With 18 million followers on the social media app alone, Rife, 28, had made a name for himself with three-minute-long cuts of his hilarious comedy sets. Rife, who’s originally from Columbus, Ohio, has been working hard to produce his own specials and has already organised a number of them by crowdfunding. Not only would he be the headliner for the night, but Rife would take coats, check guests in, set chairs, and show people to their seats.
However, the young comic left the internet in a furor when a clip of his discussion with the Hearst publication was posted, exposing his theory that being “physically attractive” hasn’t helped him at all in his career.
In conversation with Today, Rife candidly supported his earlier claim. “I would say it’s harder because of the fact that this conversation is even happening,” the online star confessed in an interview published on 9 November.
“But the fact that I said it and I’m doing Men’s Health magazine, which seemed like the perfect context to talk about the shape you’re in, I would say it definitely doesn’t help,” he continued. “Because people don’t like you. People assume your life is easier when you have all these good things going for you.”
Rife believes that someone who has “an easy life” is going to have to work harder to get people to see that they’re funny. “So that’s why I would say it’s a little bit harder. You have to win people over more often,” he added.
Now, Rife seems to have done more than just convince a few people of his original humour as he prepares for his next special debuting on 15 November on Netflix. The show, entitled “Matt Rife: Natural Selection,” was the first project he’s worked on where he only needs to focus on perfecting his craft.
“This one, I got to just focus on my set most of the time, which was such a relief. So much easier,” he told Today.
Rife’s onstage tactic centers around exaggeration, producing over-the-top versions of himself that mirror the typical stereotypes people place on him. “Like, I’ll play into like the funny naive f***-boy kind of thing,” the comic explained.
“But there is a lot of comedy and naivety to me, and I think I am a bit like that in real life. Like I’m just kind of dumb and gullible,” he went on to say. “And I think an exaggerated version of that gets resonated with a lot of people. That way, if there’s not something [they] find in common, they can at least laugh at me, and I’m happy with that as well.”
Rife first joined TikTok in 2022. In his opinion, the bit that attracted a good portion of his followers was the “Lazy Hero,” an act in which he picks on a person in the crowd and accuses them of breaking up with an emergency room worker.
Though Rife may prefer some quips over others, he admitted that the ones that land best on social media are totally random.
“All social media success, as far as, like, the content you put on there that catches fire and goes viral, is random. I had no strategy whatsoever,” he remarked. “I was just posting a little bit of material in the beginning, and that led to posting some crowd work, and one just accidentally sparked.”
“I mean, to this day, there’s no method,” Rife, who said he averages about 20 million views for videos that perform well, continued.