How Rich Is Matt Rife?

Matt Rife got TikTokers buzzing when he began sharing video clips of the trademark crowd work he uses to break the monotony of his stand-up routines. Now, the comedian has broken into the big time with his own worldwide tour and a Netflix special. In a few short years, he's come such a long way from admitting that he would sleep with an 80-year-old Netflix executive if it would score him his own comedy special on the streaming platform. "For a Netflix special? I would kill that old woman," he joked in a 2019 appearance on the "No Chaser" podcast.

While the former "Wild 'n Out" star has found success on television, social media, and the stand-up stage, he grapples with the fear that he won't always be so financially secure. "In entertainment, absolutely no work is guaranteed other than the job you're doing today," Rife told Esquire. The nagging dread of losing it all can make some people become even more driven after they find success, and in a 2023 interview with Elite Daily, Rife revealed that he works seven days a week. However, the workaholic is happy to have a reason to be so busy. "I had years of waking up every day at 4 p.m. with nothing to do, and I was absolutely miserable," he said.

While having an empty schedule might make him a bit antsy, Rife can afford to take a long, well-deserved vacation after grinding hard for years to achieve his comedy dream.

Was Matt Rife born rich?

Matt Rife hails from North Lewisburg, Ohio. He never got to know his father, who took his own life when Rife was just a baby. His mom later remarried. "My mom delivered mail at the time in North Lewisburg, and my stepdad was a car mechanic," Matt said on "The Overachievers" podcast. The expectation was that he would not go to college, as most of his peers probably weren't going to seek higher education, either. "Everybody in my hometown just becomes a farmer or works at a Honda plant," he stated. Neither option appealed to Matt, who told Elite Daily he likely would have enlisted in the Army if he hadn't discovered stand-up as a teenager. He told 1883 Magazine that comedy became his career aspiration after his mother won a pair of free tickets to a Dane Cook show.

On the "Sharp Tongue" podcast, Matt described his mother's new husband as a "white trailer trash alcoholic abusive stepdad." While having a healthy relationship with his stepfather was an apparent impossibility, Matt's grandfather, Steve Rife, was supportive of his comedy dream. Steve started taking Matt to the Columbus Funny Bone for open mic nights when the aspiring comic was just 15. Steve then stuck around to watch his grandson perform, per Tribeza.

Matt moved to Los Angeles to pursue bigger comedy opportunities at age 17. On "The Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Podcast," he said that he spent a year crashing on the couch of a friend.

When did Matt Rife become rich?

It took Matt Rife over a decade of hustling to become wealthy from his wit and winsome smile. On the "Naples Captain's Log," he said that he had to give away free tickets to strangers for one of his earliest gigs at the Uptown Comedy Corner in Atlanta. He was just 16 at the time. Life didn't immediately get easier when he moved to LA the following year. "I was out here for maybe four months and all my money ran out," he told "Access Hollywood." In a 2014 Instagram post, he publicly apologized to his mom for having no money for a Mother's Day gift. "In a couple of years, I'll more than make up for it," he promised.

Rife was going to start bagging groceries to have some source of income, but he told "Access" that he scored his "Wild 'n Out" gig before his first day of work. However, it was TikTok, not the MTV series, that was the catalyst for his comedy career taking off. In 2022, a video of his crowd work went viral on the app. "That video did 20 million views in two or three days," he told The New York Times. "It became this massive chain reaction and an explosion of an audience." Just a year later, he launched his "ProbleMATTic World Tour" through Live Nation. Speaking to Deadline, the VP for Live Nation Comedy Touring lauded the "incredible global demand for tickets."

How much money does Matt Rife make?

The amount of money Matt Rife gets paid for his stand-up has varied wildly throughout his career. When he did a seven-minute guest spot for his late friend Ralphie May as a teenager, Rife thought the older comic was doing him a favor. So, the $100 he received was unexpected. On "The Overachievers," Rife explained that May's generosity was inspired by Sam Kinison once doing the same for him at the start of his career.

After Rife became a seasoned stand-up pro, the pay sometimes wasn't much better than that single Benjamin. Per The New York Times, there were nights in 2022 when he brought home around $150. The start of the pandemic was even worse; Rife and his close pal Paul Elia actually lost money when they self-funded some of their outdoor comedy shows. "Matt and I weren't working as comedians, and then we'd each put in a thousand dollars to set up a $2,000 show. Then, we would make $1,400 in ticket sales," Elia recalled to Deadline.

Fast forward to 2023, and some fans were paying more for two "ProbleMATTic World Tour" tickets than what Rife once got paid for entire shows. Over a span of two days, he sold 600,000 tickets worldwide. If you consider the tickets' $50-$95 price range, that amounts to about $43.5 million in sales. Rife didn't get to pocket every penny, but he still took home a generous payday.

How does Matt Rife make money?

Before Matt Rife started making money as a headlining act, he learned that there were some perks of touring with Dane Cook. "I got super lucky opening for Dane, taking a private jet to places and stuff," he said on "Unlicensed Therapy."

While Rife might be best known for his stand-up, it's not his only income stream. He had steady work on "Wild 'n Out" from 2015 to 2017 and has dabbled in acting. A few of his credits include the horror film "Black Pumpkin," the Lifetime movie "Stalked By My Doctor: A Sleepwalker's Nightmare," and cameos on "Fresh Off the Boat" and "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." However, he said of his acting career, "The TV stuff I've done doesn't pay s***."

According to All American Entertainment, Rife charges up to $200,000 to speak at live events, and he was selling personalized videos on Cameo that could cost upward of $400 at one point. On the "Stiff Socks" podcast, he explained that he kept raising the price due to high demand. He observed that TikTokers were purchasing the videos and uploading them to their accounts to get views. "I'm like, 'Oh, you're really paying me to do content for you,'" he said. Rife's marketing strategy of sharing his crowd work videos on TikTok is free advertising for his gigs, and on Instagram, he has a paid partnership with American Eagle. Rife also likely received a pretty hefty paycheck from Netflix for his comedy special "Natural Selection."

He hated a lucrative job

While speaking to "This Is 50" in 2015, Matt Rife said that he was at "rock bottom" when he got the opportunity to appear on "Wild 'n Out." So, MTV deserves some credit for his comedy career. He developed a strong relationship with the network and was eventually offered a new gig: hosting the "TRL" reboot. He told "Unlicensed Therapy" host Ari Mannis that he got to move to New York, where he lived in a swanky apartment and got paid $15,000 weekly.

According to Rife, he was initially told that he would have a great deal of creative control over the show, but he later discovered that this wasn't the case. He was unhappy with the material he was forced to deliver, believing that it hurt his brand as a comedian. "I was waking up at 7 a.m. to go to set to read a script that was beyond unfunny," he said. Rife also wasn't a big fan of the guests that the show booked. Instead of interviewing musicians a la Carson Daly, he was performing silly stunts with social media stars. One bit called for him to referee a Jell-O wrestling competition between two Vine personalities dressed in sumo costumes. At the time, he recalled thinking, "I hate this. This isn't what I want to do for my life at all." MTV eventually realized he was unhappy and terminated his contract. "It was the first time I realized money didn't buy happiness," Rife said.

What is Matt Rife's net worth?

Matt Rife asked the hosts of the "Stiff Socks" podcast to look up his net worth on the internet in February 2023. On an unnamed website, they saw that it was listed as $1.5 million. "I'll take that. Okay. I'm actually not even mad at that," Rife said. "I thought it was going to be like $80. I thought I was going to owe money." Just seven months later, he landed in the ninth spot on the 2023 Forbes Top Creators List. His total earnings were estimated to be around $25 million. Forbes didn't just take into account income when creating its list, but also follower count on social media and other criteria. Rife actually made $2 million more than fifth-place finisher Charli D'Amelio, for example. However, his 22 million social media followers were dwarfed by the TikTok star's 213 million.

It took Rife longer to strike it rich than some of his peers predicted. Those who encountered him as a teenager and saw what he was already achieving were convinced that he was on the verge of his career blowing up. "Everyone would always say the same thing. Like, 'Oh man, you're gonna be so famous. If you're not a millionaire by 25, you've f***ed up,'" he told Kaitlyn Bristowe on her "Off the Vine" podcast. "And I was not a millionaire at 25," he explained. "You feel a little bit like a failure." He was 28 when he made the Forbes list.

How does Matt Rife spend his money?

One of Matt Rife's big expenditures early in his career was getting veneers. Rife's old smile can be seen in some of his early "Wild 'n Out" episodes. "I was so insecure about every episode of that show, because I was like, 'Everyone's gonna see my teeth,'" Rife said on Dr. Brady Smith's "Nitrous" show. Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Kourosh Maddahi gave Rife his perfect pearly whites. According to Kourosh's website, a veneer for a single tooth can cost as much as $3,500 in Beverly Hills.

When Rife appeared on his good friend Erik Griffin's "Riffin With Griffin" podcast, Griffin roasted the younger comedian for spending his "TRL" money on a Ford Mustang. "I told him to get a Civic," said Griffin. Rife replied, "There's a very fine line between being responsible and enjoying life a little bit." Once he was more financially secure, Rife also bought his mom a new set of wheels as a Christmas gift. "I got her some hatchback Hyundai," he said on "Access Hollywood."

Rife likes to spend some of his hard-earned cash on pampering himself. "I love me a good spa. I'm not a massage guy, but I do love a cold plunge and a sauna," he told Esquire. He's also adventurous, revealing that he went skydiving in Hawaii during an episode of his "Rife on the Road" YouTube series. Then there are his tattoos; he told "Access Hollywood" that people regularly mistake his John Lennon portrait for Harry Potter.

How many houses does Matt Rife own?

Speaking to Tribeza, Matt Rife explained why he moved from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. "There's no reason to have to pay all that rent and live in a city with a bunch of shallow people and travel from East Coast to West Coast for tour dates every single weekend," he said. On the "Stiff Socks" podcast, he revealed that he decided to rent his place in the Lone Star State. "I save money having a place in Austin compared to flights from West Coast to East Coast," he stated. His commute to the airport is also shorter than before.

While Rife doesn't own his Texas abode, he has purchased a house for his mother. In an October 2023 appearance on "The Alan Cox Show," he revealed that her place is located in Georgia. After Rife told his mother that he wanted to buy a new house for her, she started searching for the perfect property herself. Once she found it, she sent Rife a link to its Zillow listing. "It was a nine-bedroom $3 million house," Rife recalled. "I was like, 'You don't even know nine people.'" He was also surprised that his mother requested a pool because he'd never seen her swim in one. "I said, 'If I come home to visit, and you are not pruned to the bone, I will drown you in that pool,'" he quipped. He eventually found her a place that was half the cost of her dream home.

Is Matt Rife married?

Matt Rife hasn't tied the knot yet, and his experiences dating have provided him with plenty of material for his stand-up routines. He also fields questions about his love life quite often. On Lauren Compton's "First Date" podcast, he shared that he doesn't mind being the lower earner in his relationships. "I've dated women who make significantly more money than I do," he revealed. He also said that he sees an upside to such an income imbalance. "It makes me want to work harder at my job. It makes me want to earn more money so that it doesn't look ridiculous if you put our bank accounts side-by-side."

Now that Rife is doing well for himself, he apparently still finds it difficult to shift his focus away from his career. This is where his girlfriend, actor Jessica Lord, comes in. The pair went public with their relationship in 2023, and Rife told People that Lord has helped him by getting him to remove his foot from the gas every now and then. "She forces me to take personal time, obviously, and I love that," he said. "Whenever she's like, 'Can we have tomorrow for ourselves?' I'm like, 'Thank you. I would love to have that.'"

Why did he almost give up comedy?

On more than one occasion, Matt Rife has contemplated giving up on his dream to make a living from comedy. He came close to quitting in December 2018 because he wasn't making enough from doing stand-up to pay his bills. On top of that, he hadn't booked any future gigs. "I had maybe $600 in my bank account," he said on "Unlicensed Therapy." He was in such dire financial straits that he had even picked out a new industry to work in: construction. "I applied for my contractor's license," he said. Rife's saving grace in that instance was Dane Cook inviting him to be his opening act the following year.

While the job offer from Cook kept Rife in the comedy game, it didn't end his financial woes for good. He told Swagger Magazine that he found himself tempted to switch careers again in 2022. He also considered returning to his home state of Ohio. "There was no sign pointing that I was going to have success in this other than what I've already done," he explained. But then he blew up on TikTok and learned a valuable lesson about those knocks from opportunity that he was always yearning for. "Timing plays a significant role in achieving success," he said, "which you have to be prepared for."

He passed up an earning opportunity

Matt Rife devised a brilliant method of promoting his first comedy special in 2021. Interestingly, it involved a social media platform that was not TikTok. As he explained to Swagger Magazine, he came up with the idea of calling the special "Only Fans" because his fans were helping him fund it and he was making it just for them. "I also realized how good of a marketing strategy that would be because I know how often people Google 'Matt Rife OnlyFans' to see if I have nudes out there," he added. Rife set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the special, and his fans forked over about $17,000 to cover the cost of producing it. "I was like, okay, I don't have the money to shoot the special. Nobody wants to give me a special on any platform. How can I raise the money?" he recalled to CinemaBlend.

Apparently, he could have raised the money through OnlyFans if he got really desperate. On "Off the Vine," he revealed that OnlyFans wanted to partner with him after learning about his special, and he set up an account on the website. On "The Chocolate Sundaes Comedy Podcast," he said that he then started receiving X-rated requests from fans. "In the first month, I probably would have made 50 grand," he said. He admitted to considering some requests but said that his tattoos made him too easily identifiable.