Matt Damon returned to Saturday Night Live this weekend, marking the last new episode of the year and Damon’s first turn hosting in 16 years. Rather than opening with the usual joke-filled monologue, however, Damon paid a moving tribute to his late father, Kent Damon, who died almost a year ago after a long battle with cancer.
Watch Damon’s heartfelt tribute, below.
“Growing up, my brother and I would go to my dad’s house every other weekend, and he told us if he 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 until the end. I probably didn’t get all the jokes, but I laughed at everything my dad laughed at.”
“…nothing more important in the world than to laugh with the people that you love.”
And he closed with a toast:
“…all the moms and dads who let their kids stay up too late for all the right reasons. Cheers.”
Viewers thought Damon’s words were moving — and a refreshing change.
— Simona (@simona_ka) December 16, 2018
Matt Damon’s monologue was actually really great. Honesty over shitty sketches any day. pic.twitter.com/84UesWNhdY
— Sara J (@saralabellesays) December 16, 2018
What a delightful touching #snl monologue from Matt Damon! Shout out to my mom and dad, who let me stay up late to watch Madonna host the show in 1985. (This will only make sense you’ve seen monologue; my parents don’t know Twitter).
— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) December 16, 2018
— Tony Jones (@Realdealdude2) December 16, 2018
— Madeleine McKendrick (@MGMcKendrick) December 16, 2018
Many people could relate to his memories.
I can relate to Matt Damon’s monologue. Don’t know how old I was when I could finally stay awake till 1130p to watch SNL(maybe 9 or 10), but it’s been a must watch for me every week it’s on! pic.twitter.com/O9PKn65DpQ
— AndreaWBZ (@AndreaWBZ) December 16, 2018
— Andrew Price (@andrewjonprice) December 16, 2018
— Mantha87 (@StrohlFamily) December 16, 2018
We weren’t crying. YOU WERE.
Stupid Matt Damon making me cry with his "SNL" monologue. I should probably stop watching right now.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) December 16, 2018
Don’t think I’ve ever cried during an @nbcsnl intro monologue before…thanks a lot Matt Damon!
— Sara Jones (@SenoraJones31) December 17, 2018
@nbcsnl Matt Damon's monologue got me in the feels. My parents regulated what we watched, but if my mom liked it, we were allowed. #SNL was one of those shows. I didn't always get the jokes either but I was allowed to stay up late with my family and that was enough
— HollyBarry (@bigbroslilsis8) December 16, 2018
Thank you, Matt Damon, for reminding us what matters this holiday season.