Rhett and Link

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Rhett and Link
Rhett and Link High Angle.jpg
Rhett and Link
Born Rhett - (1977-10-11) October 11, 1977 (age 37)
Link - (1978-06-01) June 1, 1978 (age 37)
Buies Creek, North Carolina, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation YouTube, television, film, stage, podcast
Years active 2006 - present (Youtube)
Website www.rhettandlink.com

Rhett and Link are an Internet entertainment and advertising duo consisting of Rhett James McLaughlin (born October 11, 1977) and Charles Lincoln "Link" Neal III (born June 1, 1978) from Buies Creek, North Carolina. Self-styled as "Internetainers" (a portmanteau of the words "Internet" and "entertainers"), they are known for their online viral videos and comedy songs as well as for their ten-episode TV series Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings on the Independent Film Channel in which they filmed low-budget commercials for local businesses across the United States.[1]Years later, they found their first grade teacher and made a documentary, "Looking for Ms. Locklear", about the search for her.[2]

The duo runs a number of YouTube channels, Rhett & Link, which has over 490 million views and over 3.5 million subscribers; and Good Mythical Morning, which is a talk-show style segment posted on weekdays at 6:00 am EST and has over 1.3 billion views and over 7.5 million subscribers (making it the 68th most subscribed YouTube channel) while they have just passed Tyler Oakley (7.2 Million Subscribers) as of June 2015[3]. Another channel, Good Mythical MORE is for the "show after the show" (which airs right after Good Mythical Morning) with over 1.6 million subscribers and a 4th channel, EXTRAS - Rhett and Link is where they upload extras and unedited versions of certain videos. They have also created Buenos y Míticos Días, a channel with content from their "Good Mythical Morning" channel dubbed to Spanish, with just over 20 thousand subscribers.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln "Link" Neal met in 1984 at Buies Creek Elementary School in Buies Creek, North Carolina where they attended first grade, a meeting which they have subsequently written a song about.[5]

At fourteen they wrote a screenplay entitled "Gutless Wonders" and began shooting a film based on it. However, they filmed only a couple of scenes and the film was never finished.[6] This screenplay ultimately was read in multiple episodes of Good Mythical Morning. In 1994 in high school they shot a 25-minute film-parody on the tragedy Oedipus the King, where Rhett was Oedipus and Link was his father's servant.[7][better source needed]

Later, they were roommates at North Carolina State University, where Link studied industrial engineering and Rhett studied civil engineering.[6] They earned degrees and even worked in their respective fields for a time. Link briefly worked at IBM, while Rhett worked at Black and Veatch.[8]

Internet presence[edit]

Rhett and Link quit their jobs as engineers soon after graduating from college and making videos is now the only thing they do for a living,[9] with their main channel being one of the most watched on YouTube.[10]

In 2012, Rhett and Link were named #22 on Business Insider's Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising List.[11] In September 2012 they joined the Collective, a media company in Los Angeles.[12]

In 2014 the Rhett and Link YouTube Channel was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #35.[13]

[edit]

Rhett and Link's first sponsored video, "Cornhole Song", was made for AJJ Cornhole in 2007, and since then the duo have integrated other small brands like Smule, with "I am a Thoughtful Guy" and iRESQ.[14][15] Many larger companies have since sponsored the duo's videos including Alka-Seltzer, McDonald's, Wendy's and Cadillac among others.[14]

In January 2008 they worked as web correspondents on a Sundance film festival for IGotShotgun.com in partnership with Cadillac. Summer of the same year they spent releasing videos for the Alka-Seltzer Great American Road Trip. The series won the Gold award in the Consumer Goods category at Advertising Age’s 2008 W3 Awards, as well as best online campaign at Adweek's 2008 Buzz Awards. The series also picked up two Golds (Best Campaign, Best Single) and a Craft award (Music) at the 2009 Bessies[16] and received two golds in the interactive category for Viral Marketing and Business to Consumer website at the 2009 Advertising & Design Club of Canada Awards.[17]

Also in 2008 Rhett and Link released web series "Seaborne and Roach", sponsored by SpyAssociates.com, and "Surrogate Sharers" series advertising Starburst candy.[18]

In 2009 the duo started to create free low-budget commercials for small local businesses throughout the U.S. in the web series "I Love Local Commercials", sponsored by Microbilt.[19] At first they made 3 commercials for local businesses in their home state North Carolina - TDM Autosales, Bobby Denning Furniture, and Redhouse Furniture. These videos quickly went viral on YouTube, especially the Redhouse video, with its controversial jingle "Where Black People and White People Buy Furniture".[10] The success of these commercials spurred Rhett and Link to continue creating commercials and for that they offered people across U.S. to nominate their favorite local businesses to take part in the web series. The popularity of the duo's commercials garnered the attention of major advertising publications such as Advertising Age and AdWeek, and their commercials were featured on CNN, NPR, The New York Times, Forbes, and TMZ.[10][20][21][22][23][24] A commercial for Cullman Liquidation Center won Best Local Commercial at the 2010 Ad Age Viral Video Awards.[25][26] In 2010 Rhett and Link produced a commercial for Donut Prince, George Lopez' favorite doughnut place.[27] Later they appeared in his show Lopez Tonight, where he called them "undisputed masters of bad local commercials".[28]

The success of the web series led to Rhett and Link's television show, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings on IFC. Every episode, Link's Epic Fail is featured, where Link trips over a cement pyramid and scrapes up his hip and arm.[29][30]

In 2009 Rhett and Link produced "Fast Food Folk Song" as a web commercial for Taco Bell, and in 2010 it won the Contest of Awesome for the Best Comic Music Video of 2009. The contest awarded them a trip to Los Angeles and a cameo in a Weezer music video.[31]

In 2010 Rhett and Link created a stop motion video "T-shirt War" as a commercial for T-shirt printing company Rush T-shirts, in which they used 222 T-shirts with unique designs.[32] The video already had 2 million views after only two weeks of being online, and quickly reached 4 million. "T-shirt War" also won in Best Online Promotion at the Apparel Industry category at the 2010 Spirit Awards. After the success of this commercial Rhett and Link received a call from McDonald's and Coca Cola asking them to make a TV commercial with a T-shirt War theme. The commercial was also uploaded on YouTube, and this video, entitled "T-shirt War 2", reached 1 million views in two weeks.[33][34]

Also in 2010 Rhett and Link released an online music video sponsored by SleepBetter.org - "2 Guys 600 pillows". Time listed the video as one of the Top-10 Talented Web Videos of 2010, and the video also won Best Editing category and Peoples' Voice Award at the 2011 Webby Awards.[35][36] Rhett and Link continued working with SleepBetter.org, and in November 2012 they made another music video, "Sleep Tight".[37]

In 2011, Rhett and Link made a commercial for Ojai Valley Taxidermy, owned by Chuck Testa, as part of their TV show, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings. After the episode featuring the commercial aired, Chuck Testa uploaded the commercial to his company's YouTube channel. The ad went viral, topping 13 million views (as of January 2013) and spawning the "Nope! Chuck Testa" Internet meme. The Chuck Testa ad was included in Time's Top 10 Memes of 2011.[38] Also in 2011, Rhett and Link released a music video entitled "PHOTOSHOP Song" which was sponsored by Canvas On Demand.[39]

In September 2012, the duo released the video "Epic Rap Battle of Manliness" sponsored by Build.com.[40][41]

In October 2013, Rhett and Link released a music video entitled "Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek" which was sponsored by TigerDirect. They have made other Rap Battles, featured on their second channel, along with all their other music videos.[42]

In December 2013, the duo released a music video in partnership with Buick's "In the Moment" campaign entitled "Get Off the Phone.".[43]

In May 2014 a new segment sponsored by Gillette was included on Good Mythical Morning for the $1 a week subscription campaign, as well as with the release of the "Kissing Your Face" video on the main channel.[44]

In May 2015, the duo released a new music video, "Just Being Honest", sponsored by Wendy's new beverage "Honest Tea".[45] As well as Sip Me Up, a streaming marketing campaign on June 18 where the duo created personalized content for the fans in real time.[46][47]

On May 6, 2015 Rhett and Link teamed up with Hot Pocket and released the "Will It Hot Pocket?" episode on Good Mythical Morning where the Hot Pocket crust was replaced with odd items based on fan-suggestions. They have produced many other "Will It" episodes, which are also featured on Good Mythical Morning.[48]

On June 5, 2015 a new segment on Good Mythical Morning was announced called "The Back Up Plan" sponsored by GEICO, where the duo explore different career opportunities. As of July 2015, there are two released episodes. One featuring the job of a beekeeper, the other working with selling houses.[49]

Good Mythical Morning[edit]

On January 3, 2011, the duo launched a morning talk show, "Good Morning Chia Lincoln" in their North Carolina studio with an Abraham Lincoln Chia Pet as a centerpiece, where they picked a topic, usually a personal experience or news story, and state their opinions on it. The series ended on February 28, 2011 as a result of half of the Chia Pet dying.[50]

After the move to Los Angeles[51] and the cancellation of their TV Show, Commercial Kings, the duo launched "Good Mythical Morning" on January 9, 2012.[52] The series took the same format as their previous show and added a Wheel of Mythicality, containing suggestions from fans on how they would end the show, usually with a brief improvised scene.

Good Mythical Morning ran its first three seasons ending on April 5, 2013 as the duo took a break from the daily videos to start a new show with a weekly format, The Mythical Show.[53][54]

In January 2013, the "Good Mythical Morning" series won Best Variety Series at the International Academy of Web Television Awards.[55]

After the end of The Mythical Show, the duo continued with the Good Mythical Morning series, now with a continuation of the main GMM episode dubbed "Good Mythical More" uploaded simultaneously to a separate channel.

Season 6 of Good Mythical Morning premiered on July 14, 2014 with a new introduction sequence with animation by Digital Twigs and music by Pomplamoose.[56] Several notable personalities, including Hannah Hart, PewDiePie, Bill Hader, Amy Schumer[57] and Daniel Radcliffe[58][59] have been guests on the show. On September 30, 2014, they consumed the Carolina Reaper Pepper, the hottest pepper on record as of said date.[60] The 500th episode of Good Mythical Morning was celebrated on August 7, 2014.

On January 12, 2015 the first episode of Season 7 aired, currently with 138 episodes (as of July 17, 2015). On June 1, 2015 the Good Mythical Morning channel reached 7 million subscribers[61] on the day of Link’s 37th birthday as well as coinciding with the celebration of the 700th episode on June 4. Season 8 of Good Mythical Morning is set to start on August 10, 2015.

The Mythical Show[edit]

On April 25, 2013 Rhett and Link released the first episode of The Mythical Show on their second channel, a weekly, 30 minute variety show on YouTube Thursdays at 5pm (EST).[62] Each episode contained a multitude of shorter videos starring Rhett and Link with other actors and YouTube personalities as guests, including Tony Hale, Jill Wagner, Kat Von D, Smosh, Grace Helbig, Shay Carl, the Fine Brothers, Tessa Violet, Hannah Hart, Paul Scheer, Key & Peele, Miranda Sings, KassemG. The duo also published individual segments of The Mythical Show as standalone videos on their main channel. The first season of The Mythical Show ended July 11, 2013 after 12 episodes.

They won the 2014 people's choice Webby Awards for individual comedy short or episode for their "Middle School Musical - Breaking Bad" video that was a part of "The Mythical Show" Middle School Musicals segments.[63]

Ear Biscuits podcast[edit]

On September 27, 2013, Rhett and Link launched an audio podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud called "Ear Biscuits". The podcast debuted in the US on the iTunes charts at #22.[64] and it is described as intimate discussions with other creators that make a mark in the new media such as Grace Helbig,[65] Phillip DeFranco, PewDiePie[66] and Rainn Wilson.[67] They've had live recordings on VidCon[68] as well as Rhett-and-Link-only episodes each month.[69] The podcast is currently (as of July 12, 2015) number #14 on the iTunes US Comedy Charts.[70]

Song Biscuits[edit]

As of February 7, 2015, Rhett and Link launched a new segment called "Song Biscuits", each week the duo has a special guest, usually the guest from the Ear Biscuits podcast, who requests song ideas from his/her fans. The full album was compiled and released in May 2015.

Notable videos and guest appearances[edit]

Their first viral video was "Wolfpack or Tarheels?" uploaded on Rhett's personal YouTube channel on 2006 (no longer active) of his 3 year old son Locke McLaughlin crying over the loss of the Wolfpack and their rivalry with the Tarheels. YouTube wanted to feature this video on the home page but the duo asked to have one of their songs featured instead as they wanted to be known by their comedic work and not a viral video.[71] Once the video was deleted from the original source, the duo uploaded it to their channel, Rhett and Link, where it currently has almost half a million views.

After being featured on YouTube's homepage and the subsequent release of "The Facebook Song" (their most viewed video for several years), Rhett and Link established a presence on the web.

In September 2012 Rhett and Link uploaded a video of them singing All Night Long by Lionel Richie, literally all night long. They recorded over 11 hours of footage starting at 7:25pm on the Santa Monica Pier and ending the night at 6:30am on Mt. Wilson.[72][73][74][75]

YouTube Rewind videos have included Rhett and Link since 2012. Rewind YouTube Style 2012 featured the duo and the Dope Zebra[76] (who was part of LMFAO music video for "Sorry for Party Rocking"), YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say? and YouTube Rewind: Turn Down for 2014 had them dancing in ridiculous manners.[77][78]

Rhett and Link have been guests of 3 Epic Rap Battles of History as of 2015. On February 16, 2012, the duo was featured on Season 2 of Epic Rap Battles of History, playing the Wright Brothers, battling the Mario Brothers.[79] On July 14, 2014, Rhett and Link, along with Smosh, closed Epic Rap Battles of History Season 3. The finale featured the battle of the Renaissance Artists VS the TMNT.[80] Link played the role of Leonardo da Vinci and Rhett the role of Donatello. Their latest appearance was on May 25, 2015, opening Season 4.5 with the battle of Lewis and Clark VS Bill and Ted.[81][82] Link played the role of Meriwether Lewis and Rhett the role of William Clark.

Rhett and Link have also appeared in several videos by the Fine Brothers for the YouTubers React series, as well as being the subject of one episode of the Kids React series.[83]

Music[edit]

Rhett (left) and Link (right) posing for their Album Covers "Up to This Point".

Rhett and Link are known to perform live musical comedy and have completed two albums. In 2001, Rhett and Link independently released Just Mail Us the Grammy, featuring the popular song "The Unibrow Song".[84] In 2005, Rhett and Link independently released I’m Sorry, What Was That? (Live in the Living Room), a live album featuring "The Wal-Mart Song". The album is available at the iTunes Store. In April 2007, Rhett and Link placed 3rd in the TurboTax TaxRap Contest, a contest judged by Vanilla Ice.[85] In 2008, Rhett and Link independently released Websongs Vol 1, an online album featuring "Facebook Song", "Cornhole Song" and "Velcro Song".[84] On February 1, 2009, Rhett and Link independently released "Secret Songs", a collection of songs that were previously only available to winners of their monthly "Community Building Exercises", a part of their "Quest for the Seven Keys" contest.[86]

On December 4, 2009, Rhett and Link teamed up with DFTBA Records and created a new album called Up To This Point.[87]

In May 2015, Rhett and Link released a new album entitled "Song Biscuits: Volume 1" which is available on iTunes.

Film and television[edit]

Rhett and Link starred in the IFC original series, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings. The show chronicled the quest of Rhett and Link as they traveled the country making local commercials for small businesses. Having premiered Friday, June 24, 2011 at 10:00pm ET/PT on IFC, this ten-part docu-comedy is based on their successful web series I Love Local Commercials and features Rhett and Link helping local businesses achieve their goals by creating eye-catching local commercials using local talent. The show was, however, canceled.[29][88]

Rhett and Link are among the first group of Internet personalities to make a transition from the Internet into network television.[89] In 2007, along with Stevie Ryan and Joy Leslie, Rhett and Link hosted the short-lived series Online Nation, a show that featured the best viral videos from the Internet, part of the 2007 fall lineup on the CW Network.[90] The premiere episode was seen by 1 million people,[91] but the show was cancelled after only four episodes.[92] As the hosts, Rhett and Link responded with an Internet video.[92]

They appeared as guests on Lopez Tonight[93] where they were interviewed, made a commercial for George's favorite doughnut place, and were back-up dancers for the remainder of the show after their interview. They have also appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly,[94] Jay Leno,[95] and Conan.[96]

Rhett and Link served as musical correspondents for Brink, hosted by Josh Zepps, on the Science Channel. They wrote and produced three music videos including "My Robot Girlfriend",[97] "Space Junk",[98] and "The S.E.T.I. Song".[99]

Rhett and Link also produced segments for Phil Vischer's "What's in the Bible".

In 2006, Rhett and Link began work on a documentary about their search for their first grade teacher, Ms. Locklear, entitled Looking for Ms. Locklear. The film released in 2008 and won the Southern Lens Award from South Carolina Public TV, which led to the film screening on PBS in South Carolina.[100] The film also won audience choice awards at the ACE Film Festival and the Secret City Film Festival, and won 2nd place documentary at the Secret City Film Festival. The documentary was an official selection at the Real to Reel Film Festival, the Landlocked Film Festival, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, BendFilm Festival, Asheville Film Festival, and the Cucalorus Film Festival.[101][102] On September 9, 2009 the duo released the movie on DVD, distributing it over the Internet.[103]

In 2012, Rhett and Link appeared on Season 7 of America's Got Talent along with a character of their creation, the "Dope Zebra", in the Los Angeles auditions, but they quickly received three "X"s from the judges and did not make it past the first audition round. They were featured in a montage for about 2 seconds. All of the zebra was on screen, and half of Link's body was on screen. Rhett and Link explained in their morning talk show "Good Mythical Morning" that they did not expect to make it past the first round, nor did they want to. Subsequently, with the same professional dancers inside from the America's Got Talent appearance, their Dope Zebra character appeared in LMFAO's "Sorry For Party Rocking" video. Rhett and Link also appeared as Party Rocker dancers in the background of the same video. Dope Zebra went on to appear with LMFAO in live performances of "Sorry For Party Rocking" on the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, and a 2012 appearance on American Idol, as well as becoming part of the band's 2012 live tour.[104]

In 2014, Rhett and Link appeared as special guests on the show Legends' House on the WWE Network.[105][106]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Title Nominated Award Result
2011 Webby Awards[107] 2 Guys, 600 Pillows (Backwards Music Video) Best Editing Won
2013 Webby Awards[108] Rhett & Link Online Film & Video - Variety Channel Honoree
IAWTV Awards[109] Rhett & Link - Good Mythical Morning Best Variety Series Won
LA Web Awards[110] Shift It Funniest YouTube Video Won
2014 Screenchart! Channel Awards[111][112] Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal Best Male Personality (Solo or Duo) Won
"Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek" Best Musical Performances Won
Streamy Awards[113] Good Mythical Morning Science and Education Nominated
Webby Awards Rhett & Link[114] First Person Honoree
Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical[115] Comedy Individual Short or Episode - People's Voice Won
Shift It, Shift It[116] Viral Honoree
2015 Webby Awards Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek[117] Viral (Branded) - People's Voice Won
Good Mythical Morning[118] Variety (Channel) - People's Voice Won
Rhett and Link - Good Mythical Morning[119] First Person - People's Voice Won

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External links[edit]