Rhett McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal (you may know them as Rhett and Link) took a big risk at the beginning of the year. Back in April, the comedy duo widely known for their unique music videos, DIY viral ads and daily video series “Good Mythical Morning” started uploading something called “The Mythical Show” — a 30-minute YouTube variety show. If you’ve spent any time on YouTube, then you know that most videos adhere to a 5 to 7-minute run time, which has worked and worked well since 2007, hence the risk for Rhett and Link.
For the most part, episode one of “The Mythical Show” received positive reviews. The show was a clear step in a direction that both YouTube and Rhett and Link were shooting for. “The Mythical Show” played with the concept of long-form content on YouTube at a time when creators have become comfortable with the low risk, high reward format that is five-minute sketches and vlogs.
Anyone with knowledge of Rhett and Link’s careers on YouTube, however, know that complacency is not a tune these guys know. Breaking into YouTube during its infancy, Rhett and Link have developed numerous innovative viral sensations like their 10 million plus viewed “T-Shirt War” stop-motion video.
“The Mythical Show,” with its longer run time and segmented format, is just another of these departures from the norm that have defined the duo’s nontraditional career on YouTube
NMR caught up with Rhett and Link, where amidst vintage toys and more recording gear than a major news network, we unearthed what makes them so mythical and the risks that come from being trendsetters
Check out the full interview below or visit the last page for the partial video interview.
You have a lot of different thing you do: parody music videos, ads, a mythical morning show. If you guys could describe “Rhett and Link,” the whole thing in a few words, how would you guys sum it up?
Link: Rhett and Link is a creative collective consisting of two people — me, Link, and this guy, Rhett. I carry most of the weight … creatively.
Rhett: No, you mean you carry the stuff around when we go places. I get you to carry my luggage. I get you to carry my guitar because you’re kind of like my servant. Is that what you mean?
Link: Not exactly, no, that’s not what I was getting at. We’ve known each other since first grade so we are allowed to give each other a hard time. We are kind of in this, like, old married couple phase of our creative relationship.
Rhett: It’s a phase? I don’t think it’s a phase. It’s pretty much the status quo.
Link: No I feel like we’re about to move into the next phase, which is total bewilderment like “Where am I?”
Rhett: I wish that we could have someone give us those few words. You’re like, “Describe what you do in a few words.” I feel like if we could describe what we do in a few words, we probably know what to do everyday we come here. It would be helpful.You know what we need? We need like the modern day Don Draper kind of character to meet with us and like he’ll hang out with us for a little bit, and we’ll be like, “Hey describe what we do, man,” and he’ll be like, “Simple, elegant, unique,” or something like that or much better than that, and we’ll be like, “Yeah that’s what we are. That’s what we do.”
Link: We do a lot of different things I think with “Good Mythical Morning” and “The Mythical Show.” We kind of settled into — especially with “The Mythical Show” — we settled into kind of packaging what we do under one roof, under one show, but before “The Mythical Show” it was pretty much whatever comes into our mind, let’s do it, and it’s difficult to know if that’s an asset or a liability. Sometimes it feels like a liability because people don’t know what they’re getting when they subscribe to our channel, but I think it’s helped in terms of remaining relevant. In terms of longevity and being — not like a top YouTuber but not someone who just oh kind of pops with “you did that one thing” and then that was it or “you do this one thing” and that’s it. Oh you’re trying to do something else now? No I want the other thing, so it’s nice to have done so many different things, as we’ve kind of grown our audience that anything is fair game. Now whether we’re good at all those things is still questionable.
Rhett: I’m good at 75 percent of them.