It boasted more celeb wattage than this year’s Oscars: The music video ”I’m F — -ing Ben Affleck” — which debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s post-Oscar show and has since crippled workplace productivity — is Kimmel’s response to another YouTube staple, ”I’m F — -ing Matt Damon,” sung by the ABC host’s girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, and his pseudo-nemesis Matt Damon. Herewith, the dirt on Bimmy’s blunt declaration.
JIMMY KIMMEL I did not instantly think of how I was going to retaliate, because it almost seemed impossible. But then the idea of doing something with Ben Affleck floated around.
BEN AFFLECK I remember seeing Matt’s and thinking, ”Oh, it would be funny to do one with me and Jimmy.”
JILL LEIDERMAN, ‘Kimmel’ exec producer If Matt took a swing at somebody that Jimmy loves, the best way for Jimmy to retaliate would be for him to take a swing at somebody that Matt loves.
AFFLECK They paid me in humiliation. That was my only fee, and I drank it up…. You couldn’t do it half-speed. You had to be painting toes and blow-drying hair. At one point we were going to take a bath together, but the bubbles couldn’t get high enough, so that ended up getting scrapped.
LEIDERMAN It grew exponentially from the first phone call we made. Once a few celebrities signed on, the yeses came fast and furious.
KIMMEL Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d have Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford. Brad Pitt dressed in a FedEx costume was kind of crazy to start with, but Han Solo hanging around the studio all day was just unbelievable.
AFFLECK The first name that came to me — because I’m such a huge fan — was Harrison Ford. And I heard he liked the Matt one. Jill called me back 10 minutes later: ”We got Harrison Ford!” He was awesome. He saw his wardrobe looked kind of normal and was like, ”Don’t we have anything here that’s mesh?”
LEIDERMAN Thank goodness Josh Groban — with that rich, velvety voice — was gracious enough to lend his talents to this higher cause. When he signed on, we knew that we had gravitas.
AFFLECK Every time we got one of those people, I felt like, ”This is either really great or it’s really terrible for me, because I’m gonna have to be living with this ‘I’m F—ing Ben Affleck’ anthem for the rest of my life!”
KIMMEL I was hoping to have actual intercourse, but standards and practices at ABC once again ruined it for everyone.
AFFLECK The short shorts were not a challenge — the singing was. When we’re going nose to nose, you’ll see — or you’ll hear — that I’m not singing in the range I’m supposed to. And I’m not keeping time. I don’t think this is going to prove a successful reel for any musicals.
KIMMEL I don’t know how you retaliate after this, but that Damon’s very crafty and I wouldn’t be surprised if my staff is right now plotting with him against me…. I don’t know if Sarah has seen it, to be honest. I haven’t seen her since Ben and I moved in together.
Read more of Ben Affleck’s random thoughts about ”I’m F—ing Ben Affleck”, including what Matt Damon thought about the video.