Jimmy Kimmel's Oscar Finale: Messi the Dog Marks Damon's Star

Host Jimmy Kimmel's playful jab spices up Oscars night.

by Nouman Rasool
Jimmy Kimmel's Oscar Finale: Messi the Dog Marks Damon's Star
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel, the night's host, playfully reignited his well-documented rivalry with actor Matt Damon through a humorous stunt involving Messi, the talented canine from the critically acclaimed film, "Anatomy of a Fall." As ABC's live broadcast neared its conclusion, viewers were treated to an unexpected scene: Messi, portraying a mischievous demeanor, seemed to mark Damon's Hollywood Walk of Fame star as his territory.

This act, captured in the waning moments of the ceremony, suggested Kimmel's hand in orchestrating the lighthearted jab. This latest episode adds another layer to the long-standing "feud" between Damon and Kimmel, a saga filled with jests and jibes that has entertained audiences since 2005.

It all began when Kimmel, hosting his late-night talk show, humorously apologized for not having enough time to interview Damon, a running gag that has since evolved into a series of playful exchanges between the two celebrities.

Kimmel Teases Damon

In anticipation of the Oscars, Kimmel couldn't resist the opportunity to tease Damon once more during an interview with CNN, pointing out Damon's absence from the nominee list despite his role in "Oppenheimer," the year's most-nominated film.

Kimmel's jest that Damon couldn't secure a ticket to the event underscored their ongoing banter, highlighting a rivalry that has captivated fans for nearly two decades. Over the years, the Damon-Kimmel dynamic has seen numerous memorable moments, from Damon's collaboration with Sarah Silverman for a comedic music video to his surprise appearances on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Their friendly rivalry even saw Ben Affleck attempting to mediate peace between the two.

Amid the playful feud, Kimmel took a moment during his Oscars opening monologue to praise Messi's performance in "Anatomy of a Fall," jokingly suggesting the canine could lead in a remake of "The Shaggy Dog." Messi, who has quickly become a beloved figure this awards season, made a notable appearance at the Oscars luncheon in February, charming attendees including Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper.

Kimmel's affection for the four-legged star was evident, as he even shared a video of himself testing out monologue jokes on Messi before the Oscars ceremony, further illustrating the warm rapport they share. As this year's Oscars drew to a close, the playful gesture involving Messi and Damon's star added a humorous note to the evening, encapsulating the enduring camaraderie and spirited exchanges that have become a hallmark of Kimmel and Damon's public interactions.