This weekend, Matt Damon returned to host Saturday Night Live for the first time in 16 years, but he insisted he wasn’t there to promote a movie this time. Rather, he decided to host the show simply because he happens to enjoy it. He also had a more personal reason for wanting to take the stage at this particular time, however.
“So much has happened in the last 16 years. I got married. I have four beautiful children. I’ve been able to travel the entire world and meet so many wonderful people doing this job that I love to do so much,” he began, setting the tone for what would become a very touching tribute to his family. “And if you told me all of this would happen 16 years ago, well, I might’ve believed you, but if you told me that Ben Affleck and I would be washing cars in Somerville, Massachusetts, well, I would’ve believed that too.”
It was then that things started to get especially emotional, as the actor recounted his earliest memories of watching SNL alongside his father, who passed away a year ago.
“It really does mean a lot to me to be here tonight. Growing up, my brother and I would go to my dad’s house every other weekend, and he told us that if we could stay up until 1 a.m., we could watch Saturday Night Live. So, week after week, I tried to stay up. And it wasn’t until I was eight years old that I made it all the way to the end,” Damon remembered. “And I probably didn’t get all the jokes, but I laughed everything that my dad laughed at. And although it was way past our bedtime, my dad knew that there was nothing more important in the world than to laugh with the people that you love.”
“My father passed away a year ago yesterday, and tonight my big brother is in Boston right now watching with his two boys, and all my kids are here, including my youngest who happens to be eight years old,” Damon continued. “So, my wife and I told her that she can stay up all the way ’til 1 a.m. and she can watch Saturday Night Live. And she said, ‘Who’s hosting?’ And I said, ‘Me, your dad. Matt Damon.’ And she said, ‘Who’s the musical guest?’ Now, because this is the last SNL of the year, I just wanted to propose a toast to everyone out there watching. Here’s to closing out the year, and to an even brighter year ahead. But mostly, here’s to all the moms and dads who let their kids stay up too late for all the right reasons. Cheers.”
Not surprisingly, Damon’s sentimental speech had audiences at home pretty worked up for all the right reasons.
So I cried during Matt Damon’s #SNL monologue?
— Kevin Fallon (@kpfallon) December 16, 2018
Stupid Matt Damon making me cry with his “SNL” monologue. I should probably stop watching right now.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) December 16, 2018
— Brandy (@B_Dvs) December 16, 2018
— E For Effort (@eforeffortpod) December 16, 2018
Here’s hoping he doesn’t go another 16 years before hosting again.