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Rhett and Link

 

Rhett and Link

Rhett and Link
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Rhett McLaughlin (left) and Link Neal (right)
Medium Internet, television, film, stage, podcast
Nationality American
Years active 2000–present
Genres Musical comedy, advertising, parody, sketch, observational comedy, character comedy, cringe comedy, talk show, children's music
Notable works and roles "Dope Zebra"
"Shift It"
"T-Shirt War"
"Facebook Song"
"Fast Food Folk Song"
Commercial Kings
Alka-Seltzer Great American Road Trip
"Rub Some Bacon On It"
Members Rhett McLaughlin
"Link" Neal
Website

Rhett and Link is an entertainment and advertising duo consisting of Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln "Link" Neal. 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 one-season 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] The duo run two YouTube channels, a main channel, Rhett&Link, which has over 200 million views and over 1 million subscribers, and a second channel, RhettandLink2. On the 25th of April 2013, they began their weekly 30 minute program "The Mythical Show" on RhettandLink2 which aired Thursdays at 5pm EST for the next twelve weeks.[2]

Early years

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.[3][4] Years later, they found their first grade teacher and made a documentary, "Looking for Ms. Locklear", about the search.[5][6]

At fourteen they wrote a screenplay entitled "Gutless Wonders",[7] and began shooting a film based on it. However, they filmed only a couple of scenes and the film was never finished. 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.[8]

Later, they were roommates at North Carolina State University where they studied engineering.[9]

While snowboarding at Boone, North Carolina in 1999, Link was injured and lost memory for 8 hours, and Rhett wrote a story about the incident called "The Tragedy".[10][11]

Internet Presence

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,[12] with their main channel one of the most watched channels on YouTube.[13]

In 2012, Rhett and Link were named #22 on Business Insider's Top 25 Most Creative People in Advertising List.[14] In September 2012 they joined the Collective, a media company in Los Angeles.[15]

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 and iRESQ. Larger companies which have sponsored the duo's videos include Alka-Seltzer, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, Sanyo, TV Guide, Hummer, and Cadillac.[16]

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[17] 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.

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

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.[18] 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". 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.[19] The popularity of the duo's commercials garnered the attention of major advertising publications such as Advertising Age[20] and AdWeek,[21] and their commercials were featured on CNN,[22] NPR,[13] The New York Times,[23] Forbes, and TMZ.[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. Later they appeared in his show Lopez Tonight, where he called them "undisputed masters of bad local commercials".

The success of the web series led to Rhett and Link's television show, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings on IFC.[27]

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.[28][29]

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. 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.[30]

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,[31] and the video also won Best Editing category and Peoples' Voice Award at the 2011 Webby Awards.[32] Rhett and Link continued working with SleepBetter.org, and in November 2012 they made another music video, "Sleep Tight", also known as "Steampunk Toothfairy".

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.[33] Also in 2011, Rhett and Link released a music video entitled "PHOTOSHOP Song" which was sponsored by Canvas On Demand.

In September 2012, the duo uploaded the video "Epic Rap Battle of Manliness" sponsored by Build.com.[34][35]

In 2013, Rhett and Link released a music video on their main YouTube channel entitled "Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek" which was sponsored by TigerDirect.

Daily Morning Show

On January 3, 2011, the duo launched a morning talk show, "Good Morning Chia Lincoln", on their YouTube channel, "rhettandlink2". Released every weekday morning from January 3 to February 28, 2011, it consisted of 40 unique episodes in which Rhett and Link would sit at a table with an Abraham Lincoln Chia Pet as a center piece and pick a topic, usually a personal experience or news story, and state their opinions on it. The series was cancelled as a result of half of the Chia Pet dying.

On January 9, 2012, the duo launched "Good Mythical Morning" on their second channel (commonly abbreviated as "GMM"). This show was very similar to "Good Morning Chia Lincoln" in most respects, but Chia Lincoln himself was replaced with a wheel called the "Wheel of Mythicality", which was spun by Link at the end of each show and contained suggestions from fans for how they would end the show, usually with a brief improvised scene. GMM Season 1 ran for 129 episodes and aired its last episode on July 6, 2012.

On August 6, 2012, they launched "Good Mythical Morning - Season 2", again on their second channel. The main difference between the two seasons was a different introduction and a few minor changes to the Mythical Wheel, which now had colored spots (red, blue, and black) under which were potential endings unknown to Rhett and Link but known to their cameraman, Jason Inman. GMM Season 2 ran for 83 episodes and aired its last episode on November 30, 2012.

"Good Mythical Morning - Season 3" aired its first episode January 14, 2013 with a new Mythical Wheel that had better weight distribution, fewer spaces, and no colored hidden slots, but otherwise followed the same format. GMM Season 3 ran for 60 episodes and aired its last episode on April 5, 2013.

"Good Mythical Morning - Season 4" aired its first episode on September 3, 2013, and is currently ongoing. For GMM Season 4, the episodes on YouTube are slightly shorter than previous seasons and each episode has a bonus "Good Mythical More" video that is posted on the duo's website that contains a few more minutes of more casual content.

In January 2013, "Good Mythical Morning" series won Best Variety Series at the International Academy of Web Television Awards.[36] Season 3 of GMM began in January 2013 and ended in March 2013, taking away the red "Secret Spot" and adding "Rhett's Choice" and "Link's Choice", where they decide how the show ends.

The Mythical Show

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). 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, and KassemG. The duo also published individual segments of The Mythical Show as standalone videos on their first channel. The first season of The Mythical Show ended July 11, 2013 after 12 episodes.

Other Videos

In September 2012 Rhett and Link uploaded a video of them singing All Night Long by Lionel Richie, literally all night long.[37][38][39][40]

Music

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".[41] 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.[42] In 2008, Rhett and Link independently released Websongs Vol 1, an online album featuring "Facebook Song", "Cornhole Song" and "Velcro Song".[41] 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.[43]

On December 4, 2009, Rhett and Link teamed up with DFTBA Records and created a new album called Up To This Point.[44]

On February 16, 2012, Rhett and Link were featured in the eighteenth episode of Epic Rap Battles of History, in which they played the

On February 21, 2012, Rhett and Link, along with a dancing zebra from their video "Dope Zebra", appeared in LMFAO music video for the song "Sorry for Party Rocking".

Film and television

Rhett and Link star in the Independent Film Channel original series, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings. The show chronicles the quest of Rhett and Link as they travel the country making local commercials for small businesses. It 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 & Link helping local businesses achieve their goals by creating eye-catching local commercials using local talent. The show was, however, canceled.[27][47]

Rhett and Link are among the first group of internet personalities to make a transition from the internet into network television.[48] 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.[49] The premiere episode was seen by 1 million people,[50] but the show was cancelled after only four episodes.[51] As the hosts, Rhett and Link responded with an internet video.[51][52]

They appeared as guests on Lopez Tonight[53] 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,[54] Jay Leno,[55] and Conan.[56]

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",[57] "Space Junk",[58] and "The S.E.T.I. Song".[59]

Rhett and Link’s first short film, "One Man’s Trash"[60] won best North Carolina Comedy at the 2007 All-American Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the Carrboro Film Festival, the Carolina Film and Video Festival, the Lake County Film Festival, and the Southern Fried Flicks Film Festival.

Rhett and Link also currently produce music video 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.[61] 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.[62][63] On September 9, 2009 the duo released the movie on DVD, distributing it over the internet.

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.

Podcast

On September 27, 2013, Rhett and Link launched an audio podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud called "Ear Biscuits". They describe it as "a weekly candid conversation with other creators who are making their mark in new media." Episodes air weekly on Fridays and are approximately 60-90 minutes long. They are frequently released in conjunction with a video on the RhettandLink2 YouTube channel where the duo talk about the interview and air an excerpt. The podcast debuted in the US on the iTunes charts at #22.[64]

References

External links

  • main YouTube channel
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Ear Biscuits on SoundCloud
  • Ear Biscuits on iTunes
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