jimmy kimmel live break

After almost 18 years and 3,130 shows, Jimmy Kimmel is taking a vacation. The host of Jimmy Kimmel Live announced on the June 18 episode that he will be “taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family,” a sweet announcement that was unexpectedly crashed by Matt Damon, the long-running butt of Kimmel’s jokes. And he wasn’t too happy about having to wait even longer for his time on the show.

At the end of every episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel would joke, “Our apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time.” It was a silly recurring gag that turned into a full-fledged bit when Kimmel’s then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman got the actual Damon involved in a hilarious viral video “I’m F***ing Matt Damon.” The joke turned into its own expanded universe, with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner getting involved, and increasingly high production values given to these sketches. It seemed like the bit had died down after a few years, but it turns out that even the coronavirus pandemic couldn’t stop Kimmel and Damon from reviving the gag.

During Kimmel’s June 18 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host announced from his home studio that he would be taking a break from the show and a “cavalcade of very kind and capable people will be filling in” as guest hosts. One of those guest hosts probably won’t be Kimmel’s nemesis Matt Damon, who creeped out from the bedroom in the background and revealed that he had been living in there for the past three months of quarantine. Wearing a mask and swirling a drink, Damon angrily tells Jimmy he’s “been back here three months, waiting to get on.” But he’s been doing more than stewing in Jimmy’s borrowed bathrobe and re-reading Tori Spelling’s sTORI Telling: he and Jimmy’s wife — who sneaks out from the bedroom soon after — have been getting it on too, Damon said, bringing it back full circle to the Silverman video.

That sketch is fun and silly, though it does make us question how Damon is supposedly quarantining at Kimmel’s house and not a small town in Ireland where he’s supposedly stranded (my guess is that this is some really good green screen/split screen effects or Damon and Kimmel are standing way too close to each other).

But one thing that goes unmentioned in Kimmel’s announcement is the recently surfaced footage from the comedian’s time on The Man Show, in which Kimmel had a recurring bit where he wore blackface to impersonate NBA star Karl Malone. While the footage has been floating around since last year, the discourse around it has revived in the wake of Kimmel’s late night colleague, Jimmy Fallon, apologizing for his use of blackface to impersonate Chris Rock on Saturday Night Live in 2000.

New episodes with guest hosts will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020.

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