Matt Rife, a comic who was apparently fairly beloved by the TikTok crowd a month ago, has now completed his red-pill journey, appearing on Jordan Peterson’s podcast this week.
In the weeks since Rife became the new “It Boy of Shitty Comedy” by performing a bit about domestic violence in his Netflix comedy special, many have suggested that Rife’s move into the anti-woke crowd was a calculated one that perhaps his management was behind. Appearing on Jordan Peterson’s podcast seems to reinforce that belief, as Rife not only brags during the podcast that he has gained more followers because of that domestic violence joke than he has lost but also insists that he is finished with the crowd work that made him so popular with women. He later adds that women used to make up 90 percent of his audience, “but that has massively changed in the last five or six months.” I wonder why.
It’s an interesting podcast episode if you can stomach it, if only because it pairs two people who have little knowledge of each other and even less in common besides an interest in exploiting each other’s audience. Both concede in not so many words that they didn’t know much about each other before the last week, but they quickly find common ground on, for instance, the belief that men who support women are “sneaky rapists.”
Rife believes the only men who thought his joke about domestic violence was offensive were men trying to get laid. “I saw one TikTok video response [from a guy who said], ‘I have a wife, and I find this severely disrespectful,’ Rife says. “OK, you cuck. Whatever. What do you want? To get more p*ssy outside of your wife? You’re already married. She already respects you. What more do you want?”
“There’s nothing worse than a man who tries to worm his way in with a group of women by pretending to be on their side,” Peterson asserts to Rife’s nodding approval, “when their actual motivation is [to be] a ‘sneaky fucker.’ That’s actually a phrase from evolutionary biology,” Peterson continues.
Peterson and Rife seem incapable of believing that a man would support a woman unless he wanted to have sex with her.
Rife also tells Peterson that he will never apologize for his joke, and the two discuss at length why apologizing is bad. On this point, I do not entirely disagree. Celebrity apologies seem to fall into two camps: The apology delivered only to spare one’s career from further damage and the apology demanded by online mobs who intentionally interpret a celebrity’s statements in bad faith. If a celebrity offends someone by mistake, there’s a certain subset of the Internet who will never accept their apology anyway, and if the celebrity intentionally offends, the apology is meaningless.
Rife’s domestic violence joke was intentional — there was no misreading of it or any bad-faith interpretation. Rife repeatedly defends the joke on Peterson’s podcast, not on its merits but by saying, “No one is making you watch.” Rife says he put the joke at the beginning of the special so that viewers would know what to expect. If they didn’t find the DV joke funny, they could turn it off. “Comedy is like a restaurant. If you don’t like the food, you don’t have to eat there.”
He doesn’t mind that he has offended people, either, because “if 12,000 people were offended, 100,000 people loved it, and they have been through domestic violence situations, and they found the joke very funny,” he tells Peterson. In fact, Rife believes that he is a positive force for women who have gone through domestic violence. “If I can help in any way, even if it’s on accident, I feel good about that.”