Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal may shoot their million-hit YouTube videos in Burbank, California, but the comedians got their humble beginnings just an hour’s drive from the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
The pair host a whimsical daily morning talk show on YouTube called Good Mythical Morning, or GMM, which has over 14 million subscribers. Their four channels have a whopping 7 billion subscribers total. GMM has featured notable actors such as Daniel Radcliffe and Amy Schumer, other YouTube stars like Colleen Ballinger of the web series Miranda Sings and even popular young adult novelist John Green.
Their one-night-only live fair performance, however, will include more of their original music. Rhett and Link have another YouTube channel showcasing the two as comedic musicians, topping charts with over 800 million channel views. Popular songs range from “My OCD,” a parody ballad, to “Epic Rap Battle: Nerd vs. Geek.”
But even with the astounding success the musicians have had in the past decade, Rhett and Link haven’t forgotten their first studio in downtown Fuquay-Varina or their first-grade teacher in Buies Creek, Ms. Locklear. She brought them together in 1984 after punishing them both for writing curse words on their desks.
“We are thrilled to return home to the state where it all began,” they said.
After growing up together, Rhett and Link both graduated from N.C. State University with engineering degrees. The duo’s strong ties to the South have been constant throughout their journey, from Rhett’s first viral video featuring his young son crying over an N.C. State basketball loss to a 2014 video where the two film themselves eating the world’s hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper.
“We both have such fond memories of the State Fair with our friends and families and are thrilled to be performing on the stage where we saw our hero Merle Haggard play years ago,” they said.
According to their 2017 novel, “Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality,” they marked school yearbooks with lyrics from Haggard’s songs and seeing him perform on the Dorton Arena stage was transformative. In fact, Haggard performed on the first Friday during the fair in 1999, and Rhett and Link will follow in his footsteps with their Friday performance.
The Oct. 12 show is part of their Tour of Mythicality, which promotes their New York Times bestseller. As for what to anticipate on Friday, Rhett and Link have a few surprises in store for fairgoers.
“Expect to hear all our classic songs plus some brand-new ones,” they said, “between bites of deep-fried candy bars of course.”