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Matt Rife Doesn’t Care That His Jokes Hurt People

Matt Rife is refusing to apologize for his cruel jokes that made fun of domestic abuse survivors.

Matt Rife, a comedian known for making jokes about abuse survivors.
(Image: Shutterstock/Debby Wong)

Matt Rife is refusing to apologize for his jokes that made fun of domestic abuse survivors. 

Matt Rife, a 28-year-old comedian, recently released his comedy special on Netflix. Despite being initially well-received, a few moments in particular have landed the Ohio native in hot water. 

Matt Rife originally found fame through social media and quickly went viral. Like many other comedians, including Chris Rock and Ali Wong, Rife was given a comedy special on Netflix. He has faced brutal criticism for one of his opening jokes, where he said he should “start the show with domestic violence” so the rest of the show is “smooth sailing”. 

Rife proceeded to tell a story about being served by a waitress with a black eye. He recalled how he and his friends made fun of her, saying, “But we couldn’t get over, like, this is the face of the company? This is who you have greeting people?” 

Matt Rife at a comedy show in Huntington.
Matt Rife has repeatedly made cruel jokes about victims of domestic abuse. Credit: Shutterstock/Debby Wong

The comedian didn’t stop at making fun of the waitress for coming to work with a black eye. He continued, “And my boy, who I was with, was like, ‘Yeah, I feel bad for her, man. I feel like they should put her in the kitchen or something where nobody has to see her face.’”

Rather than shutting down this cruel bullying as he should have, Rife proceeded to turn the situation into a misogynistic joke: “And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.’ Of course, I felt bad for her. She should have had her protection crystals, you know what I mean?” 

A woman with a black eye.
Matt Rife and his friends mocked a waitress with a black eye. Credit: Shutterstock/Pop-Paul Catalin

Fans online were repulsed by Matt Rife’s brazen willingness to make fun of abuse survivors. The controversial comedian recently responded to the backlash during a sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl. Matt Rife made various jokes about sensitive topics like mental health, drug use, and transgender people. After he made the jokes, Rife said, “What am I gonna do? Get canceled? Cool, I’ll do another Bowl show. Awesome.” He continued, saying, “You know that’s not a real punishment…nothing happens. Prison’s a punishment.” 

Later in the show, the comedian again poked fun at domestic violence. During some crowd work, he engaged with a man who had gone to prison for assault. Rife turned to the man’s date and asked, “Ma’am, are you okay?” He quickly followed up with, “Guys, I’m kidding. Domestic violence is not funny, ever, ever, on any comedy special, ever.” 

Rife still refuses to apologize despite making what seemed to be an ‘apology post’ on Instagram. He posted a picture of himself with a caption saying, “If you’ve ever been offended by a joke I’ve told—here’s a link to my official apology.” 

The link was labeled “Tap to solve your issue.” When clicked, it redirects to a medical supply storefront for “Special Needs Helmets.” 

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can talk in confidence 24 hours a day to the National Domestic Violence Helpline at 800-799-7233.

Mary Christine is currently studying English and French at Michigan Technological University. She enjoys reading mystery novels, watching horror movies, and spending a significant amount of her paycheck on coffee.

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