Matt Rife Stands Firm on Controversial Jokes: ‘You Don’t Have to Listen’

Matt Rife Stands Firm on Controversial Jokes: ‘You Don’t Have to Listen’: MaMatt Rife kicked off a recent comedy show with an unusual opening – an apology, not for being sick but directed at his lively audience. The 28-year-old comedian expressed his weariness, albeit in milder terms, towards those who can’t handle jokes on the internet.


During a sold-out performance at the Off The Hook Comedy Club in Naples, Florida, Rife openly addressed the controversies that have surrounded him in recent months. From the domestic violence joke in his Netflix special to the subsequent “apology” he issued, and the plastic surgery rumors circulating on social media, even prompting responses from surgeons – Rife delved into all these topics and more during his hourlong set.

In his recent comedy show, Matt Rife didn’t shy away from addressing even the alleged “beef” with a 6-year-old boy, the latest incident making national headlines.
The Ohio native provided his audience with insights into the events of the past few months, but not without a quick advisory before delving into his set.

At the start of the show, Matt Rife emphasized, “I did want to make sure I mentioned at the top of the show though, if anybody here has come to a comedy show at a comedy club with even the possibility of being offended by a joke, we have arranged a safe space for you,” Rife said. “(It’s) located right outside that exit door over, go and see yourself out. No one’s gonna stop you.”

Matt Rife Defends Domestic Violence Joke as ‘Kind of’ Funny

Rife addressed the initial controversy during his recent Netflix special “Natural Selection,” focusing on the infamous opening joke criticized for allegedly mocking domestic violence victims.
For those needing a recap, the comedian recounted a joke from his performance in Washington, D.C., featured in the Netflix special “Natural Selection. ” In expressing his love for Maryland, excluding Baltimore, Rife turned the narrative into a joke about a waitress he encountered with a black eye. Following a friend’s suggestion to place her in the kitchen, Rife’s punchline was, “I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.”


Addressing the Naples audience, the comedian acknowledged the joke as “kind of” funny, emphasizing that it’s recognized as a joke. He clarified that the scenario presented wasn’t real and doesn’t reflect his actual views on domestic violence.
“I didn’t hit anybody. My food was fine. I didn’t put hands on anybody … OK, my food was delicious,” Rife said. “I didn’t order the knuckle sandwich.”

Matt Rife Addresses ‘Ableist’ Social Media Apology

After the release of his Netflix special, both viewers and longtime fans expressed their anger and disappointment over the joke on social media.
Addressing the hundreds of comments demanding an apology during his set, he shared that he chose to “swallow his pride” and posted a statement.

On November 20, he turned to Instagram to share an apology, complete with a link to his “official apology” for those “offended by a joke I told,” labeled “Tap to solve your issue” on his Instagram Stories.
Spoiler alert — those who clicked the link were directed to a website selling helmets for people with special needs, a joke that Rife asserted will always be amusing to him.

“The only reason I did a fake apology was because in what…universe would I ever apologize for a joke. It’s a joke,” Rife said. “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen to it. You have to come to my show to be offended.”
He concluded his remarks on the issue by addressing those who labeled his fake apology as “ableist” for mocking those with special needs. He was quick to clarify the misconception.
“Some people thought I was making fun of special needs people and obviously that’s not what I was doing — I was making fun of (critics) for being so stupid as to think I would ever apologize for a joke,” Rife said. “I’m saying you needed those helmets way more than they do.”

Matt Rife Hints at Purported Dispute with 6-Year-Old Boy on TikTok

Rife briefly touched on his latest controversy, which garnered social media backlash after he purportedly made an insensitive comment directed at a 6-year-old on TikTok.
Last week, TikToker Bunny Hedaya had her 6-year-old son stitch one of Rife’s stand-up videos on astrology, where he mentioned Jupiter having a ring. Hedaya’s son corrected him, stating, “actually, it’s Saturn that has the rings. It has more (visible rings) also. And you’re mean to girls.”
In her response video, she clarified that she never tagged Rife. She then shared a screenshot of a comment that Rife allegedly made on the video of her son. The now-deleted comment read, “Jupiter also has (a) ring. OH!… and Santa (Claus) isn’t real. Your mom buys you presents with the money she makes on OnlyFans. Good luck.”

Rife was in the midst of conveying to his audience that in the current era, changing someone’s perception about you is nearly impossible once they’ve made up their mind. He emphasized, “you’re better off just living your…life.”
“Know that you’re doing the right thing if you are and just live your…life. Everybody wants to be miserable on their own … and teach your kid how many…planets have rings around them.”
Without directly mentioning Hedaya by name, Rife’s concluding remarks on the matter were that “you shouldn’t start (trouble) and be wrong.”

Matt Rife Addresses Plastic Surgery Rumors, Female Fans, and Taylor Swift

With the comedian declaring the “awkward part” of the show over, his set shifted to the format familiar to his 18.2 million TikTok followers.
Covering topics ranging from finding grandmothers attractive to rebranding certain negative words to be positive (akin to the Black Eyed Peas’ initial version of “Let’s Get It Started”), Rife engaged with fans and touched on various lighthearted subjects. These included purchasing a house for his mother, experiences with his fanbase, and his commitment to donating all gifted stuffed animal bears to charity.


Despite the lighter content, Rife took a moment to address other rumors during his regular set.
In the realm of social media, memes targeting Rife’s jawline abound, with many suggesting he underwent surgery to achieve it—a rumor he refuted before his live audience.
“People were saying I had jaw surgery to have a jawline. That’s funny to me because I’m like … use your…brain. If I’m gonna get transformative surgery done to me, do you think I’m starting with my face? You would never hear me tell another joke for the rest of my life.”

He also slipped in a brief mention of his encounter with a Swiftie during one of his recent shows, asking the audience if they were fans of “overall music.” Rife clarified that he harbors no animosity toward the pop star, emphasizing that they both belong to the “breaking Ticketmaster presale club.”


Rife recounted the experience with the Swiftie, who expressed enjoying Swift’s shows for the “comradery.” He found the response peculiar, particularly noting that the fan was unfamiliar with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Playfully, he entertained the idea of starting his own version of “friendship bracelets” for his shows, eliciting some cheeky suggestions from the audience.


While showcasing his merch designs, he concluded his set by addressing a claim that genuinely bothered him in the past few weeks – the accusation that he harbored animosity towards his female audience. Rife took the time to earnestly deny this allegation to his predominantly female crowd.

“I hated that because women are the ones who gave me the career I have right now, and I’d never be anything less than grateful for that.”
“I don’t feel like I lost any female fans. I felt like I lost people who built an image of me that I did not live up to, which is on them. I’ve just been me, and we don’t happen to have the same sense of humor, and that’s fine. You don’t have to like everybody.”

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