Congrats, Matt Rife — Marc Maron Says You’re the ‘New It Boy of Sh*tty Comedy’

Maron says Rife is ditching female fans to ‘kiss up to these pseudo edge lords’
Congrats, Matt Rife — Marc Maron Says You’re the ‘New It Boy of Sh*tty Comedy’

Marc Maron believes stand-up comic Matt Rife is out there taking big chances — but Marion is dubious that risk-taking will pay off. During a New York Public Library live discussion with comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff about his new book, Outrageous, Maron fired shots at who he calls “the new It Boy of shitty comedy.”

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Maron’s rant was in response to an audience member’s question about Rife: “Can you talk about the history of comedians choosing to stir outrage to get rich and famous and how even Matt Rife is now symbolic of that?” (We won’t go through the whole list again, but Rife’s November was indeed full of outrage-stirring.)

“First of all,” Maron replied, “don’t jump the gun on Matt Rife. If you don’t know who he is, he’s the new It Boy of shitty comedy. And he’s taking a big chance in his career right now to shit on the mostly female audience that he accumulated through social media to kiss up to these pseudo edge lords.” 

That’s not just Maron’s irritated view — it’s what Rife told Variety while promoting his Netflix special Natural Selection. “I don’t pander my career to women,” he said. “I would argue this special is way more for guys.” 

What does Maron think of the strategy? “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to go well for him. Ultimately my producer Brendan McDonald, the genius, made a good point in saying that he thinks that Matt Rife is actually mobilizing a new generation of comics to push back against what that stands for in much the way that Dane Cook did at a different time to once again, you know, be creative and bring a new energy and voice to what that doesn’t represent. So maybe within show business, there is hope.”

Nesteroff shared that he’d read an interview several years ago that revealed Rife’s mother took young Matt to see Dane Cook when he was only six years old. “I’m not joking.”

“Oh,” said Maron. “So he’s a victim now.” 

At this point, Maron confessed that he’d forgotten that the Q&A was being broadcast over the internet. “Now I’m going to have to deal with Dane calling me. 'Hey dude, I thought we were good.’ Hey look, we’re all in the same business,” Maron sighed. “We’re just trying to entertain people.”

Maybe Maron and Nesteroff aren’t too far off citing Cook’s influence on young Rife. The Daily Beast dug up this 2012 gem from Rife’s Instagram account: 

“Me and one of my biggest role models,” Rife posted. “The man that got me into Stand Up, @DaneCook!!! A great guy and an amazing comedian!”

While it’s tempting to blame Cook for Rife’s current outrage tour, it’s hard to remember the older comic doing anything as aggressive as telling his critics to buy special-needs helmets to protect their hurt feelings. The It Boy will have to own antics like that all on his own. 

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