It was perhaps inevitable that the Bronx’s favorite sons Desus Nice and The Kid Mero would clash with their Thursday Desus & Mero guest, Boston’s own Matt Damon. While the Bodega Boys have catapulted to twice-weekly late-night stardom these past few years, their pursuit of “only illustrious guests” never trumps their hometown pride, even when there’s an Oscar-winning actor, writer, and typically loudmouthed Red Sox fan in the house. (Meaning the guys’ pandemic-emptied bodega set.) And, to be fair to the Bronx Bombers fans, Damon started it.
“Just givin’ me a hard time because I root for a real baseball team,” is how Damon kicked things off, perhaps unwisely. (Desus did josh that Damon’s next film is not Damon-Ben Affleck-Nichole Holofcener-written The Last Duel, but the never-happening sequel, We Bought A Farm.) So it was on, as the requisite show business chatter gave way to some joking/not-joking sports stan banter throughout. Sure, Damon went through his process of mastering a Texas accent for the Tom McCarthy-directed sort-of ripped from the headlines Stillwater (tending bar helps immeasurably), and how his approach to dangerous Bourne-style stunt work differs from Tom Cruise’s infamously neck-risking Mission Impossible gags. (Damon does not fire and replace the on-set stunt guy when the safety professional deems that, say, rappelling down a Dubai skyscraper is too dangerous.)
Damon also chimed in on lifelong pal Affleck’s rekindled relationship with fellow superstar, notoriously ill-advised costar ex, and co-paparazzi magnet Jennifer Lopez. Mero asked what it’s really like “having your boy have a relationship that’s all over the news,” to which Damon noted, “I will say that the press was particularly terrible to them, like 18 years ago,” suggesting that the couple is owed a little distance as they try to reconcile. (That hasn’t headed off some half-joking “Bennifer” conspiracy theories, but we digress.) Damon also noted that fellow proud Masshole Affleck is still answering Red Sox-related texts from the Monaco-anchored yacht where he and Lopez have been famously canoodling, which, to Desus and Mero, is all the instigation necessary.
Still, the hosts are nothing if not professional, so they dutifully told Damon they were prepared to throw to a montage of some of Damon’s greatest onscreen moments, and you can probably guess where this is going, especially if you’ve been witness to a certain Paul Rudd-Conan dynamic over the years. Up first, Damon gritted his teeth through a certain 2008 Super Bowl outcome. Then it was time for a 2003 highlight featuring not Mac & Me’s misshapen alien protagonist and a runaway wheelchair, but, instead, the cursed spectacle of that extra innings home run swing from Aaron Boone. (To all our Masshole listeners, that’s “Aaron-fucking-Boone.”) With Desus and Mero sputtering out 100 percent sincere apologies and threats to storm out if their staff didn’t get their act together and show clips from, say, The Great Wall or something, Damon could only grind his molars when the final clip saw the Giants defeating Damon’s beloved Patriots in the Super Bowl, that second time that happened.
And, yes, Damon did attempt to shade the indisputable fact that, in this century at least, the Boston Red Sox have been crowned world champs four times to the Yankees one. And that the Yankees sort of suck this year. And that, the very next, post-Boone year, the Yankees crumbled against the Sox like milk-soaked, overpriced graham crackers in the most egregious choke job in sports history. Still, Damon was in the bodega, so had to sit for Mero bringing up the tuck rule, and responding to Damon’s attempt at a Boston-accented comeback by admitting that Damon got them “like Pedro got Zimmer.” (Desus advised younger viewers to Google that notorious Yankee Stadium confrontation.) Damon did force his hosts to make up a “Boston Sports Fan” chyron for the duo’s traditional neon sign farewell, so that’s bound to keep the New York-Boston rivalry simmering until Damon’s next visit. Oh, so will this: