Is Matt Rife the Manosphere’s Next It Boy?

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Rife needs his new comedy particular to enchantment to males, however at what price?

Matt Rife ends his new comedy particular, Natural Selection, with a literal mic drop. It’s a daring transfer contemplating the particular, launched on Netflix November 15, garnered almost immediate criticism for being misogynistic, ableist, racist, and customarily unfunny. 

Rife, 28, started doing standup in his teenagers, finally discovering success on the hip-hop comedy improv present Wild ’N Out and taking part in small components on exhibits like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Fresh Off the Boat. But he didn’t turned well-known till 2022, when TikToks of his crowd work at standup exhibits went viral. In his breakout TikTok, Rife chats with an viewers member who lately broke up together with her ER-worker boyfriend as a result of she stated he was lazy when he got here dwelling from work. “He was saving lives!” Rife exclaims, the crowd cackling. These clips (together with Rife’s chiseled jawline) earned him a big following amongst girls, regardless of the proven fact that a lot of his materials is tinged with chauvinism. During an look on The Tonight Show to advertise the tour, Rife performed the starry-eyed ingenue, baffled by his personal success. “My entire life has changed in a matter of 14 months,” he stated. “I’m so grateful.” Rife amassed greater than 18 million followers on TikTok; demand for his 2023 world tour ProbleMATTic was so excessive it prompted Ticketmaster to glitch.

The veneer of affability drops inside the first three minutes of Rife’s particular. In a much-discussed opening joke, he mocks a restaurant hostess with a black eye, suggesting that if she might prepare dinner, she wouldn’t have confronted home violence. Rife by no means apologized for the joke, as a substitute responding to his critics by directing them to a hyperlink to an internet site that sells helmets to guard disabled individuals who have frequent seizures or head banging. The particular is filled with ableist humor too, together with a bit about an autistic boy’s personal components. 

In an interview with Variety, Rife famous that the particular was “way more for guys” than for ladies. And final week, he appeared on a podcast with Canadian psychologist and conservative provocateur Jordan Peterson, the place the two expressed their mutual admiration. Peterson, one among the most well-known figures in the web “manosphere,” framed Rife as a sufferer of cancel tradition, suggesting that he’d been unfairly maligned by social justice warriors who couldn’t take a joke. Other right-wing media rapidly took up his trigger, with The Daily Wire‘s Brett Cooper and Steven Crowder’s Louder With Crowder leaping in to reward Rife’s refusal to apologize. Rife’s look on Peterson’s podcast hints that he’s embracing this right-wing narrative that positions him as a warrior without spending a dime speech and political incorrectness.  

Naturally, the workers at Mother Jones felt an obligation to weigh in on this mess, and after watching, gathered for a a lot wanted debrief. Our dialog has been edited for size and readability. 

What was your preliminary response to the particular? 

Katie Herchenroeder, Editorial Fellow: My preliminary response to watching the particular was type of twofold. On one finish I felt indignant and upset, a bit unhappy, and on the different finish I felt bored and was checking the clock and simply type of dissatisfied in the ability of the comedy.

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