For Matt Rife, Being a Hot Comic Isn’t All Laughs
Let’s play a game: Does the name Matt Rife ring a bell? If not, you’re probably not Gen Z (or maybe you’re just not online very much). This was made uncomfortably clear to me when I asked a gaggle of young colleagues if they’d heard of the 28-year-old comic, and they erupted into swoony gasps. “Yes!” they chanted at once, “He’s so hot.”
The extraordinary rise of Matt Rife began in the summer of 2021, when the then struggling stand-up, a native of Ohio, posted a video in which he roasted an audience member who broke up with her boyfriend, an emergency room worker, because he “didn’t do anything.” His response: “Oh, I’m sorry—you broke up with a hero?” Whoops of laughter ensued, the video went viral, and a TikTok comedian was born.
Over the next several months, he continued to post these crowd-focused videos, charming clips in which he chats with the audience about their tattoos, red flags, and biggest fears. He has a tendency to go deep, asking probing questions—the kind you wouldn’t expect from a comedy show—like if anyone in the crowd has family members with autism. (Rife somehow navigates this tricky territory with aplomb.)
But in some of his most memorable bits, he is responding to his audience’s outrageous advances. In one clip, a woman propositions him mid-set with a lewd tee (“I came to Iowa and all I got was this T-shirt and a blowjob”) and homemade cookies. “Listen guys, I’ve never ended a show early before,” Rife says with flushed cheeks before asking the fan for her name.
“Christina,” he repeats, biting into a cookie, “you are so hot.”
After watching his oeuvre on TikTok, as well as his two YouTube specials, it’s not hard to understand why Rife—with his easy charm, quick zingers, and boy-band pretty face—got so popular so quickly. (He honestly looks like an AI-generated teen idol; a cut-out of his visage belongs in a locker somewhere.)