Comedian Matt Rife Opens Netflix Special With Domestic Violence Joke, Sparking Controversy


The special was filmed at Washington, D.C.’s Constitution Hall, which has a capacity of 3,000 people. When the audience laughs, Rife says he’s “just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not … I figure if we start the show with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”

In an interview with Variety from last week, Rife expounded on who his fan base is, sharing that while it was initially women due to his TikTok virality, it’s now a “50/50” split. He says that’s evidenced at his shows, which are replete with couples and groups of men.

“And that’s one thing that I wanted to tackle in this special was showing people that despite what you think about me online, I don’t pander my career to women. I would argue this special is way more for guys,” he told Variety.

“I wanted to make this special for everybody. I pride myself on making my comedy for everybody. It’s not for a specific demographic. I think if people would just give it the chance without going into it and being like, ‘Oh, only girls like him,’ or ‘People only like his face.’ If you give it an opportunity, I think you’d like it.”

Netflix viewers weren’t pleased with Rife’s quips about such a serious topic. Check out some responses below.