Comedian Matt Rife has been around the scene for over a decade, but at just 27 years old, he’s finally getting the recognition he’s sought for so long. By sharing clips of his stand-up comedy on TikTok and Instagram, where he has millions of followers and billions of views, his dream of going on a world tour is coming to fruition. But he couldn’t have done it without his family.
The story of Matt Rife’s parents and his unique family life have informed his comedic style, jokes, and work ethic. Many of us don’t see behind the curtain the hours Matt puts into writing, editing, booking shows, touring, and promoting via podcasts and interviews. So who are his parents and siblings, and what do they do?
Matt Rife’s parents are no longer together after his dad passed away.
Matt doesn’t talk about his childhood too often, but when he does, he rarely mentions his father. He considers himself to be someone who’s grown up without a dad, although his father figures were his grandfather, Steven Rife, and his stepdad. Matt’s mother, April Rife, is a supportive mom who often shares Matt’s interviews and retweets news about him.
In an April 2022 interview with Bert Kreischer on Bertcast, Matt shared tidbits about his childhood and his father. “No Dad,” he told Bert. “My dad died when I was like one … Suicide.” When Bert asked how he did it, Matt said, “Gun. The best way to do it if you’re going to do it … He was 20, I think. It’s weird to think about. Because I’m 26 now, and when you think about your dad, no matter what state, you think about a grown man. But I’m older than my dad ever was.”
Bert was curious, and Matt was an open book. So Matt revealed a bit more about his father’s suicide. “My mom said it was just probably depression, and he was living with his dad at the time who was a massive alcoholic. I guess the story is, my dad came home drunk to his dad’s hotel and was talking about killing himself, and apparently, his dad was egging him on, like, ‘You won’t do it,’ is the story, I suppose. I don’t know.”
When asked if he looks like his parents, Matt revealed, “I don’t look like anybody in my family … My mom also likes to talk about how I kind of look like a guy she dated in high school. So I’m like, should we do a f---ing DNA test? My mom also said that my dad didn’t believe I was his because they weren’t together when I was born. He made her take a paternity test, and I don’t think I ever got a definitive answer of how it came back.”
So perhaps, Matt’s biological father is still out there! Even if he is, Matt joked with Bert, "'My dad's dead' probably gets me more p--sy." He remarked that he can't really use that for his comedy, since Pete Davidson already made a career out of that.
Even still, Matt had a close relationship with his mom’s father, Steven Rife, before he passed away in November 2022. After that, Matt dedicated his second stand-up special, Matthew Steven Rife, to his grandfather. After Steven passed, Matt shared on Instagram, “Growing up without a dad, he was my father figure. He taught me every single thing I know and gave his entire life for me.”
Matt Rife has three step-siblings and one half-sibling.
In the same interview with Bert, Matt shared that he has three older step-sisters and one younger half-sister, which makes him the only boy of five. Basically, Matt’s mom married his stepdad when he was about 5 years old, and since then, he remembers growing up in a full house. While it’s unknown who his sisters are or what they do, Matt considers all four of them his sisters, even if they’re not fully related by blood.
While Matt posts frequently about his mom, dad, and grandfather on Instagram, he doesn’t share much else about his family. Perhaps they want to keep their lives private (which is fair!) Or we might learn more about them in Matt’s new touring special, ProbleMATTic.