LOS ANGELES — "Are those your real names?"
That was the reaction one TV writer had during YouTube’s first ever Television Critics Association Day in August after hearing about YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link’s new show Buddy System.
Yes, those are their real names. Although many at YouTube’s TCA presentation may not have recognized the duo, their 11.2 million subscribers certainly do.
The friends — whose full names are Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln "Link" Neal III — are comedians, co-hosts and now showrunners. On Wednesday, they launched their first ever scripted series Buddy System on YouTube Red.
The show — from which Mashable has an exclusive clip (above) — follows Rhett & Link as the "embark on a fantastical misadventure in search of a missing phone to save their morning talk show from a co-ex-girlfriend turned evil infomercial queen (played by Leslie Bibb)."
The series also stars Chris Parnell, Molly Shannon and Page Kennedy.
Oh and there’s music, and lots of it.
Image: youtube red
The duo are most known for their YouTube show Good Mythical Morning, which has over 1,000 episodes that have amassed about 2 billion views. The show also recently won a Streamy for best comedy.
Still switching gears from a YouTube show to a scripted YouTube Red show wasn’t easy. It took about 29 days to shoot the full season, which entailed seven music videos filmed over a five day period of time.
"GMM is a train that is always going — it’s a daily show so it’s very hand in mouth, but when you do something like Buddy System there was a lot more creative energy that went into every single minute of the final product," Rhett said. "Obviously there’s a lot of creative energy that goes into GMM but it’s different … something like Buddy System has to be planned for by a lot more people. So I think it was a lot of working with talented people, relying on more people than we’ve ever relied on. There were so many people involved."
The best part of the process? Working with "legitimate actors," who read the very script they wrote.
Check out the duo’s interview with Mashable below.