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Matt Rife: Natural Selection (2023) | Transcript

Matt Rife: Natural Selection is a stand-up comedy special by American comedian Matt Rife. It was filmed at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and premiered on Netflix on November 15, 2023.
Matt Rife: Natural Selection (2023)

Matt Rife: Natural Selection is a stand-up comedy special by American comedian Matt Rife. It was filmed at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. and premiered on Netflix on November 15, 2023.

In the special, Rife delivers a wide-ranging set of jokes about topics such as social media, relationships, and his own personal life. He is known for his quick wit and observational humor, and he is able to find the funny in even the most mundane situations.

Rife has been performing stand-up comedy since he was a teenager, and he has quickly risen through the ranks of the comedy scene. He has appeared on numerous television shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Conan, and Comedy Central Stand-Up.

Matt Rife: Natural Selection has been praised for its sharp writing and Rife’s charismatic stage presence. It is a must-see for fans of stand-up comedy.

Here are some of the critical reviews of Matt Rife: Natural Selection:

• “A hilarious and thought-provoking special that will have you laughing from start to finish” (Variety)
• “Rife is a rising star in the comedy world, and this special is a testament to his talent” (The Hollywood Reporter)
• “A must-see for anyone who wants to see a fresh and original voice in stand-up comedy” (The New York Times)

Matt Rife: Natural Selection is available to stream on Netflix.

* * *

[cheering, applauding]

[“Many Men (Wish Death)” by 50 Cent playing]

♪ Many men wish death upon me ♪

♪ Blood in my eye, dawg, and I can’t see ♪

♪ I’m tryin’ to be What I’m destined to be ♪

♪ And n*ggas tryin’ to take my life away… ♪

[mouthing] Thank you so much, man. Wow!

♪ My back on the wall, Now you gon’ see ♪

♪ Better watch how you talk When you talk about me ♪

♪ Cause I’ll come and take your life away ♪

♪ Many men Many, many, many, many men ♪

♪ Wish death ‘pon me Lord, I don’t cry no more… ♪

[audience cheering, applauding]

[shouts] D.C., what’s going on? Oh my God. [chuckles excitedly] Thank you. Thank you. Sit down, sit down, get comfortable, my God. Thank you so much. Oh!

[audience cheering, applauding]

[Matt sighs gently]

Thank you. Thank you so much, man. Washington, D.C. We’re doing Netflix, baby. We’re doin’ it. We’re doin’ it. Oh! This is so cool, man. I wish… [mouth clicks] I wish my grandpa could see this. He, um… I… I… I always wanted to bring him here to visit. You know, he knew how much I loved D.C., and he… he… he loved Maryland. It was like his favorite state, which…

[audience cheering]

Well, wh… Well, which, you know, is… is a valid response unless you’ve been to Baltimore, because it too… [breathes sharply] [sneeringly] What the fuck is going on in Baltimore, dude? [inhales] Mar… Bro, Maryland as a state cannot pick a tone, dawg. Just pick one… It’s so beautiful and so ratchet for no reason.

[audience laughing]

Can y’all just pick a tone, man? All of Maryland. Y’all drive to the beach with your top down and then go to Baltimore and lock all your doors. You know, no middle ground ever, man. I’ve only been to Baltimore one time. I ate lunch there, and the hostess, who seats you at the restaurant, had a black eye.

[audience laughing]

A full black… It wasn’t like, “What happened?” I… It was pretty obvious what happened. We couldn’t get over the fact, “This is the face of the company?” Like, “This is… This is who you have greeting people?” And my boy, who I was with was like, “Yeah, I feel bad for her. I feel like they should, you know, put her in the kitchen or something… where nobody has to see her face, you know.”

And I was like, “Yeah, but I feel like if she could cook, she wouldn’t have that black eye.” So… [laughing]

[audience laughing]

Testing the water, seeing if y’all are gonna be fun or not. Just wanted to see.

[whistling]

Just wanted to see. [chuckles, inhales] I figure if we start with domestic violence, the rest of the show should be… should be pretty smooth sailing after that. [sighs gently] Yeah, of course, I felt bad for her, man. She should’ve had her protection crystals, you know what I mean?

[laughing, squealing]

Fellas, we gotta put our foot down, man. This crystal shit is getting out of control. Ladies, put the fuckin’ pebbles down, okay? We are sick and tired of walking into your bedroom looking like we gotta beat you in a game of mancala before we can sleep with you. What the fuck is all this gravel doing inside, Thanos?

I swear, the biggest issue with crystal girls is the fact it’s their entire personality, and they won’t shut up about it. I mean, you even, God forbid, bring it up mid-conversation.

[mimicking woman] Aw! This is my favorite one. This is, um… This is a piece of green Peruvian jade, and it provides me with, like, strength and… and… and protection and… and… and… and no, it doesn’t.

[audience laughing]

No, it’s not, okay. That’s a broken shard of a Heineken bottle that you… [laughs] …that you bought from a white dude with dreadlocks, who also runs a throat goat yoga class. Okay? Say what it really is, some bullshit. The only thing it’s protecting is me from dating another girl who’s pussy tastes like kombucha. Okay?

[audience laughing hysterically]

No more hippie shit. Shower. Maybe get back to using real deodorant? No more of this organic deodorant shit that lasts shorter than fuckin’ fruit-stripe gum. Okay? No more. Y’all remember that garbage?

[audience] Yeah!

It would last two chews. That’s y’all walking around, two smacks, stinkin’ all over again, dude.

I’m so sick of it, man. [inhales] This hippie shit is gonna be the death of me, I swear. If I hear one more person blame how their life is going on Mercury,

[huffing sharply]

I will kill you myself. Do you understand? You leave that goddamn planet alone. I’m so tired of you ladies blaming your poor decision-making skills on planets that don’t even know you.

[audience laughing]

Get this through your head. Astrology is not this magical life guideline that… that predetermines your future in the stars. No, none of that. Your future is dependent by your thoughts, opinions, and actions. You are in complete control of how your future turns out. It’s not up here. It’s in here the whole time. It’s up to you.

[applauding]

It has nothing to do with the stars, man. Just because Jupiter has a ring, and you don’t, doesn’t mean…

[audience laughing hysterically]

…that’s who you’re supposed to look up to for all this magical advice, man. And stop trying to explain it so confidently, you look stupid every time. It’s so… The girl of your dreams will look you straight in the eyes and say some dumb shit, like, “Would you even know how the universe works?”

[inhales] No, but tell me, Professor.

“There’s a planet called Mercury. When it slows its rotation around the sun, it causes retrograde 98 million miles away and that’s why my life is just in absolute shambles.” [mimics whimpering] “Like it’s literally not even up to me.” “Like, it’s in the stars and… [hoarsely] …like, we’re literally all stardust. You know what I mean?”

Yeah, you’re gonna die alone.

[audience laughing]

‘Cause you can’t take responsibility for your own actions. Your life isn’t in shambles because of a planet in the sky. It’s because you can’t live without a vape in your mouth. And you only fuck guys who need to borrow your car. Okay?

[cheering, applauding]

Yeah.

[audience whooing]

That’s why your life is in shambles. You’re worried about Mercury while he crashing your Saturn. How stupid do you feel?

[cheering, applauding]

Wrong planet, bitch. Guess again.

[hoarsely] Yeah, it’s gonna kill me, man.

I feel it’s a younger generational thing too, right? The crystals and astrology and all that. Which makes sense. I fuckin’ hate young people, dude. I really do. Ah!

[whooing, cheering]

Anybody… anybody my age or younger, you don’t have anything to offer me, man. I just… I… You’re so rude! Young people are so disrespectful even when they’re not trying to be.

Like, five months ago, I got a tattoo of John Lennon on the back of my arm, and it’s… it’s pretty fuckin’ obviously John Lennon. Like, it’s… it’s a good tattoo. As soon as I post it on Instagram, everybody was, “He’s a Harry Potter fan?” I was like, fuck these kids, dude. That is so disrespectful to one of the greatest musicians of all time. Like, John Lennon got fuckin’ Avada Kedavra on his back, and that’s why he’s not here. No. Same glasses, but he’s the boy who didn’t live.

I know, and if that made you sad, you’re my audience. Good. I like you a lot. Good.

[applauding]

It also breaks my heart. That’s good. [inhales sharply]

God, I hate young people. And there’s no middle ground. I hate young people, and I… [hoarsely] …I fuckin’ love old people.

[audience cheering, whooing, applauding]

Oh my God. It is… it is really an unhealthy obsession. It is. Oh, bro, I would fuck a grandma in a heartbeat. I really would do it. I’d do it.

[woman yells]

You can.

[laughing]

I don’t know if you’ve done research. You can fuck as many as you want, and there’s no law against it. As many as you want. As many as you want. You just gotta be gentle about it. You can’t… You can’t choke ’em. You gotta, like, kink their oxygen. Know what I mean? [laughing]

[laughing, applauding]

Aah, not today. not today. You’re all right. You’re fine. Walker it off.

Fuck being somebody’s first. But somebody’s last? That’s a flex. Oh, my goodness. That’s… That’s where I thrive, baby. I’m out here cleanin’ it up. They call me the Trim Reaper, dawg. I’m just out here snatchin’ souls, you know what I mean?

Oh, dude, I do… I love old people so much. Like, the more an old person is shaped like a candy cane.

[laughing hysterically]

[hoarsely] Dude. I love a motherfucker who just… Argh! He just can’t even look up. Even he doesn’t know how much life is ahead of him. You know what I mean? Just… That’s the weight of a good life lived, fuckin’ up his back, man. Ugh…

You old persons gotta have bad posture, man. That tells you lived your life to the fullest. If you meet one with good posture, they dodged the draft 100%. You don’t have my respect. Sorry.

Oh, man. They gotta have bad pos. The worst an old person’s posture, the better the stories.

“How’d you get like that?”

Used to be my favorite part about visiting my great-grandmother at the hospice center she was at for her remaining years when I was a teenager. She’s where they take care of you for your remaining time, and my mom would drop us off for like three or four hours, which is great. I wanna spend time with my grandma, but my grandma also had dementia, so, 25 minutes in, I could be like, “I’m gonna get some more water,” and she’d be, “There’s a lot of Blacks now.” I’m like…

[audience laughing]

The… There’s more for sure, um… I could excuse myself and go do my own thing. It’s not that I didn’t love her or didn’t wanna hang out. People with dementia can’t remember, so there’s not a lot to talk about. And it just so happened the guy, Lenny, in the room right next to her remembered everything. This guy was the coolest person I had ever met. He was 97 and had the coolest life I ever heard of. He’d tell me story after story after story for hours and hours on end, and they were captivating stories. He lived a very full life. He fought in three wars in his lifetime. He climbed five mountains.

[cheering]

He, um… Yeah, he… he told me he fucked Rosa Parks.

[audience laughing]

I know, in the front of the bus. and I was like…

[audience laughing]

I think you have dementia. I don’t think… that happened the way you remembered it. Wouldn’t the back of the bus be more private? I feel like you could put in some work back there, but well, that’s the cons of being young, I guess.

You can’t fact-check an old person’s story. I wasn’t there.

I hate being young. I don’t know nothin’. I’m 28. I don’t know for sure that Michael Jackson was Black.

[audience laughing]

Y’all keep saying it. I didn’t see it. And every photo I’ve seen, he was an Asian woman, so I…

[audience laughing]

I’ll never know.

It frustrates me to no end, man. I love old people, dude. I wish my entire audience was like 65 and up. Oh my God. Yeah. It’d be a much shorter career, but…

[audience laughing]

They take into consideration who they’ve seen in their lifetime. I’m kinda flattered, you know. What I love about old stories, like hearing Lenny’s stories for hours on end is it inspires me to think about the stories I’m gonna have to tell when I get to that age. I hope I live a full life and have fun stories to pass down. I liked hearing about his war stories, his adventures, his family stories. That excited me the most, to have a family someday. I’m excited to have kids, but not now. No, not now. Things are going very well, um…

[audience laughing]

I’m also terrified to have kids, man, ’cause I’ve made fun of a lot of people.

[audience laughing]

And if you believe in karma…

[hisses, grunts heavily]

My kid is about to be fucked up, dude. My kid is about to have five legs and a shark fin on his back. He is about to be a monstrosity. [inhales] And I know I’m not mature enough to have that conversation when he’s finally, like, “Why am I like this?”

[whines gruntingly] Fuck!

I’m just there, like…

[hisses] Ugh! ‘Cause Daddy’s funny. You know. [chuckles] I’ve made a lot of people laugh. So will you.

[audience laughing]

[mumbling]

For different reasons, but you know. If they pay the admission.

[woman laughing hysterically]

I think it’s mainly about timing for me. I wanna pick the right time to have kids ’cause I… I’m 28, so realistically, I have all the time in the world, but… The benefits of being a guy, we don’t have to rush into starting a family. We can have kids whenever we want, which I don’t think is fair to women, considering women are the ones who literally have to have the baby. Doesn’t make sense you’d have to compete against this biological clock. It seems messed up. ‘Cause for… for women, you can wait till you’re older, but the older you get, don’t the odds start to go up of your kid being…

[audience laughing]

“…first to lunch,” we’ll call it.

[audience laughing]

Is there a nicer way to say it? You can groan all you want, but don’t act like 25 minutes before you were allowed to go, you didn’t have to watch them hauling ass down the hallway.

[laughing]

You were just like… Argh! Goddammit. Naruto is gonna drink up all the spaghetti. Great.

[cheering, laughing]

[audience laughing hysterically]

Not to say it’s a bad thing. I… I… In fact, I actually think it’s kinda cool to see the way God works. If you pay attention, God always finds a way of evening things out. God always replaces a negative with a positive. Anytime you see somebody who is born… less fortunate in a certain aspect, you don’t gotta worry ’cause God’s gonna bless them with… with an attribute, a… a quality about themselves, sometimes even a skill set. Kinda evens that playin’ field a little.

I noticed it first in my nephew, Chase. He’s a teenager now, but he’s autistic as fuck, wh… which is probably not the medical term, but he, um… he… he got it, for sure. Um… He’s, uh… he’s… he’s nonverbal. That’s his thing. Unless you’re his mom, he won’t speak to you, no eye contact, won’t acknowledge you’re in the room. It’s pretty rude, but that’s…

[audience laughing]

…that’s his symptom, you know.

But get this. His blessing… His blessing is that he can paint. As a teenager, he paints better than any art teacher I’ve ever had. I just think it’s cool to see the way God always finds a way of evenin’ things out. It’s really impressive to me, and…

[cheering, applauding]

I wish I would’ve known to look for that sooner. It might’ve changed my perspective on things growing up. There was a kid, Alex, in our high school. Alex was the same age as me. We entered high school together. Had gym class together. He… he was special needs, and he… he had a…

[sighs heavily]

he… he had a… [hoarsely] …dick on him, man. I don’t know… [tuts] I don’t know how else to tell y’all that. That boy was… [hoarsely] …blessed, man. People felt sorry for him. “Fuck that, dude. He’s been terrorizing us in the locker room the whole semester.”

[audience laughing]

Got us all backed up against the lockers. It’s like, “Goddamn, Alex! That’s where the extra chromosome goes?”

[audience laughing hysterically]

“Good for you, man!” [inhales]

Until this day, he’s the nicest person I’ve met. I hope he’s out there hurting somebody now. Really. She needs the helmet. You know, they don’t always… They don’t always know their own strength. But he’s a good dude. He deserves every inch of it and…

[audience laughing]

Yeah, we used to say he had dick-you-down syndrome. Yeah.

[audience laughing]

Big shout-out to Alex, man. Big shout-out to Alex.

[woman] Whoo!

Yeah. Short bus, but a long dick, man. And that’s… That’s balance. It’s what life’s all about at the end of the day. Balance. You can’t have everything.

Sometimes, you just funny.

[audience laughing]

[woman] Whoo!

[women squealing hysterically]

[cheering, applauding]

It’s fine.

I still fucked him up in dodgeball.

[audience laughing]

Out of pure jealousy. I was like, “You’re not even using it.”

[audience laughing hysterically]

[exhales sharply] Yeah, but… [sighs] God works in mysterious ways, huh?

You know what’s funny? I’ve mentioned God eight times the past two minutes. I’m really not the most religious person. I’m really not. I hope there’s a god. I pray every day that there’s a god. It’d make a lot of sense, answer a lot of questions.

It’s tricky sometimes. Certain things’ll happen, make you question faith a little bit.

It’s hard to pick a religion, man. It’s… I say it’s hard to pick a religion, but I… I… I do still wear a cross chain.

[woman] Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah.

[audience cheering]

But for the same reason you bring a condom on the first date. You know.

[chuckles] I hope I don’t gotta use it, but you know. [hoarsely] Just in case.

[audience laughing]

In case I die, and Jesus is like, “You ain’t gettin’ in here.”

“Nah, son, I bought the wristband.”

[cheering, applauding]

Let me in. I paid for this meet-and-greet. Where your dad at?

[audience laughing hysterically]

Yeah, religion is… is just tricky, man. But I’ve always respected it. Always respected religion. Everybody’s religion’s good. I have the utmost respect for. It’s important for people to have something to believe in. My ex tried to drive it home pretty heavy. She was super religious. My ex is one of the most religious people I’ve met, which is hilarious ’cause she is not getting into heaven, bro. Not… not a fuckin’ chance, man. Not even as my plus-one. She’s gonna have to chill for a couple centuries outside these gates, man.

She was so religious, but just… [grinding teeth] …not a good person. Like, do you know people like that?

[woman] Whoo!

They’re so religious that you’re like, “You’re compensating a little bit.”

What kind of Christian wakes up to read the Bible every morning when last night, all you wanted me to do was lick your butt. Like, wha…

[audience laughing]

What psalm is that, Jezebel?

[audience laughing]

And how’d you get me to do it? That’s the bigger question. Dude, that’s fuckin’ disgusting, man. You don’t understand. I don’t even eat onions. I never thought I’d do nothing like that. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t know if it was the butt Holy Spirit or what, but that shit just had your boy speaking in tongues. You know what I mean? Just… [rattling tongue]

[audience laughing]

Still broke up. Did you ever eat someone’s ass, then break up. It’s the worst Last Supper ever, dude. It’s just…

[audience laughing, applauding]

It’s disgusting. Tastes like betrayal and pennies.

[laughing hysterically]

But… [sighs deeply] …it’s her religion, you know.

I don’t, you know, discredit anybody’s beliefs. I believe in things. I do have beliefs. They might not be as deep-rooted as religion, but I do believe in things that affect my life to a severe degree. Um, for example, I’m… I’m a terrible sleeper. I… I have terrible, terrible sleep problems, and part of that is to do with the fact that one of my biggest beliefs is in ghosts and monsters.

[audience laughing]

I’m a 28-year-old grown man, and my biggest fear is the dark. You don’t know what’s in there. I’ll tell you, ghosts and monsters, and y’all look ridiculous for not being more concerned about it on a day-to-day basis, dude. They’re so real. I’m such a bitch, man. I really am. I… I literally have to sleep with my TV on every single night ’cause I’ve really convinced myself that if the TV’s on, the ghosts are gonna think I have people over, so… I’ll just be like chiming in to shit that I’m watchin’, just doin’ too much. Just… Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh. [shouts] That’s crazy how much fun we’re all having in here. Just me and 12 of the biggest Black dudes you’ve ever seen.

[audience laughing]

Hanging out watching Mean Girls.

You know, you gotta… [inhales sharply] …lay down some ground rules. Gotta let these ghosts know they’re not safe in your house. You squatted up in there. They don’t know. Twelve Black dudes ain’t afraid of nothin’. Except for people dressed like ghosts.

[audience laughing]

Yeah. I told you all monsters are real. I just… I… I do not mess with ghosts, man. You can’t even confront ’em ’cause the ironic thing about ghosts is the more innocent and approachable a ghost should be, the scarier it is.

The ghost of a child. Get the fuck away from me. [inhales] I don’t know if you’re a demon or an Amber Alert, but I want you outta my house right now. Those are always the scariest ones, just showin’ up in your hallways.

[mimicking child] Come play with us.

[laughing]

They’re always British for some reason. All dead kids are British when they’re a ghost for no reason. Little dead British kids always wanna play.

I don’t even know what an American kid ghost would say, but that’d be terrifying to hear. Can you imagine crawling into bed at 3:00 a.m. and hear, “I hate this school.”

[audience laughing]

[mimics gun cocking]

[audience laughing hysterically]

Just seeing if y’all are still fun. Just wanted to see. Just wanted to see. Just checkin’ in.

[sighs] Ah, dude. Ghosts are terrifying, man. The only thing that scares me more than ghosts is monsters, and I’m… I’m pretty sick of y’all not taking ’em seriously. ‘Cause they’re all over the place, man. That’s the thing about monsters. Nobody knows where they’re at. Everybody has theories as to where they think they hide. I’ve… I’ve heard weird places. I’ve heard, like, closed shower curtain. I know people who won’t use a restroom unless they open the shower curtain first to make sure this motherfucker isn’t in there lathering up with the 3-in-1. It turns out he’s the one takin’ fistfuls of hair against the shower walls for all those years.

[audience laughing]

Mmm. A little skeptical about that one.

Some places make more sense than others. The closet is a big one. It’s pretty standard. Plenty of people are afraid of a monster comin’ out in the middle of the night just eatin’ you up. That checks out. That’s fuckin’ terrifyin’. You can’t have a monster comin’ outta the closet. That’s scary twice.

[exhales]

[audience laughing]

You’re tellin’ me not only is there a monster in my room but maybe he’s gay?

[screams loudly]

You said he was gonna eat me up. You didn’t say dick first. You left out so many details.

[audience laughing hysterically]

Now, I’ve just got this gay darkness roaming around my bedroom? I’m being haunted by Lil Nas X? You let me know. You let me know.

[audience laughing hysterically]

I wanna know if the next song’s about me. Mm-hmm, yeah. Like, why’d he choose my closet, ya know? Like, it’s… That’s less scary more flattering. I can get on board with that. The closet makes sense.

I will say probably the number one spot that’s most common that I was never really afraid of a monster hiding there was under the bed. It’s one of the more common places, especially when you’re a kid. You’d be afraid of a monster’s hand comin’ up and grabbin’ your leg. Never scared me. I think because I started masturbating pretty early.

[audience laughing]

So by 11 or 12, I was like, “Hey, huh, if a hand reach up here.”

[Matt chuckling]

He’s just helpin’. You know what I mean? I’m the monster now. You know, bro. He ain’t even built for that, bro. I would dick my bed demon down, dude. He’s not built for those rounds. He’d be catchin’ feelin’s, getting possessive and shit. He’s knockin’ on my headboard at 3:00 a.m. He’s like, “You up?” What? I got school in the morning, dawg. Chill out. Chill. Goddamn.

[sighs] You’re not full? Huh?

[audience laughing]

I didn’t think he could fit under there, man. There’s no way there’s room for a monster and all those towels under my bed. You know what I mean? And if there is one, he is crunchy. He ain’t… He ain’t sneakin’ up on nobody. It’s way too loud.

[mimicking crunching]

You can hear a semen demon coming from a mile away. You really can, right? They ain’t got no stealth at all. It’s a damn shame.

[sighs, lips click]

However, piggybacking off of semen demons… The…

[audience laughing]

There is another monster people are pretty afraid of we should talk about. Clowns.

[whooing]

A lot of people don’t fuck with clowns. Even though you’ve dated a few. That’s on you. Still… Still a respectable fear, I get it. I… I’m not personally afraid of clowns, but I get it. I’ve… I’ve got four sisters, and they’re terrified of clowns. ‘Cause when I was about 13 years old, we all watched the, uh, the original It movies.

For anybody who has no idea, there’s a movie called It. It’s… it’s based on a Stephen King book. It’s about this killer-demon-monster clown, who lives in the sewer system, and he comes up through the drains to, like, eat children. That’s the whole movie, him as a monster.

We watched this movie at my grandpa’s house, and it scared my sisters so bad, they didn’t shower for three weeks. That… that’s how terrified they were, that he was gonna come up through the drains and eat them when they were kids. But they didn’t know that by that time… I had been jerking off in the shower. So like, he been eating my children. I figured…

[audience laughing]

I figure we built a good rapport and understanding, you know? You’re not gonna kill the cow when you get the milk for free. That’s just… That’s bad Business 101. You know? His name is Pennywise, but he be eating quarter-loads. I’ll tell ya that much right now. That boy… That boy eatin’ good down there, man. And they all float. Don’t they? Right on top of the water. Like an oil spill.

[audience laughing]

You shouldn’t be jerking off in the shower. That’s how you get early onset Candy Cane ’cause you’re just hunched over in that hot water. You’re getting molded like a mouthpiece.

It’s also a waste of your time ’cause if you miss the drain directly, and it gets somewhere on the tub, you gotta spend the next 12 minutes just gathering water, like…

[audience laughing hysterically]

It’s gotta be a direct hit, or it does no damage at all. And I’m… I’m realizing right now, I need more guy fans. That’d help a lot. If this room was 70% dudes the way it is women, this joke would have been like… Ahh! ‘Cause all the dudes get it and every girl is like, “Is it a jellyfish?” Like, what? Why… why would it stick… Kind of, consistency-wise, it’s not far off from a jellyfish. It’s disgusting, whatever it is, man.

[snorts] Guys are so gross.

[exhales] Luckily, we’re funny on accident. I think that’s what helps us get through the embarrassment of puberty ’cause you ladies would lose your mind if you really saw how much of a shitshow it is to be a young man trying to learn how to masturbate proficiently. Ah, dude. It’s just embarrassing mistake after embarrassing mistake.

I… I mean, I suppose nobody understands the difficulty more than women ’cause how y’all figure out your own little fidget spinner on your own…

[audience laughing]

I’ll never understand in a million years. Y’all are just thrown to the wilderness with no owner’s manual or nothing. Just forced to figure it out for yourself. And you do! All by yourself, and I’m so proud of each and every one of you. I really am.

‘Cause…

[girls cheering, applauding]

‘Cause if you didn’t, we never would, literally ever. You already have to walk us through every step of the way, and even that’s exhausting in the simplest form.

Fellas. How many times have you fingered a girl for so long you wake up the next day, like… Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! Did I go fuckin’ bowling last night? Did I indoor rock climb for nine hours? I’m walking around the next day pointing at shit like Spider-Man ’cause I can’t… I can’t straighten my tendons anymore. I can’t grip shit the next day. It’s like great. Yeah, you came, and I got cerebral palsy. Awesome. Yeah, that.

[hoarsely] It hurts, man. You ladies are very strong. Good job.

Women definitely have it harder. There’s no argument there. I think men just have it more embarrassing, ’cause we don’t… we don’t take anybody’s advice. We only learn via trial and error, and you don’t forget those errors. Every man in this room has been caught… whether you know it or not.

[audience laughing]

You’re not as sneaky as you think you are. And… That’s good, you have to figure out your system. As an adult man, every guy in this room knows how to do it, where to do it, when to do it. How to adjust according to time zones and solstices. There’s a whole… There’s a whole rigmarole that goes on, but we have to figure that out the hard way.

And thank God I never got caught, like, in the act. I don’t know how I would’ve recovered, but I do remember getting caught with porn for the first time, and I was, uh, oh, boy… [sighs deeply] I… I was 12 years old. Yeah. In my defense, I wasn’t looking for porn when I found it. I was looking for Christmas presents in my parents’ bedroom.

It was middle of December. When I get home from school, there was always a couple-hour window before my mom would get home from work. I knew they’d been Christmas shopping, so I broke into their room. I was snoopin’ around. First place I checked was under the bed. My bed monster was there.

“Oh, you looking for another bitch?” I was like… “Not now, a different mission. Okay?” Um…

Um… Closet. That’s where you keep the goods, right? So I go over to the closet confidently. Wing it open. [exclaims] Nothin’.

So I was about to just give up and go back to my room, and I heard a voice. I don’t know if it came from in my head or under the bed, but it said, [whispering] “Check the top shelf.”

So I did.

And at first glance, it was a typical top shelf of a parents’ closet. Blankets folded up at the front, some hoodies to the side, but what caught my eye was a piece of blue cardboard sticking up from behind the blankets, so I brought the blankets down, and it revealed this… this gigantic Bud Light beer box. One of the huge cases, like the 64-can count of Bud Light. You have stepdads? You know what I’m talking about. Yeah, “That this ain’t my real family” case of beer.

But I knew, even at 12 I knew. I was like, “That’s not where beer goes. I betcha there’s presents in there.”

And boy was there.

[audience laughing]

Bro, I brought this box down. It was the biggest box of porn anyone has ever seen. It was a whole box filled with, like, 40 VHS tapes that my stepdad had accumulated over his “career,” I guess. And I’m… I’m just siftin’ through ’em. They’re labeled different, weird things. One of them was, like, April 2003, which was terrifying ’cause that’s my mom’s name.

[audience laughing]

I was like, “June, July, August better be in here somewhere.” Like this better be… This better be a time stamp and not therapy forever. Um… Couldn’t risk it, chose a blank one off the top, put the box and blankets back exactly the way I found them, ran to my room with it. I had a VHS player in my room, and I watched it. A lot.

That first one was for me. Treat yourself. Yeah. But after that first time, I was really in there taking down notes. ‘Cause not a lot of women really know how important porn is to the learning process of a young man. ‘Cause before we see porn, we don’t know anything, and we really pretend like we do, so this is a bombshell of new information to try to absorb. It’s very confusing. When you’re that young and inexperienced, you have no idea that porn is not real sex. At that age, you can’t even fathom that those are two different things. After I watched this one movie, I thought you could only have sex with five other people.

[audience laughing hysterically]

I thought all sex was gang bangs. I was like, “Huh?” I need more and better friends.

[audience laughing]

Not Alex.

It’s also a lot of positive information we do need ’cause we’re so stupid and so confident at that age.

You ever talked to a middle school boy? We’re all like, “I fucked 100 girls last recess, bro.”

“You’re a virgin.”

And then, we’ll finally see porn a year later, and we’re like, “Oh shit! Pussy is so much lower than I thought it was.”

[audience laughing]

But before we see porn, every boy thinks a pussy is right here.

[mumbling]

We think we walk dick-first into your belly button, and that’s just… That’s what doing sex is. You know what I mean? You hope she got an innie.

[audience laughing]

So it’s… it’s a lot of new information to try to digest, you know? I’m enjoyin’ myself. I’m excited. Can’t wait to go to school. Tell my friends. I know I’mma be the man. But because I was so caught up, I made the biggest rookie mistake. I… I… I didn’t even think… to… put it back. I put the box and blankets back, but I was like, “He’s got plenty.” There’s no way he’s gonna notice one missing, right?

Wrong.

[audience laughing]

The same night, dude, around 11:00 p.m. I didn’t even get this tape for 24 hours. I’m in my room, packing up for school the next day. Backpack’s full, I’m crawling in bed. I’m fuckin’ exhausted. From all the notes. And I’m nice and cozy under the sheets, comfy under the covers, and I hear my stepdad come home from working his late-night shift. The sounds in the house were routine every single night. I could paint the picture and see what he was doing without seeing what he was doing. All the sounds are the same every night. You’d hear him come through the garage into the kitchen, crack a beer, come through the living room into the bedroom, where you hear him turn on the shower and get outta his work clothes. Just like every night. Only this night, I hear him crack the beer, come through the living room into the bedroom… no shower. Just like 20-25 seconds of silence. And then, I hear throughout the house…

[shouts] “What the fuck?”

[audience laughing, applauding]

I’m in my room, like, “That could be anything.” I hope my mom’s cheating in there.

[audience laughing hysterically]

I hope he walked in on five other people in his house. Because that exclamation was followed by another two minutes of just silence. So I’m… I’m in my room, like, “What the fuck is going on?”

Because then, I hear the footsteps again. They’re getting closer and heavier. I’m sweating and hard, a terrifying combination at that age. It was the first time in my life I hoped mysterious footsteps was a ghost…

[audience laughing]

…preferably the ghost of my real dad, so this wasn’t about to happen. I knew he was gonna whoop my ass. I knew I was in trouble. My bed monster was holdin’ my hand. I’m like, “Not right now. Chill, chill. Maybe after. We’ll see how this goes.”

Um… The footsteps stop at my bedroom door.

[silently] I’m like, “Fuck!”

The door creaks open, [mimicking creaking] and my stepdad leans in, and all he says is… [hoarsely] “I’m missing something.”

[audience laughing]

[applauding]

“I know you know what I know, and when I get home from work tomorrow, I want it back and rewound.”

[audience laughing hysterically]

[audience cheering, applauding]

I was like, “To the beginning or where you finished?”

[mumbles]

We gotta come up with some kind of time system now. This… this is our collection now, okay?

He was like, “You wanna be grounded?”

“Gonna keep me in my room with this movie? I guess, lock me up.” Know what I mean? All summer, baby. I’m good.

It was a real turning point in he and I’s relationship ’cause we hated each other, we had nothing in common, but… but we… we finally had a thing. You know, I… I finally had leverage for once. We couldn’t snitch on the other person without losing everything. It was nice. You could either beat me or your dick. You ain’t gonna do both, okay. Deal? Deal?

[audience laughing hysterically]

[cheering, applauding]

That’s how we bonded. You know? It was nice.

[gently] Oh, man.

[squealing]

[Matt sniffs]

Yeah. That was a good bonding experience, man. Then, the Internet had to come and ruin everythin’.

I like Internet porn, but you can’t bond with your family anymore.

I hate the Internet. I really do. Social media… I can’t stand social media, which I know is crazy for y’all to hear ’cause it’s why you’re all here.

That’s a fun fact for you to know. I hate social media. I never wanted to do it. I put it off for years. I can’t stand it.

I think social media is awful, such a negative, toxic place. It’s full of horrible people saying horrible things all the time. It’s the worst place to never exist, man.

[audience cheering, whooing]

[applauding]

It’s awful what people say, these… these… these people, these… trolls. [inhales deeply] It’s a bunch of fuckin’ losers with no friends and no life, and no profile picture.

[audience laughing]

Sit at home all day trying to… [sneeringly] …cancel people, or say mean comments ’cause their life sucks so fuckin’ bad they can’t possibly imagine a life of misery by themselves. They have to try to drag other people down by leaving mean comments and saying rude stuff.

[exhales] I respond every time. Every time, dude. I… I can’t not! I can’t… I cannot fathom a reality where people can talk to you as disrespectful as they want without facing any physical consequences. That drives me absolutely insane, man. And I know…

[audience cheering, applauding]

I… I know… I… I know as a… [sneeringly] “…public figure,” I’m supposed to be, like, the bigger person and take the high road, but fuckin’ kill yourself, dude. I… That goes for any Internet shit talker out there, man. And I know that’s a harsh thing to say to somebody, but the way I see it, nobody who’s a good person and actually contributes anything positive to society is ever gonna go out of their way to leave a negative comment under something you’ve been so brave as to create and share with the world, and we just don’t need people like that around. Sorry.

[audience cheering, applauding]

It’s just insane the lengths people will go to talk shit on the Internet, man.

Earlier this year, we were flying from Los Angeles up to Vancouver, Canada for a comedy festival. I had one show, one night. It was a 36-hour trip. Real quick, in and out. Right? Head to the airport. The only thing I’ve brought with me was my backpack, which you’d think would be ideal except for it’s an inconvenience as soon as you get to the airport ’cause TSA doesn’t know where the fuck a backpack goes, and they change the rules every day and then treat you like you’re an idiot for not knowing their made-up set of rules.

This specific occasion, I get through TSA, little to no issues. They don’t have to pull the bag aside. Now, I’m heading to the gate, heading to the plane. I’m actually pretty excited about the flight ’cause it’s not that long, and I know I have a window seat, which is inarguably the best seat on the plane.

[audience cheering]

Yeah. Yeah, until the end of the flight. ‘Cause you know how they come by to let you know they’re about to land? Fifty-five minutes before they’re about to land.

[audience laughing]

And they will… [laughs] And they will wake you up from your window slumber just to say some stupid shit like, [sneeringly] “I need you to put your window shade all the way up for landing.” Like this motherfucker checking his blind spot in 28F.

[audience laughing]

[exhales] So, I’m at least looking forward to gettin’ a little nap on the flight. So we’re boarding the plane. It’s a smaller plane, one you’ve all been on, where the overhead bins are so small they make you gate-check all your luggage. So I lucked out just having the backpack ’cause even if the bag did fit in the bin, which it didn’t. Too small. Everybody knows your backpack goes under the seat in front. I know that, you know that. I do it six times a week.

So I’m settlin’ into the seat, putting the bag under, and I had made a small mistake. I… I had overpacked the bag by just a little bit. So it only fit, like, 75% under the seat in front of me. So I’m feelin’ it out and I’m like, you know what? I’ll have more room and be more comfortable if I put my bag underneath my legs this way. So much more room. I… I… I could still mermaid a little bit. Problem solved. Now, I’m sitting back relaxing, waiting to see who’s gonna sit next to me ’cause who sits next to you plays a huge impact on your flight experience, right?

I get fucked immediately.

Dude, right behind me in the boarding process, here comes two of the worst possible passengers to sit next to. Beside me in the middle seat, is a three-year-old boy who… Yeah, as soon as he sits down, is on his three-year-old…

[whimpering]

I’m just like, man. I will cave this motherfucker’s sternum in. Okay? I bet it’s still soft.

[audience laughing]

And… I’m pissed off. Not at the crying. Your baby crying on a plane doesn’t even bother me. I know you can’t control that, but what you can control is the physicality of your child. ‘Cause for the rest of this 30-minute boarding process, this kid would not get his hand this far away from my face. Just…

[whining]

And I’m doing all the polite things to get him away. I’m like, “Okay, but… [roars] Okay, all right. Probably…” [rattles] “Probably enough. Somebody can break this up?”

I’m doing all the things to let the dad know this isn’t okay, and he’s not paying attention. I was this close to leaning over to the dad and being like, “Hey! You mind getting your sexy-ass kid away from me.”

[audience laughing hysterically]

Yeah. I know that’s gross. But what do I gotta do to get your attention to let you know this is inappropriate. What’s going on over here?

The dad could not have been more incompetent. He was in the aisle seat watching shit on his iPad, and the… the dad was… [exhales] No disrespect, just an accurate detail to the story, but the dad was no less than I’d… I’d say 425 pounds. Like, he… he was a big dude. If I had to piss on this flight, it was gonna be in my seat, which I fully accepted. It’s… it’s fine.

So I’m just… [exhales] …trying to keep my composure. We’re departing from the gate, heading towards the runway, and the flight attendant’s making her rounds up and down, make sure everyone’s buckled in, and she stopped at my row. She saw my bag under my legs, and she goes, “Uh-huh.”

“Sir, I’m gonna need you to put your bag under the seat in front of you.”

I said, “Ahh. Doesn’t fit, but it’s okay.”

“Look.”

[audience laughing]

“Still got plenty of space, super comfortable.”

“I wouldn’t even worry about it. Thank you.”

And she goes, “It’s not okay. Put your bag under the seat in front of you, or I will check it where you can go get it at baggage claim.”

I s… I said, “It… it doesn’t fit, and… we’ve already departed. What do you wanna do?”

And she said, “I don’t know, not my bag, not my problem.”

I said, “You’re not gonna speak to me like this is Spirit Airlines, okay?”

[audience laughing]

“I am an American Platinum Rewards Executive Pro member. Okay? And I have enough miles for us to speak like adults and agree that we both know that’s a stupid rule. It’s not affecting anything. Look.”

[audience laughing]

“Let’s just drop it and move on with the flight.”

She goes, “It’s not a stupid rule. It’s impeding your exit.”

I said, “Oh. For real? Trapped. First one off is bitch.”

[audience laughing]

“I promise you it’s okay.”

“It’s not okay. If there’s an emergency, you need to be able to get off as quickly as possible.”

I said, “Hey, what do you think’s impeding my exit more? My bag or fuckin’ Timon and Pumbaa… [shouts] …right next to me.”

[audience cheering, whooing]

[applauding, whistling]

“Huh?”

Even the baby was like… “Ahh!” And I was like, You’re pissing off this sexy-ass baby, man.

[audience laughing]

So now… [exhales sharply] believe it or not, now is when the trouble actually begins.

I’m on the plane, I’m pissed off, and I’ve got Wi-Fi.

[Matt sighs]

So, like an idiot, as soon as I get service, I get on Twitter, and I tweet about what I just went through. Basically, all I tweeted was just stating that I thought this was a ridiculous rule for her to threaten to check my bag and add this very inconvenient process to my very quick in-and-out trip when it wasn’t affecting anybody or anything. That’s all I tweeted.

And, man. I didn’t know that Twitter is all… [changing pitch] …flight attendants, all of them.

[audience laughing]

Every single one of them. Everybody on Twitter knows every airplane rule, and they give the most amount of fucks about them, apparently.

Dude, hundreds, on hundreds, on hundreds of strangers start filling my timeline with the angriest tweets, furious at my stance on the situation. And the dumb general consensus they would say was shit, like… [sneeringly] “How hard could it be to just follow the rules?”

Here’s the thing. [sighs] I understand rules. I understand why safety precautions are set to keep everybody safe. Obviously, I get that. But also, use your fuckin’ brain, right?

For example, I understand that the speed limit on most freeways, and it varies from city to city, but on average, it’s about 65 miles per hour. I totally understand and respect that is the designated, suggested speed for us citizens to follow to keep traffic moving at an appropriate pace. I get that.But also, if you for real drive 65 miles per hour on the freeway, I will fuckin’ kill you, do you understand?

[audience cheering, applauding]

Ha! Drive faster, pussy.

[audience laughing]

Use your instincts to go, “You know what? I can open this bitch up to 80 like an adult and keep this shit moving.” Right? You use… You use your instincts to navigate rules, right? That’s how I felt about the plane situation.

I know what the bag rule is, everybody does, but it’s not affecting anybody so how about we chill the fuck out about it?

[shouts] Nope. Instead, I argue with 700 strangers for eight hours, dude. Oh, and we’re twerkling back and forth and back and forth. And… The best part about arguing with people on the Internet about something you’ve personally experienced, is that they weren’t there to witness any of the details of the account, right? They only know what you’ve told them and what they wanna assume.

So, very quickly after you start arguing, people will just start throwing out their own wild scenarios that have nothing to do with what you’re even talking about just so they seem justified.

I just didn’t wanna check my bag, and people were saying things like, “It’s not about your safety. It’s about the safety of people around you. What if there’s an emergency crash landing into a mountain, and during the evacuation…”

“Say it again slower for yourself. Go ahead. You think we’re gonna survive the crash?” Into the mountain?”

And they have an argument for everything. “But what if we do survive? And because your bag wasn’t all the way under the seat, it ends up in the aisleway and someone trips over it and injures themself?”

[chugging]

[panting heavily]

If you… can’t… step the fuck over my ten-inch tall JanSport backpack to save your own life, natural selection, dawg.

[audience cheering hysterically]

[applauding, whooing]

You gotta fuckin’ die. Okay. You’re not athletic enough to stay alive.

Dude, I… I could not believe the lengths people will go to to argue about shit that has nothing to do with them on the Internet. It’s impressive, man, because it snowballs very quickly. It quickly becomes this mob mentality ’cause what happens online is once a large enough group of people start getting upset with you on the Internet, everybody wants to get their lickin’, ’cause it’s full of people who have negativity towards themself that they have to project onto other people. This is their opportunity ’cause that’s your punishment.

If you ever get in trouble on the Internet, your punishment is that people can say anything they want to you. Anything, even if it’s way worse than what you said to get in trouble in the first place. It’s impressive, and ultimately, that stuff never bothers me. Like, l… look. You’re never gonna hurt my feelings. Okay, I’ve been dead inside for so long. Like, my… my plane crashed a long time ago, and I didn’t step over the bag, emotionally speaking. Ya know what I mean, so…

You can talk your shit as much as you want. The thing you have to know about me and what I’ve learned, through therapy or whatever, is that I’m… [exhales] …I’m a very defensive person, apparently. I… I have a very quick trigger reaction to feel the need to defend myself if I feel like somebody is coming at me. And I… I go for the kill every time.

So look, you can talk your shit to me online as much as you want, say whatever mean, hurtful things you wanna say to try to hurt my feelings, but just know, [panting softly] I’m gonna fuck you up verbally, dude. [sputters] I’m… My goal is to now make you cry. Like, I’m gonna win this battle every time. So when I hit you harder than you hit me first, don’t act like you’re the fuckin’ victim, okay? That’s my biggest pet peeve in the entire Internet, and…

[audience cheering]

…probably… probably the best example of that was throughout this Twitter interaction when all this backpack shit was going on. I’m arguing with people, we’re going roast for roast, just really having some fun wastin’ time. I was having fun with it.

Then, there was this one woman. Took it too far. She would not shut the fuck up, dude. She, by herself, probably tweeted me like 60 to 70 times whether I responded or not, and I responded to a lot. But not… not all of them obviously. She was one of those people, saw everybody getting their lick and she wanted to be a part of that, so she started saying meaner and meaner and meaner things expecting no consequences, and I didn’t really care.

Until her last tweet. The last tweet, I just couldn’t let slide. The last thing she said to me was, “I don’t understand why you have to be such an insubordinate, crybaby, little bitch.”

[audience oohing]

[exhales sharply]

[tongue clicks]

Should I just have blocked her? [tongue clicks] My publicist says yes.

[audience laughing]

[sighs deeply]

But I was so sick of being ganged up on 1-v-700. She was being very mean. She started it. And… just based off of her profile photo, she was a, um… [tongue clicks, takes a deep breath] …heavier-set woman. All I said… in defense of myself, was, “Well… [chuckling] …had you not been taking up two seats…

[audience laughing hysterically]

…there would have been room for me to safely secure my backpack in another chair.”

That’s all I said, which… statistically is not incorrect.

[audience laughing]

But as we all know, everybody wants to be a victim now, right? So how did she, the person who started it, react?

[squeals intensely] “How could he say something like that? He’s body-shaming me. Cancel Matt Rife.”

“Bitch, you can’t cancel me. I’m not your gym membership. Get the fuck off my feed then.”

[audience laughing hysterically]

[applauding, whistling]

[cheering intensely]

I didn’t start shit with you. I’m a nice person, man. I never wanna hurt anybody’s feelings, but I fuckin’ will.

[audience laughing]

It had nothing to do with her, man. All I wanted to do was complain about my backpack. And now I’m this bitch’s 13th reason.

[sneeringly] Okay.

[audience laughing]

No. No, fuck that. You can count reasons, but not calories. Get the fuck outta my face, dude. No. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not doing sympathy today, D.C. Not doing it. And before any of y’all sit there even think about taking her side. You go… [hoarsely] “Oh, I don’t know, Matt. That’s awfully personal. I mean… I mean, is it really worth you making fun of her weight in defense of yourself. What if word gets back to her you’re still making fun of her weight, and it affects her so severely she does something drastic, like, like, like, like… like, hangs herself. How would that make you feel?”

[smirking] Ha, ha, ha, ha.

[audience laughing]

[woman squeals]

How’d she get up there?

[audience laughing hysterically]

[cheering, applauding]

Huh? Yeah.

[woman squealing repeatedly]

I’d be fuckin’ amazed…

[audience laughing]

…that they make tow cables that strong. I really would. I really fuckin’ would, dude.

Listen. Fuck these people, man. Your social media is your art. You can create and share whatever you want to share. And if anybody… if anybody has a problem with that, I say post more of that shit.

[audience cheering hysterically]

Shove it down their fuckin’ throat, man.

Do you have any idea how many people don’t like me or my comedy? You know what? I post every fuckin’ day…

[woman] Love you!

…’cause that’s what feels right to me.

[audience cheering]

It’s…

[audience whistling]

It’s what feels right, and I’m just doing what I think is funny, and all I can hope to come from that is that it makes other people smile, and it makes them happy. That’s all I ever want to come from any of this. So who cares if absolutely nobody believes in you, man. Fuck these people. For 12 years, nobody believed in me, man. And if I let that affect how I respected my own thoughts and ideas, I wouldn’t be doing a Netflix Special at Constitution Hall in my favorite city in the entire country, man.

[audience cheering hysterically]

[applauding]

[man cheering] Whoo, whoo, whoo!

[audience whooing]

But what do I know? I only do crowd work, right?

[audience cheering hysterically]

[upbeat electronic music playing]

Hope everybody enjoyed themselves. Old people, thank you for coming. I know you have to be up soon. Did you know who I was when you… when you came here?

[Matt] You did?

Yeah.

They play TikTok on the Hallmark? Shut up.

[audience laughing]

[Matt] What is that?

What’s in here? We got, uh… Is this weed edibles? Fifty milligrams, you murderer. If you fuck around and take 50 mg on your first edible, you will change your pronouns, dude. Like, you will…

Black people, thank y’all. I think it’s just y’all. Ah, two. I thought for sure I had a more diverse fan base. [grunts] Not as much.

[yells] Oh. Okay. All right. Let’s not point ’em out. That feels very January 6th of y’all. Let’s chill out. I know. It’s y’all’s city. I know.

[closing music playing]

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