Controversy creates cash for comedians, doesn’t it?

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Comedian Matt Rife has found himself at the center of social media criticism following an "apology" shared on Instagram.

Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty

The controversy stemmed from a joke in his recently released Netflix comedy special, "Matt Rife: Natural Selection," where he opened with a bit about a Baltimore restaurant. In the joke, he recounted the hostess, who had a black eye, and a friend suggesting she be placed in the kitchen to hide her face. Rife's response was, "I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye." He explained that the joke aimed to test the audience's sense of humor, assuring them the rest of the show would be smooth sailing.

The joke, however, drew criticism on social media, with many finding it offensive and others labeling it as demeaning and misogynistic. Rife addressed the backlash on his Instagram Story on November 20th, directing offended parties to a link. The link, however, led to a website selling helmets designed to protect against seizures, head trauma, and head banging.

This move, too, garnered criticism on social media.

Despite the controversy, Rife's Netflix special claimed the second spot on the streaming service's top 10 for the week of November 13, amassing 7.4 million views. Rising to fame on TikTok in December 2020, Rife boasts over 18 million followers and nearly 400 million likes. Additionally, his 'ProbleMATTic World Tour' sold out within 48 hours of going on sale.

Maine is on the itinerary for Rife's tour, with two shows scheduled on April 18, 2024, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland.

Despite the controversy, Rife's comedic journey continues, leaving many to wonder what additional challenges he'll encounter before reaching Vacationland next spring.

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