Rhett and Link are the comedy, filmmaking, musical and advertising duo of Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles "Link" Lincoln Neal III. They star in the television show Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings on the Independent Film Channel. They are known for their videos, songs and commercials and are one of the most subscribed channels on YouTube. Their videos have been seen over 110 million times and have been featured on Lopez Tonight, Last Call with Carson Daly, Jay Leno, Conan, NPR, CNN and Time Magazine.
Both Rhett and Link are originally from Buies Creek, North Carolina, and have been best friends and collaborators since meeting in first grade. Rhett and Link met on the first day of first grade in Buies Creek Elementary School, after their teacher Ms. Locklear made them stay inside during recess for writing profanity on their desks. They became best friends after they were forced to be quiet and color pictures of Unicorns. At age twelve, they wrote a screenplay entitled "Gutless Wonders." In high school, Rhett was on the basketball team, while Link competed in multiple science competitions. Later, they were roommates at North Carolina State University where they studied engineering. They taught themselves filmmaking and are known for low-budget, DIY productions.
Internet and AdvisingEdit
They are among the top YouTube channels with more than 11,000,000 total subscribers and with more than 182 million video views, and earn over six figures a year in advertising revenue. In 2011, Rhett and Link made a commercial for Ojai Valley Taxidermy, owned by Chuck Testa. The commercial was created 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 7.6 million views (as of 14th November) and spawning the "Nope! Chuck Testa" Internet meme. The Chuck Testa ad was included in Time Magazine's top 10 hits of 2011, as part of Time's Top 10 Best of Everything . In 2010, they were called the "undisputed masters of bad local commercials" by George Lopez. The success of Rhett and Link's commercials have garnered the attention of major advertising publications such as Advertising Age and AdWeek. Their commercials have also been featured on CNN, NPR, The New York Times,Forbes, and TMZ.
Rhett and Link's music videos, such as the Facebook Song, the American Idol Song, The Epic Rap Battle, the S.E.T.I. Song and T-Shirt War have proven to be among their most popular videos. In December 2010, Rhett & Link’s 2 Guys 600 Pillows video was named to Time's 2010 List of the Top Ten of Everything, and the same video won two 2011 Webby Awards, including the Best Editing category as well as a Peoples' Voice Award. In February 2010, their Fast Food Folk Song 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.
Additionally, Rhett and Link have created a series of extremely popular free local commercials for businesses throughout the U.S. For their "I Love Local Commercials" web series, sponsored by Microbilt, they conceived and produced viral commercials like "Red House Furniture" with the controversial jingle "Where Black People and White People Buy Furniture". Other well-known commercials include ads for Cullman Liquidation Center, which won Best Local Commercial at the 2010 Ad Age Viral Video Awards, and TDM Auto, featuring Rudy, the Cuban Gynecologist. The success of the web series led to Rhett and Link's television show, Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings on IFC.
Rhett and Link make a living through sponsorship of their web videos. They have created web videos for McDonald's, Coca-cola, Taco Bell, Alka-Seltzer, Food Network, Microbilt, Sanyo, Kotulas, TV Guide, Baby Ruth, Starburst,Hummer, and Cadillac, as well as integrating smaller brands such as Smule, AJJ Cornhole, and iRESQ. They have partnered with General Motors, serving as web correspondents for IGotShotgun.com, one of GM's internet marketing strategies.
In 2008, they spent the summer 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. 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.
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". 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. In 2008, Rhett and Link independently released Websongs Vol 1, an online album featuring "Facebook Song", "Cornhole Song" and "Velcro Song".
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.
On 4 December 2009, Rhett and Link teamed up with DFTBA Records and created a new album called Up To This Point.
Rhett and Link made a cameo on LMFAO music video sorry for party rocking.
Film and TelevisionEdit
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 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.
Rhett and Link are among the first group of internet personalities to make a transition from the internet into network television. 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. The premiere episode was seen by 1 million people, but the show was cancelled after only four episodes. As the hosts, Rhett and Link responded with an internet video.
They appeared as guests on "Lopez Tonight" where they were interviewed, made a commercial for George's favorite donut place, and were back-up dancers for the remainder of the show after their interview. They have also appeared onLast Call with Carson Daly and Leno
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", "Space Junk", and "The S.E.T.I. Song".
Rhett and Link’s first short film, "One Man’s Trash" 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.
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. 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. On September 9, 2009 the duo released the movie on DVD, distributing it over the internet.