Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner.
Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to scope out Smosh following Defy’s abrupt shutdown last November after it failed to find a buyer or secure working capital. But at this point Mythical has emerged as the likely buyer of Smosh, sources said.
The combo would be a good fit — it would bring together two of YouTube’s most popular and longest-running comedy teams. Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal are the creators and hosts of weekday YouTube series “Good Mythical Morning,” which has 15 million subscribers.
Smosh, now led by co-founder Ian Hecox, dates back to 2006 and has over 24 million subscribers on its main channel alone, which features sketches and parodies of internet and pop culture. The crew also runs ancillary channels Smosh Games (7.4 million subs) and Smosh Pit (6 million).
There’s also a UTA connection between Rhett & Link and Smosh: McLaughlin, Neal and Hecox are each repped by the agency.
A spokesman for Rhett and Link said they were attending VidCon London this week and unavailable for comment. A rep for Studio71, which co-produces and distributes Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning,” did not respond to a request for comment. Hecox didn’t respond to an email inquiry.
Last fall Hecox, in the wake of Defy’s closure, reassured fans that the Smosh team was in the process of “finding a new home.”
“The family that we’ve worked to build over 13 years is not going away,” Hecox wrote in a Nov. 6 tweet. “You guys have given so many of us here at Smosh the best jobs in the world, and we’re going to do whatever we can to continue to bring you the same Smoshy goodness we always have.” Hecox became the creative head of Smosh after longtime friend and co-founder Anthony Padilla left the group in 2017.
Rhett and Link, who have been buddies since they met in the first grade in North Carolina, have found success with “Good Mythical Morning,” now in its 15th season. Mythical also runs a weekly “GMM” recap show called “Let’s Talk About That,” and Rhett and Link host a weekly podcast, “Ear Biscuits.” The duo also created and starred in two seasons of YouTube original series “Rhett & Link’s Buddy System,” a scripted show in which they played characters based on themselves, and penned a book, “The Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity & Tomfoolery.” Among their brand deals, they appeared as spokesmen in the 2018 Super Bowl ad for website-hosting service Wix.com.
The popularity of “Good Mythical Morning” led YouTube to fund an expanded version of the show — patterned on late-night TV shows — that launched in the fall of 2017, featuring multi-part segments running 22 minutes or longer daily. That didn’t last: “GMM” reverted to its original, shorter format last year, with episodes 12-15 minutes each.
Most recently, Mythical this month teamed up with Patreon to launch The Mythical Society (mythicalsociety.com), a subscription membership program giving “Mythical Beasts” — which Rhett & Link call their fans — access to exclusive content, merchandise, behind-the-scenes footage and other perks. It’s available in three tiers, priced at $5, $10 and $20 monthly.
Pictured above: Rhett McLaughlin (l.) and Link Neal