Matt Rife’s Netflix Special Is Generating Controversy

Matt Rife of TikTok fame made his Netflix special debut, entitled Natural Selection, on Nov 15 and has generated considerable controversy due to some of his jokes being perceived as insensitive or even offensive.

One of the first jokes in Rife and his friend’s special involves them visiting a restaurant where their female server has an apparent black eye.

What is Matt Rife?

Matt Rife is an Ohio-native who has experienced incredible success through TikTok, where he has amassed an overwhelmingly female fan base. Touring nationally and appearing on television programs have followed, while his debut Netflix special “Natural Selection” currently ranks in the top ten most watched comedy specials worldwide.

This comedian is best-known for his crowd work; an approach to stand-up in which he interacts with members of the audience to make jokes that reflect back onto them. Many of these jokes focus on dating, sex and red flags in relationships.

Rife discussed his relationship with his female-dominated fanbase on his podcast BFFs, feeling as if his jokes about women were being unfairly criticised and wanting to appeal more towards men with his new special. Critics however claim it remains misogynistic and sexist.

How is Matt Rife funny?

Matt Rife first rose to fame via TikTok before growing into a comedy phenomenon with an avid following. Since then he’s made multiple guest appearances on Wild ‘n Out and had small roles on sitcoms like Brooklyn Nine-Nine; self-producing two specials featuring crowd work and tongue-in-cheek relationship advice directed towards female fans – 2021’s special and two years later with Matthew Steven Rife featuring more crowd work and relationship advice were self produced as well.

Natural Selection was released in 2023 on Netflix and quickly amassed millions of views despite drawing fire for opening with an offensive joke about domestic violence. However, viewers quickly rejected it, prompting further outrage against its creators.

Of course, comedy can be taken lightly at times; however, any jokes related to domestic violence should be taken more seriously than an average joke. Rife has continued selling out shows despite controversy and is currently on his Problemattic World Tour; his comedianry skill lies in adapting controversial material into more appropriate context, which keeps audiences engaged and keeps him successful at engaging his audiences.

What is Matt Rife’s style of comedy?

Rife’s style combines shock humor and lack of empathy towards his audience, often discussing personal matters without their knowledge – this may prove unnerving if watching from home.

He begins his special with a joke about domestic violence and moves on to discuss occult culture by likening women who collect crystals to Thanos collecting infinity stones. Both jokes were received well by the audience, however when discussing topics like sex and relationships the audience is relatively silent.

Rife has long been an active member of the comedy scene, attending open mics and performing on TikTok. His clips on TikTok garnered millions of followers and earned him an appearance on NBC talent show Bring the Funny, where he was eliminated during week eight. Most recently, Natural Selection premiered as his Netflix special and achieved top-10 status upon its debut despite an outrage of hatred directed at some jokes that may be offensive toward certain vulnerable groups in society.

What is Matt Rife’s appeal to women?

Rife, 28, quickly rose to fame on TikTok for his charming crowd work that features him interacting with fans who shout prompts like “Will trade husband for Matt,” building up an audience mostly made up of female viewers who flocked to his videos – inspiring him to self-produce a special in 2023 called Walking Red Flags that features lots of crowd work focused on giving tongue-in-cheek relationship advice to his viewers.

Rife’s most offensive joke involved domestic violence and garnered the greatest outrage; as he anticipated its political nature he doubled down by saying the joke would cause controversy because that was its intent.

Uncertain of its effect, Rife’s Netflix special has remained within the top 10 since it debuted last week and remains highly-anticipated by his audience. If that should change, Rife will likely respond with even more regressive comedy full of mockery against “woke scolds.” He knows his audience well and has shown himself not capable of adapting with current events.