“It has been said that my friend George Clooney is the last of the true movie stars,” Damon, 52, says about longtime pal, Clooney, 61.
“So I got to thinking about exactly what that meant. Of course, a number of past Kennedy Center honorees have certainly been movie stars in that classic sense. Actors with class and sophistication — Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck,” he continues, winding up for the punchline.
“And then I think of George,” Damon says. “A man who defected in Richard Kind’s kitty litter box as a joke.”
Damon doesn’t stop there: “A man who once stole Bill Clinton‘s stationery and wrote fake notes to actors, saying how much the President loved their movies.”
The Ocean’s Eleven actor and Kind used to be roommates, and Kind had a small cat that lived with them. As Clooney told the story, because he was bored, he began removing the cat’s poop from the litter box and flushing it down the toilet.
“My little kitty. He hasn’t taken a s— in, I think, three days,” Clooney recalled Kind saying to him.
“And then he takes the cat to the vet, and they give him this kitty Metamucil. And so now this little kitty is s—ting 15 times a day, and I am scooping it all up, because I have nothing else to do,” Clooney told the Smartless crew. “I have no idea why. It’s just funny.”
The Up in the Air star then said he had an epiphany.
“And then after a couple of weeks, the light bulb goes off, and I realize what I must do,” he said “I must take a s— in the cat box.”
RELATED VIDEO: George Clooney Fixes Wife Amal’s Dress Train While on Kennedy Center Honors Red Carpet
“Now there is this moment,” Clooney said, laughing, “when I’m squatted down over a cat box where I’m going, ‘Really? I mean, it’s funny. It’s good. But I’m not sure it’s how I want to be remembered…’ The cat is like six-inches long. It’s a tiny cat.”
Soon Kind figures it all out and while Clooney thought it was hilarious, Kind wasn’t thrilled. “He gets madder and madder and madder,” Clooney remembers.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
“And then finally he says, ‘I understand humor! Defecation doesn’t make me laugh!'”
The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony will air on CBS Dec. 28.