Matt Rife’s Netflix special, Natural Selection, has garnered him both widespread acclaim and significant criticism. His comedy features biting jokes that reinforce harmful stereotypes and misogyny as entertaining entertainment – not unlike what many may experience with Matt Rife himself.

Rife first made his television debut on MTV’s Wild n Out season seven and has also made guest appearances on Brooklyn Nine-Nine; for his special, Rife shot at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC.

What makes Matt Rife so funny?

Rife takes an optimistic view of life. He believes laughing is one of the best ways to live, never takes himself too seriously, and enjoys making fun of himself and others quickly – an effective strategy to build relationships quickly.

Matt Rife has an exceptional gift for making complex subjects amusing, as well as taking controversial jokes and turning them into laugh-out-loud funny gems.

Rife has nevertheless struggled to retain his popularity; many of his jokes have been widely condemned for being offensive, leading to negative public reactions and sparking protests against them. Rife defended his comedy by asserting that it’s okay to offend people as long as it’s done in an appropriate manner; furthermore he maintained he is not racist and never made jokes that targeted minority groups specifically.

Why he’s so popular?

Even after some negative press, Rife’s popularity has seen a marked upswing since 2023 began. He made waves on TikTok by sharing crowdwork clips, while his debut Netflix special Natural Selection became one of the most-watched comedies during second half.

Rife’s hour-long show included jokes about religion, school shootings, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), dating and masturbation – as well as social media criticism and trolling. His set was highlighted by multiple instances where he mimed angry tweeting – often including himself miming angry tweeting to gauge how many people would find offense with his material. He regularly quipped “Testing the Water” before his jokes to gauge how many would take offense at them.

Rife’s approach differs significantly from that of his contemporaries who might shy away from audience interaction for fear of offending them; on BFFs podcast he stated his female fanbase encouraged him to make more offensive jokes than would otherwise be permitted. Mizejewski, fourth year student agrees with Rife in that comedians must understand their audiences, yet notes this may prioritize male content consumers over women content consumers.

Why he’s so controversial?

In 2022, this 28-year-old comedian went viral thanks to an audience performance clip from one of his shows going viral on TikTok. Since then, his clips have amassed over 40 million views and 5 million likes – propelling him to international stardom.

His fame, however, hasn’t shielded him from controversy: when his first Netflix special “Natural Selection” debuted on November 15 with an offensive joke about domestic violence as its opening line.

Critics argue Rife’s joke is insensitive and trivializes a serious issue, while supporters assert it belongs to a genre known as “dark humor”, and that its backlash represents overreaction.

Rife’s controversial remarks led him to post an Instagram video appearing to be an apology, in which he directed anyone offended by his joke to visit a website for special needs helmets and mention Hedaya and her son by name in one follow-up comment (newsweek has not verified this claim); since then it has been deleted but the controversy still rages online.

Why he’s so boring?

Matt Rife seems unaware of this requirement for success as his Netflix special fails to generate anything of note for its vast audience.

Ohio native Andrew Scott rose to fame after a clip of his crowd work went viral on TikTok in 2022. Self-financing, YouTube release and signing a deal with Netflix soon thereafter helped propel him forward on his path to stardom.

Rife’s debut performance is lackluster and uninspiring; there seems to be no ambition on his part to broaden his comedy repertoire. Aside from a couple of brief forays into more bold territory–such as jokes about his nephew’s autism or comments suggesting his stepdad won’t notice if he steals a porn tape–his set consists of tired, unfunny jokes about fat people and mentally impaired individuals; his only risky gesture seems to be taking a cheap shot at Zendaya; otherwise there seems no recognition on his part that his routines don’t work; the comedian seems unaware that what he’s doing isn’t funny at all.