The 24th annual American Cinematheque Award presentation to Matt Damon on Saturday night was far more Friars Club Roast than earnest tribute to the 39-year-old actor-humanitarian.
The only thing missing onstage at the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom was Dean Martin, who used to host those old celebrity roasts on NBC way back when.
Instead of Dino dishing out the zingers, there was talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, who opened the breezy, bawdy ceremony by ticking off the films of another actor named Matt.
"I was under the impression this was a salute to Matt Dillon," he quipped. Kimmel pointed out that Damon, the star of the Jason Bourne trilogy as well as such films as "Good Will Hunting," for which he and longtime friend Ben Affleck won an Oscar for original screenplay, was way too young to receive a lifetime achievement award.
"I don't feel like he deserves a salute," Kimmel deadpanned, adding that the Cinematheque should honor "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens.
Of course, Kimmel and Damon have had a faux feud going for several years on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Two years ago, Kimmel's then-girlfriend, comedian Sarah Silverman, and Damon performed a ribald song proclaiming she was having an affair with the actor. Kimmel responded with a song informing her that he was having an affair with Affleck.
Clips from Kimmel's show were screened during the evening, including one in which the comedian's sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez, pretended to be Bourne.
The evening, which will be televised this spring on ABC, was a fundraiser for the nonprofit American Cinematheque, which holds year-round public film and video programs at the Egyptian and Aero theaters. Previous Cinematheque honorees include Samuel L. Jackson, Julia Roberts and George Clooney.
Charlize Theron, who appeared with Damon in "The Legend of Bagger Vance," took on a more serious tone when she talked about Damon's work for Water.org, a nonprofit organization co-founded by Damon that assists developing countries in providing safe drinking water for all. "He uses his influence carefully," she said.
Affleck presented his buddy of 30 years with the Cinematheque award."Who would imagine Matt would be here tonight?" Affleck asked. "No one."
Accepting the award, Damon said that "this is way too much attention for one person" and then proceeded to skewer everyone who had roasted him that night.
Damon was thanking his family when Rodriguez, Kimmel's sidekick, interrupted him.
"You're done," he said, as he pushed Damon off the stage.