The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Wanna Be Proble(Matt)ic

Born to please the internet, forced to please his audience, Matt Rife ignites backlash
Wanna+Be+Proble%28Matt%29ic

My parents may not be heavily religious or belong to a cult, but the podcast “Kill Tony” has an occult following mostly consisting of my father. A very opinionated man, highly experienced in dark humor and a questionable upbringing through the 90s. If one day his fangirling becomes out of control and he shoots his shot up on stage, my dad would still crack a joke better than Matt Rife ever will. No offense though.

Strenuous hours of consuming featured podcasts, YouTube breakdowns and a Netflix special have provoked me to riff on Rife. Comedy cannot quite define what leaves this guy’s veneer-bedazzled mouth.

Within “cancel” culture and modern media, offensive stand-up and comedians like Joe Rogan often come up as the topic of discussion. Comedy, a preferable coping mechanism, is a probable cause for internet upset. Take a quote out of context and a celebrity can be banned throughout media platforms. For Rife, his looks and demeanor granted him fame and made him the talk of the town.

“Oh, that guy. Love that guy,” said Summit junior Carter Hess. Apparently Matt Rife still has a handful of fans out there. He quickly gained attention, sold out venues for a comedy tour and reached #1 on Netflix’s charts in multiple countries, all to get canceled quickly after.

Sure comedy, much like art, is subjective and not all jokes will resonate with people. Rife’s jokes are not resonating period. His style includes picking on people in the audience, stating the obvious and occasionally slipping in some provocative remarks. His stand-up choices and all-edged charm are otherwise unoriginal.

Following the launch of his “ProbleMATTic World Tour,” the first stop for his grand show was none other than Bend Oregon at the Hayden Holmes Amphitheater last summer. He left shortly after his show for the next dormant town leaving neighbors and comedy groupies stunned not by his looks, but by his tendency to resort to tumultuously vulgar remarks.

“It’s weird to base a tour off of yourself and [how] hardcore you are, oh, ‘cancel culture can’t get me down’. And then all of your jokes are, ‘what if we like, were mean to our partners, and cheated on them,’” said Summit senior Tess Nelson.

Modern media engulfs every aspect of pop culture. Now with popularity gained off TikTok, influencers such as Rife star in Netflix movies and comedy specials to boost the app’s engagement. Still, with images circling the internet of pre-testosterone Rife, his unacquainted charisma has kept him afloat. Fans claim Rife has subjective humor, I claim he has a subjective appearance. All jaw no lines.

“I don’t think he’s that hot. I don’t get the hype,” said Nelson.

If only Joy Koy and Matt Rife performed a double act. Cancel culture places no constraints or limits on their sense of humor. They’re, in essence, deficient at comedy and were never properly humbled. Not that someone requires stand-up training to be funny, but Rife ought to receive mandatory, court-ordered, penance-based training in not being a schmuck. Someone should check in on both of their masculinity.

“I think he does fit the male beauty standard,” said Summit freshman Hazel Southam. “I also think he has certain features in his face that are more feminine looking so that also makes him more attractive.”

In Rife’s case, looks and a false sense of confidence cannot amount to his lack of personality. He took flying by the seat of his pants in a literal sense. Stand-up comedy habitually takes improvisational skills to keep the audience entertained and prevent lagging. Netflix specials have obligatory laugh tracks, a silent show would never be released. Even though there was no lit-up sign forcing people to cackle at the right moment, pity and the pressure of getting featured compels Rife’s audience to react with whatever comes naturally.

“I don’t think that anything he has said is particularly shocking. I think it’s just not funny,” said Nelson.

If Rife were to shoot his shot with Tony Hinchcliffe, he would never last, not even a minute. Some form of humbling feels necessary. His short-lived fame will have lasted for more than a minute, and eventually his face and lackluster jokes are a forgotten meme. His childish perspective could even make him a vine.

Rife never grew up or grew out of his parents’ guest bedroom. He took the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” to a whole new level. 

Disclaimer: this article does not count as cyberbullying, he is a grown man—allegedly. As he fades away with fellow micro-trends, his potential as a full-blown comedian has yet to be determined.

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About the Contributor
Madelyn Walsh, Crest Editor

Meet Madelyn Walsh, the odd duckling of the notorious Crest Editor Trio. Modern art represents the irony of consumerist society, this girl represents the irony of journalism. An avid writer on and off of the newspaper, creative writing is just one of her many hobbies. A lover of the arts, Walsh spends most of her time dazzling the stage, annihilating all of her posh paint brushes and conceptualizing highly interpretive films. Homework and her Jazz piano progress are the least of her concerns as swotting Italian and Japanese implode her already chaotic mind. With a busy year ahead, she hopes her articles are not only intellectually satisfying but charming as well. She doesn’t just think outside the box, she shreds the limits. Walsh can’t wait to collaborate with the art community and the amazing talents of The Pinnacle.

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