A PR expert warns Matt Rife won’t be hosting “Saturday Night Live” anytime soon after telling an inappropriate joke.
That could have hurt the young comic’s career … if this was 2014.
“SNL” no longer makes or breaks young talent. Quick, name three members of the current “SNL” cast and their biggest movies to date – and don’t use Google!
Heck, comedian Shane Gillis’ career soared after “SNL” fired him for telling inappropriate jokes. Gillis doesn’t need a fading institution like “SNL” to sell out clubs nationwide.
What was Rife’s “thought crime?” He told a domestic abuse joke near the start of his new Netflix special.
At the beginning of Rife’s “Natural Selection,” he tells a story about being in a “ratchet” Baltimore restaurant with a friend and noticing their female server has a black eye. They wonder why the restaurant wouldn’t have the server work solely in the kitchen so that customers wouldn’t see her black eye. Rife jokes, “Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.”
Rife tells the crowd the joke was him “just testing the waters, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not.” He adds: “I figure if we start the show with domestic violence the rest of the show should be smooth sailing.”
Button-pushing stand-ups know their bond with the audience matters more than any easily offended social media scold. Yet journalists acted as if Rife dropped the “n-word,” trashed his hotel room and sexually assaulted a comedy club server.
Or just told a tasteless joke.
Matt Rife Ignites Backlash Over Domestic Violence Joke in Netflix Special and Mock ‘Apology’ That Links to Website for Special Needs Helmets – Variety
Matt Rife’s ‘Apology’ For Domestic Abuse Joke Is As Stale As The Rest Of His Comedy – HuffPo
Matt Rife responds to domestic violence backlash from Netflix special with disability joke – USA Today
UK Glamour reacted with alarm, suggesting one quip could cause domestic violence rates to boom based on zero evidence.
His comments and apology are deeply insensitive and, as Women’s Aid notes, potentially actively harmful.
Slow news week, perhaps?
Let’s hope those journalists don’t click on this link:
This guy told some tasteless jokes about starving Africans that could get him canceled.
What really infuriated journalists? Rife’s reaction.
He didn’t beg for forgiveness, vow to be an “ally” or perform a demeaning mea culpa. He doubled down, posting a faux apology on his Instagram page. The post steered users to a link where they can purchase helmets made for special-needs people.
The joke, of course, isn’t on the handicapped but on anyone who can’t survive hearing a tasteless joke. Here’s betting his fellow comedians are privately, or not so privately, cheering his response.
Netflix previously stood behind Dave Chappelle after he told several trans-related jokes in his 2021 special, “The Closer.” They did the same with Ricky Gervais, who doubled down on the former’s trans routines with his 2022 Netflix special, “SuperNature.”
There’s zero chance the streaming channel will snip the offensive gag out of Rife’s “Natural Selection.”
Plus, Cancel Culture has taken a hit from the Left in recent weeks. The far Left saw pro-Hamas protesters suffering professional repercussions for their rage, and suddenly some suggested Cancel Culture had gone too far.
Given that climate, and the fact that Rife likely increased his following by standing up to woke scolds, this might be the biggest week of the comic’s career.