Every joke I’ve seen making fun of Matt Rife is 10,000x funnier than anything he said in his Netflix special. You’ve probably seen him on TikTok doing crowd work; he’s got a chiseled jaw, blue eyes, and looks like a supporting character on Glee (not a compliment). Matt became a viral comedian thanks to female fans thirsting over him and catapulting him to fame, but he hates that! Barf! So much so that ahead of his newly released Netflix comedy special, he told Variety, “One of the biggest misconceptions of things I get ridiculed online for is people are like ‘oh, he only has a female fan base’ … That’s one thing that I wanted to tackle in this special was showing people that like despite what you think about me online, I don’t pander my career to women.” And pander, he did not.
Matt’s special, “Natural Selection,” kicked off with a joke about domestic abuse, alienating and pissing off the fanbase that made him famous just to appeal to… men? k. A weird choice that proves he’s really only famous for those cheekbones. It’s giving pretty privilege. Don’t @ me, Emily Ratajkowski.
To open his special, Matt tells a story about going to a “ratchet” Baltimore restaurant with a friend and noticing their female server has a black eye. He says: “It wasn’t like, ‘What happened?’ It was pretty obvious what happened … My boy who I was with was like: ‘Yeah, I feel bad for her, man. I feel like they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face, ya know?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.”
He goes on to say that he’s “just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not … I figure if we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”
As with any bad, offensive, un-funny joke, he was met with a ton of (warranted) backlash. And with his tail between his legs, he issued a public apology on his Instagram story.
On November 20, Matt posted a photo of himself on his IG story with the caption: “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told, here’s a link to my official apology.” When tapped, the link brought followers to a health website where they could purchase special needs helmets.
Call me a Karen, but it *seems* that there’s a bit of disconnect in Matt’s head between what’s dark and edgy and a joke that would get an eighth grade boy zero laughs and a meeting with the principal.
At the end of the day, the biggest joke is on Matt. The funniest part about all of this is he canceled himself by doing the exact thing he set out to do. Matt went into this special hoping to appeal to men and stop being “ridiculed” (whatever that means) for his female fanbase. He succeeded and now has a female fanbase who’s ridiculing him. Xoxo.