Matt Rife has been one of the biggest rising stars in the comedy world for over a year. While he may have seemed to have come out of nowhere, he’s already a seasoned veteran of the road, having performed all across the country for years before going viral in 2022. Matt, 28, released his first Netflix comedy special Natural Selection on Wednesday, November 15.
Even though he may be making his debut on the streaming service, there’s a lot to know about Matt already. Get to know more about him here!
Matt Self-Released 3 Specials Before His Netflix Debut
While Matt made his Netflix debut in November 2023, he has already put out a relatively sizable body of work that new fans can dive right into. Along with making appearances in various movies and TV shows, Matt released his debut comedy special Only Fans on YouTube in 2021. The special has amassed over 11 million views as of November 2023. He followed that up with Matthew Steven Rife, which has over 17 million views, in April 2023. He also dropped a crowd work special Walking Red Flag in June 2023, which has been viewed over 9 million times.
He’s Been Performing Since He Was a Teen
While Matt may be on the younger side of comics performing at his level, he’s actually been working on his craft for over a decade. He began going to open mics, where comedians begin their careers and work out jokes, when he was 15 years old, according to The New York Times.
His Crowd Work Clips Have Gone Viral
As one might guess from his special Walking Red Flag, crowd work (a type of comedy performance where the comic talks to the audience and makes jokes) plays a big part in Matt’s act. He often posts clips of him speaking to audiences and sharing funny interactions with crowds on his social media, but a crowd work clip was actually a big part of how he got so famous.
One of Matt’s breakout clips was posted in July 2022. The video featured him speaking to an audience member who had just broken up with her boyfriend, who he later found out worked in an emergency room. The clip has since been viewed over 40 million times. “It became this massive chain reaction and an explosion of an audience. From then on, every video I posted went viral,” he told The New York Times about the experience.
He Was Featured on ‘Wild ‘n Out’
While Matt is primarily known as a stand-up comedian, he has had small acting roles, but one of his most well-known appearances was on the improv comedy show Wild ‘n Out on MTV. He appeared in 16 episodes from 2015 to 2017.
He Dated Kate Beckinsale
As many people have noted, in addition to being hilarious, Matt is also a bit of a hunk. His good looks have been spoken about nearly as much as the substance of his comedy. Naturally, some people have wondered about his dating life.
While Matt appears to keep most of his relationships private, he did make headlines back in 2017, when it was revealed that he was spending time with English actress Kate Beckinsale. The two of them were spotted kissing in June 2017, and then a source told Us Weekly that they were spending time together. The pair were also spotted out in September 2018, per People. After things ended with Matt, the actress was linked with yet another funny man: Pete Davidson, whom she briefly dated at the start of 2019.