to say “Hi,” not a single one left a strong impression. Affleck, Emily Blunt, Oprah Winfrey, and Kimmel’s ex-girlfriend Sarah Silverman have all been part of some of Jimmy Kimmel Live!’s most popular segments, yet last night, their appearances were as tired as Nicole Kidman looked when the credits started to roll.

Yes, the whole episode was obviously a ploy for ratings and plugs. But if that’s the case, why not mix things up and make it more special? Review last night’s program, and you’ll find the exact same lineup you’d expect on any late-night show at any time: a monologue (ending with an SNL-style “We’ve got a great show for you tonight—this artist is here!”), a frivolous sketch, celebrity interviews, and a musical performance at the end.

We already know that Jimmy Kimmel Live! is capable of giving audiences hilarious sketches with Damon, Ben Affleck, and other actors from the Boston area. That’s why yesterday’s show, hosted by Jason Bourne himself, was so disappointing. It was enough of a reminder that there’s one Brookline native who has our hearts on invisible strings.