"I think it is going to be more of a roast," said Damon. "We won't take ourselves too seriously."
"This is what happens when you have friends that are a little questionable," said late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. "I don't think his friend Ben, for instance, is going to give him an entirely loving tribute. I know I certainly am not going to."
Famous friends came out to help honor the 39-year-old. Charlize Theron and Sarah Silverman were both on hand.
"He is so game and I think that is part of why he is a great actor," said Silverman. "I am a big fan."
Ben Affleck presented his buddy of 30 years with the Cinematheque award.
"I think everyone who works in this industry feels lucky to do what they do," said Damon. "This is quite a night for me that they are giving me this honor. It is all about supporting the work that they do."
The evening will be televised Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC7. Previous Cinematheque honorees include Samuel L. Jackson, Julia Roberts and George Clooney.