For a comedian who named his Netflix special “Natural Selection,” Matt Rife’s views on his haters don’t seem that evolved.
Last week, a resurfaced clip of Rife started making the rounds on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The clip comes from an episode of the podcast “Cancelled with Tana Mongeau,” which aired in June.
In the clip, Rife talks about a “very humbling epiphany that I’ve had recently.”
“Because so many fucking people hate me for really no reason,” Rife says. “It really made me realize that people only hate somebody they’re jealous of.”
“I’ve been guilty of hating people, and when I really sat back and thought about it, it was because I was jealous of where that person was in their life,” he continued. “I felt like they got an opportunity that maybe I should have gotten.”
The podcast’s host, Mongeau, had a witty retort to Rife’s insight on haters.
“That’s a really, really good, well-rounded answer that I’m trying to wrap my head around,” Mongeau said earnestly before completely destroying Rife with her next comment.
“Do you think people who hate Osama bin Laden are just jealous of him?” Mongeau asked.
The clip cuts out at this point, because Mongeau’s response was such a good punchline. But it should be noted that this clip is edited — and lacks a lot of context, especially in its tone. The majority of Rife’s interview with Mongeau is lighthearted and playful.
Mongeau also didn’t exactly own Rife after her bin Laden comment because he responds to her jab with good humor.
“Yeah, of course!” Rife says sarcastically. “They’re jealous they weren’t the ones calling the shots. Everyone wants to be the one with the remote.”
Rife then clarifies that he feels there’s a difference between “hating” and “hating on” someone.
“‘Hating’ someone, I think that person had to have done something to you. But ‘hating on’ is just a lot of jealousy. And we’ve all been there. Everybody’s been jealous of somebody.”
Although Rife clarified his feelings about hate, his theory about why people hate on his brand of comedy isn’t particularly accurate.
The majority of people who have criticized Rife’s special “Natural Selection” on social media have done so because his humor isn’t progressive. It’s stale, punches down and unfortunately panders to people who are fearful of change. If we’re talking Darwinism here, many of Rife’s critics feel his jokes that are brimming with sexism and ableism have gone the way of the dodo.