By Jensen, Randy on April 18, 2020.
Inter-tainers Rhett and Link only thinking of Canadian viewers
Alberta Newspaper Group
Rhett and Link are the unsung heroes of Inter-tainment, that’s the Internet and entertainment, for the uninitiated. In a time when laughter is indeed the best medicine, “Good Mythical Morning” is both an anecdote and an unofficial antidote to society’s most recent ills.
Historically, Rhett and Link met in 1984 on the first day of first grade in North Carolina. After graduating from post-secondary with engineering degrees and entering the exciting field of supply-chain logistics, the two soon-to-be Inter-tainers began posting original sketches, songs and viral local commercials that earned them stardom in the early days of YouTube. Today, the multi-faceted hosts, best-selling authors, and brand merch mavens are owner-operators of an entertainment company based in Los Angeles.
Now that channel surfing (is that still a thing?), streaming and binge-watching is considered the new global norm in today’s stay-at-home social distancing precautionary measure – YouTube’s dynamic duo of “Will It?” and “Dink it and Sink It” lead the charge in a daily mission to poke silly and tickle the world’s collective funny bone. “Let’s talk about that.”
Things are weird, Link said, on the phone recently. “Just staying at home. We’ve figured out ways to keep producing our show from our homes.”
Jokingly, Rhett said the show is tailor-made for Canadians. “Everything we do, when we do it, we have Canadians in mind.”
“We make the show specifically for our Canadian ‘Mystical Beasts,'” Link also joked. “Whenever we look into that lens, we’re only thinking of our Canadian viewers. Everyone else is just along for the ride.”
Link noted Jen, a Canadian, was one of the show’s first employees. “We would have her on the show frequently and give her a hard time about being Canadian, as if we knew nothing about what it meant to be from Canada. I think that gave us a leg up,” he said, adding a lot of backhanded love was given to Canadians through giving Jen such a hard time.
According to Rhett, it’s possible to see where videos are performing well around the world and Canada is second in line behind the United States, in terms of the amount of people watching. “I think a big reason for that is we have a lot of dry humour in our show and there’s a lot of sarcasm. Based on the comments, you can see sarcasm does not sit well with some YouTube viewers, but I think it sits well with the Canadian audience.”
“Good Mythical Morning,” Rhett explained, has basically become – after many years – essentially two lifelong best friends who never really grew up. “Experimenting with things grown men may or maybe should not be experimenting with.”
From eating pig anus, to ingesting animal blood, to trying to destroy inanimate objects like a beloved Furby in a paint shaker, to escaping from straight jackets – Rhett and Link know no bounds.
“There’s very little we won’t talk about, there’s very little we won’t eat, and there’s very little we won’t try. All in the name of just having a good time with your best friend,” Rhett sentimentally added.
Over the years, “Good Mythical Morning” has had a plethora of guests stop by including Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe and Terry Crews. Rhett and Link have also appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” as they challenged the late-night talk show host with segments “Will It Hummus?” and “Will It Hot Dog?”
“We tend to focus on what we get excited about creating and what we enjoy doing behind our desk. We don’t really worry too much about entertainment at large. Over the course of 1,700 episodes, we really exercise the luxury of being able to create whatever it is we wanted to create, thanks to YouTube as an agnostic platform for the most part,” said Link. “We don’t have a network boss, someone breathing down our necks, whose telling us ‘this is what we want you to make, this is who we want you to reach, this is what you can say, and this is what you can’t say.’ The show has really been a pure form of expression of our friendship, our sense of humour, and the adventurous curious spirit that embodies what we call ‘mythicality.’ If people want to enjoy that and make us a part of their daily routine, we invite them to come along for the ride, but we pride ourselves on making a show that’s unique and it’s not like television. It’s not really like much else on the internet either.”
One of the key differences with what Rhett and Link are doing and what is happening on the internet, in comparison to traditional television is, they have a symbiotic relationship with their audience.
“We are creating something in the context of this community that offers instant feedback. It’s not so much that we’re waiting like a politician watching the polls to try to figure out what the best decision to make is, it’s not that we’re being led by their opinions exclusively. But, because we’re creating for this community that has decided to come along for the ride, we now are constantly experimenting with new formats and new ideas and kind of pushing the show in different places. We’re doing that based on what we want to do. That kind of is initiated from us and our creative team, but then if we push into a certain direction and the majority of people are kind of pushing back and saying ‘this isn’t something we like’ we’ll say OK, let’s try something else. It’s created this really interesting dance that if you go back over these 1,700 episodes you see what it started as and you see what it has become.
“The amount we have contributed to that vision creatively and coupling that with what the audience has contributed in their reaction and their response – it created this kind of hybrid that’s a product of a community, not just us making a show,” Rhett explained.
For now, across the globe, everyone is adjusting to a new way of life. “You’re seeing all the late-night shows adjusting to the quarantine and the restrictions in place,” said Rhett.
“We’ve already started shooting an entirely new version of the show that abides by these strict regulations where we’re actually at our individual homes. I’m at my house and Link is at his house and it’s sort of a split-screen version of the show that will premiere,” he added. “We’re doing it for a couple of reasons.”
One of the reasons, Rhett continued, is because they have to. And two, they’re committed to continuing to offer this form of escape for people.
“We’re on lockdown right now. We know how much we’re watching television, movies, and internet content and it kind of keeps you sane, to some degree, to be able to entertain yourself through that. We want to be able to offer some levity in people’s day during this uncertain time. We’re going to keep making our content, as best we can,” Rhett said.
“With so many people making the wise decision to stay home, as much as possible, we’re all finding ourselves with a lot more of time on our hands. It just so happens, we have over 1,700 episodes of ‘Good Mythical Morning’ plus the ‘Good Mythical More’ – which is a show after the show. There’s plenty to binge-watch. If you just start watching the show on YouTube with the latest episode or any episode it will keep serving up other episodes for you to enjoy or you can click on the playlist we’ve assembled on our ‘Good Mythical Morning’ YouTube channel and you can watch all the episodes in order or in reverse order to kind of see the evolution of the show,” Link said.
It’s great to have so much content out there, added Link. “If you’re a first-time viewer you have a lot to go through. We’ve heard over the years many fans have had that experience of discovering us and then discovering there’s 1,700 episodes and you just get hooked on it.
“We definitely advise everyone making us a part of their daily routine, especially in this strange environment we find ourselves in,” he said.