Being the class clown doesn't always make you the most popular kid in school. Matt Rife and Katt Williams, both of whom have upcoming performances in Minneapolis, have legions of fans. But they also attract controversy. And some of the loudest critics are fellow comics. They're not the only stand-ups with dissenters. Here's a look at how they and others ended up in hot water.

Matt Rife

Lovers: The 28-year-old phenom is one of the country's hottest acts with sold-out shows almost everywhere he goes. Young fans relate to his willingness to talk openly about his struggles with depression and anxiety. It doesn't hurt that he looks like a Calvin Klein model.

Haters: Peers grumble that he's better at networking than crafting clever jokes; he's become a superstar without paying his dues. His last stand-up special opened with a bit about domestic violence, which many felt was out of line.

Where to see him: "Matt Rife: Natural Selection" streams on Netflix. His two shows at Duluth's DECC Symphony Hall on Thursday and four shows at Minneapolis' State Theatre Friday and Saturday are all sold out.

Katt WiIliams

Lovers: He's not afraid to stand up to authority onstage and in his personal life. In a recent appearance on Shannon Sharpe's podcast, he dared to call out Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer for not being as talented as they think they are.

Haters: That podcast rant was full of exaggerations and came across like a serious case of envy. And there's nothing funny about being arrested at least a dozen times on charges a lot more severe than unpaid parking tickets.

Where to see him: His 2014 special, "Priceless: Afterlife," directed by Spike Lee, is available on YouTube. He'll be at Target Center on April 5. Visit for tickets.

Shane Gillis

Lovers: His material about race, gender and sexual orientation ridicules the intolerant. If you don't get that he's joking, then you don't understand comedy.

Haters: Insensitive is just insensitive. There are certain topics and language that should never be used by a white male performer. "Saturday Night Live" rescinded an invitation for him to join the cast in 2019 after material in which he used a Chinese accent resurfaced on the internet.

Where to see him: He hosted "SNL" last week. The episode is available on

Dave Chappelle

Lovers: One of the greatest stand-ups of all time. His live shows can feel like a rave or church, depending on his unpredictable mood.

Haters: His comments about the trans community are dehumanizing. First Avenue responded to protesters in 2022 by scrapping Chappelle's shows, which were then relocated to the Varsity Theater.

Where to see him: His latest TV special, "The Dreamer," is on Netflix.

Andrew Dice Clay

Lovers: His onstage persona, a crass version of the Fonz, was a clever takedown of chauvinistic pigs. At his height, he was selling out Madison Square Garden.

Haters: It wasn't an act. Clay never winked at the audience or did anything in his private life to suggest he was any different from the Diceman. When he hosted "SNL" in 1990, cast member Nora Dunn and musical guest Sinéad O'Connor refused to appear with him.

Where to see him: In recent years, he's been flexing his dramatic muscles. He earned good reviews for his supporting role in 2022′s "Pam & Tommy" and 2018′s "A Star Is Born," both streaming on Hulu.

Gilbert Gottfried

Lovers: Few comics have ever been as committed to courting controversy with such hilarious results. In 2005′s "The Aristocrats," a documentary about the world's dirtiest joke, Gottfried proved to be the filthiest — and funniest — of them all.

Haters: He never grasped the concept of joking "too soon." He faced serious backlash after a bit about the Sept. 11 attacks just three weeks after the towers went down. His tweets in the wake of the devastating 2011 earthquake in Japan led to him being fired as the voice of the Aflac duck.

Where to see him: Gottfried died in 2022. The best way to understand his legacy is through the 2017 documentary "Gilbert," streaming on numerous platforms, including Freevee, Tubi, Pluto and Peacock.

Lenny Bruce

Lovers: A pioneer who adored the English language, especially the dirty words. His unrestrained but melodic routines made him as vital to stand-up as Miles Davis was to jazz.

Haters: He got off to a great start, but he got so obsessed with defending his First Amendment rights that he lost his sense of humor. Drug addiction and mental health issues plagued the years leading to his death in 1966.

Where to see him: "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Prime Video) offers a fairly sympathetic take. For a more complicated look at the legend, check out Dustin Hoffman in 1974′s "Lenny" (Tubi, Pluto and Freevee).

Kathy Griffin

Lovers: She's not afraid to open up about her private life — and the lives of the celebrities she's encountered along the way. She won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Comedy Album.

Haters: Lots of comedians poke fun at former President Donald Trump, but Griffin went too far in 2017 by posing with the president's severed head, a stunt that led to a Secret Service investigation and CNN dismissing her from working New Year's Eve programming alongside Anderson Cooper.

Where to see her: Griffin doesn't have a Twin Cities stop on her current tour schedule; the closest is a April 21 performance in Madison, Wis. Her last stand-up special, 2019′s "Hell of a Story" (Tubi, Pluto and Freevee), chronicles the price she paid in the aftermath of the doctored Trump photo.

Sarah Silverman

Lovers: Amy Schumer, Nikki Glaser and many others owe a debt of gratitude to this living legend, one of the first to prove that women could be just as edgy as their male counterparts without sacrificing one ounce of their femininity.

Haters: She's universally beloved since softening up her act, but there was a time Silverman was a lightning rod. In the 2000s, her use of a racial slur and performing in blackface led to backlash.

Where to see her: She plays Leonard Bernstein's sister in the recently Oscar-nominated biopic "Maestro," now streaming on Netflix.

Bill Maher

Lovers: For more than 20 years, "Real Time With Bill Maher" has been one of the few platforms that blends sharply written jokes with smart political discourse. Despite the rigors of a TV show and new podcast, Maher continues to dedicate much of his time to touring.

Haters: Liberals who thought Maher was their darling have fumed in recent years by some of his decisions, like sharing his skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccine and inviting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on his program. His ABC program "Politically Incorrect" was canceled after he suggested that the Sept. 11 terrorists were brave.

Where to see him: "Real Time" airs at 9 p.m. Fridays on HBO.