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The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Opinion: But seriously, Matt Rife isn’t that funny

Matt+Rife+performs+his+comedy+special+Matt+Rife%3A+Natural+Selection.
Photo credit: Netflix
Matt Rife performs his comedy special “Matt Rife: Natural Selection.”

On November 15, Matt Rife released his first comedy special on Netflix titled “Matt Rife: Natural Selection.” However, the special has been met with sub-par reviews and online discourse was quickly sparked over the “dark humor” that Rife used in his opening joke.
The comedy special, which spans an hour and five minutes, felt like eating a piece of stale white bread with even its highlights barely being enough to even be considered mediocre. It felt as if Rife had almost bitten off more than he could chew.
Matt Rife, the Columbus-born comedian, has risen to fame through short TikTok clips having gained him 18 million followers and over 350 million views.
Through this platform, Rife gained an audience of primarily women who flocked to his page because of his attractiveness.
However, Rife did not seem to enjoy his newfound audience and wanted to appeal to another through his new comedy special. In an interview by Variety promoting this special, he was quoted saying “I would argue this special is way more for guys.”
Rife attempted to appeal to this audience, starting his special with a “joke” about domestic violence. He tells a story about being at a restaurant with his friend where a hostess greets them with a black eye.
He goes on to say, “Yeah, I feel bad for her, man. I feel like they should, you know, put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face.” Rife then says that she probably has the black eye because she cannot cook.
This joke is not just distasteful but appalling. Him trying to pander by making fun of domestic violence is a rather telling fact; In Rife’s mind, the best way to appeal to a male audience is through being a misogynist.
In his Variety interview, Rife mentions his love for dark humor and how he planned to tap into it through this special. This joke isn’t dark comedy though, because dark comedy comes through experience.
Rife did not make this joke based on his own personal experience, rather relying on the outdated notion that women being beaten by their partners is funny.
The cherry on top of this colossal failure of a comedy special was that this joke fell flat even with his male audience. It is currently sitting at 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the worst-rated comedy specials of all time.
But Rife, for the past month, instead of acknowledging the failure of his special, would rather play the “I’m being canceled” card and cry on the internet about it, appearing on the misogynist Jordan Peterson’s podcast last month to discuss his newfound cancellation. During the episode, he seems to double down on his joke and continues to push the narrative of people being too sensitive.
Rife is ignoring the fact that his audience chooses to watch him because of his appearance rather than his mediocre humor, throwing his once promising career away because his ego is just too big.

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About the Contributor
Josie Morrow, Views/Entertainment Section Editor
Josie Morrow (she/her) is a senior at Hayes. It is her second year on staff. She is involved in the Ohio Youth and Government Program as the 2024 Media Editor-in-Chief and she co-founded the Hayes Period Project. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spoiling her cat, listening to Taylor Swift, and drinking coffee.
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