Matt Rife Accused of Swiping Jokes From Ralphie May
Matt Rife pulls off a weird flex at the end of his new Netflix special, Natural Selection. Even true comedy nerds might not realize that Rife has faced minor criticism during his meteoric rise, with haters complaining that the comic’s popular social media videos rely more on ripped abs and sarcastic crowd work than actual funny material. Rife, who admits in the special that he has “learned through therapy that I’m a very defensive person,” must have taken those insults to heart. His last words for the night? He stares down the audience, then proclaims, “What do I know? I only do crowd work, right?” BOOM! Rife drops the mic to the stage floor with a thud. Those critics got served!
You think Rife is only a pretty boy? You think he can’t write jokes? Here’s a Netflix special full of them! I’m guessing most people who watch Natural Selection will have no clue what that last line is about — most don’t hear the industry whispers or the bitchy gossip in the r/standup subreddit. But Rife wanted to get that particular monkey off his back. He’s more than sculpted cheekbones — he can write kickass material as well.
Not so fast, says Twitter/X user and self-advertised comedian @RilliTho, otherwise known as The Neo–Don Dadaist, MSci. Not long after Rife’s special dropped, @RilliTho posted this doozy:
“2 stolen Ralphie May bits from the Matt Rife Netflix special so far, and im halfway in. This is nearly a direct lift. At LEAST use a different cadence for plausible deniability. Embarrassing.”
And @RilliTho brought the receipts, posting back-to-back video clips of the late comedian Ralphie May and Rife, both riffing on the special needs kid from their high school who also happens to be extremely well endowed.
If I give Rife the benefit of the doubt here, I'd say he and Ralphie May simply shared a remarkable coincidence in their lives. Both comics went to high school with a likable special needs kid who also happened to have a ginormous member. Could happen, I guess.
But it’s also easy to see why @RilliTho is calling out Rife. Both comedians reference the helmet. Both observe that when God taketh away in one area, He giveth in another. Rife isn’t doing a word-for-word swipe here, but there are a few non-obvious concepts found in both routines.
And it’s not the first time someone has accused Rife of borrowing a joke or two.
The bits aren’t dissimilar. More parallel thinking? Could be. At the least, these online accusers are giving Rife something new to be defensive about in his next special. Or at least a fresh topic to discuss with his therapist.