How Comedian Matt Rife Captured the Heart of TikTok—And Hot Mom Christina

Comedian Matt Rife exclusively revealed to E! News how social media has helped build his career, including a fan friendship with the OG hot mom Christina.

By Alexandra Bellusci Jun 18, 2023 1:00 AMTags
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No joke: Matt Rife isn't actually a fan of TikTok.

"I hate social media," the comic confessed in an exclusive interview with E! News. But as he watched other comedians gain steam on the video sharing app, "I was like, ‘How long can you go against the grain and it not work?'" 

Because despite a 2021 comedy special—and a very high-profile 2017 romance with Kate Beckinsale—"this time last year, I was doing shows for, like, 20 to 30 people a night losing money to travel," he admitted. So, he signed online.

"Social media has changed everything for me," Matt shared. "I mean, just in the past 10 months, everything has shifted because of clips online. But for the past two, three years, when everything was kind of exponentially growing towards social media for stand up, luckily, it's changed everything."

The 27-year-old—now embarking on his sold-out World Tour—has some theories why.

When Comedians Get Serious

"Maybe I just am a voice for a younger generation," suggested Matt. "There's not a lot of people my age that have been doing it as long or have the experience that I have. So maybe that's finally showing through a little bit." Or, he speculated, "it could be my face, it could be the way we do captions on videos, who knows? I'm just happy people like it." 

And they most certainly do. In fact, one fan in particular, Christina, attended a standup show of his in Iowa, bringing along a T-shirt with a picture of fellatio on it. But that's not what caught Matt's eye.

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"She was the hottest mom ever in the middle of Iowa, where I didn't even know they made hot moms," Matt reflected of the moment that ended up going viral. "She talks about how hot her daughter was and we FaceTimed her daughter on stage. It was absolutely incredible."

And yes, he has stayed in touch with the hot Midwestern mom. "She's such a good support," he shared. "She comments on all my videos and she'll DM me on TikTok or something, just congratulating me on the tour. She's such a sweetheart. She has been so much fun."

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The experience of connecting with audience members isn't one that is foreign to Matt, as his shows always include crowd work. But sometimes people take that a step too far and assume heckling will garner them the attention they want.

"It's something I completely understand," Matt confessed. "I've noticed that I'm a lot of people's first introduction to comedy."

Which is why he tries not to be rude, though. "I do shut it down, for sure," he said, "because that's not what the show is. Comedy is 1,000 percent about timing." 

And if you really do want Matt's attention, heed this piece of advice: "It's rarely the person who tries to yell out and get attention who's the most funny person to have an interaction with," he explained. "It's always the most reluctant person in the front row you'd least expect to have a crazy story about them. If you're just patient and sit back and relax, it'll unfold naturally, I promise."

Get details on his World Tour here.