Home of Rhett & Link fans - the Mythical Beasts!
People always have questions about the lives of Rhett and Link -- Where did they grow up? How old are they? What did they do before Internetainment? -- and people want to see the evidence of when Rhett and Link themselves stated these facts. That gave me the idea to undertake this project to collect video links of where our guys made statements about their personal histories.
Below, I'll be documenting important and most asked-about R&L life events with answers in evidential YouTube or other source links. It will be written somewhat in narrative biography format. Any Rhett and Link video or project is fair game for this info, but I'll be pulling mostly from the RhettandLinKasts, Good Morning Chia Lincoln, Good Mythical Morning/Good Mythical More, Ear Biscuits, and Rhett and Link's Book of Mythicality (denoted by "BOM" and the page number).
**Please note that I'm not exploring any of their friends' or family's social media profiles or otherwise "stalking" people to get any information; I'm just using what Rhett and Link themselves have told their audience.**
If you have a question about R&L's lives that you think should be answered in this post, please let me know in the comments below!
Rhett's full name is Rhett James McLaughlin. He was born October 11, 1977, in Macon, Georgia. Rhett's eye color shifts based on his surroundings, but he sometimes states that they're green. His first memory is at the age of 3 in Georgia, when he dressed as Big Bird for Halloween and scraped his knee in the costume. His family lived in Thousand Oaks, California outside the Los Angeles area when Rhett was ages 4, 5, and 6 (previously stated as being ages 3 - 5). He graduated from pre-school in 1982 in Thousand Oaks. Rhett began playing basketball recreationally as a child when he lived in California. His family then moved to Buies Creek, North Carolina in the summer of 1984, the same year Rhett would meet Link, where Rhett's father serves as a law professor at Campbell University. His parents are still married. Rhett has one sibling, a brother named Cole who is three years older.
Link's full name is Charles Lincoln Neal III. He was born June 1, 1978, in Boone Trail, North Carolina and was delivered with the aid of forceps. He was totally blond as a child, but his hair eventually naturally darkened. Link was babysat by a woman named Loretta around the ages of 2-4; his first memory is of cutting his finger on playground equipment and being tended to by Loretta. He went to pre-school at Lillington First Baptist Church. Link's dad was a tobacco farmer and had a variety of other jobs, including laying tile. His parents divorced when he was two years old, and he experienced numerous changes in his family structure over the years, as a result. Link has no full siblings, but he has a variety of half-siblings and step-siblings, most of whom he does not discuss at length on camera. His step-dad at the time Link met Rhett was named Jimmy Capps, who had a daughter; Link's mom and Jimmy divorced when Link was 13 years old. His mom is currently remarried to Lewis.
Rhett and Link met on September 4, 1984 in first grade at Buies Creek Elementary School. The first day of school, they were both held in from recess for writing mild profanity ("hell" and "dam") on their desks; their punishment was to color pictures of mythical beasts (specifically Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox). The story of their meeting later gave rise to calling their fans "Mythical Beasts."
As a child, Link's dream was to become a weatherman based on seeing his local weatherman on TV every evening, despite the fact he was deathly afraid of lightning for many years. Rhett's childhood dream was to become an architect; he even made blueprints/floorplans very early as a child, around the age of 6.
Rhett wet the bed as a child.
Link began playing soccer around the age of seven and continued through high school. In middle school, he served as the scorekeeper for the girl's basketball team. Rhett joined his first official basketball team in middle school.
In fourth grade, Rhett and Link played their first musical instruments, both playing the recorder for school. Link still has the first recorder he ever played, and he has continued to play recorder for comedy songs.
Rhett and Link had their first girlfriends in middle school; for both of them, it was the same girl named Lesli. Rhett dated her first for only a month in sixth grade, and Link dated her three months later, in seventh grade. They also had the same second girlfriend, Amber, who Link dated in seventh grade and Rhett dated in eighth grade. Rhett and Link each separately experienced their first kiss with Amber. They now discourage kids from dating in middle school.
In seventh grade, Link began playing trumpet in the school band. Rhett had also intended to play trumpet in the band, but his instrument was stolen after only a few days. Although he stopped playing in high school, Link still has this trumpet and has used it on occasion for Internetainment purposes.
Link played soccer as a goalie in seventh and eighth grade.
Rhett had a pet hamster named Pokey; he also briefly had a dog named Sandy and, later, a dog named Beauty. Link variously had a dog named Tucker, a German Shepherd named Princess, a kitten named Patches, and a cat named Thomas.
TEENAGE YEARS / HIGH SCHOOL
At the ages of 14, Rhett and Link wrote a screenplay together called Gutless Wonders. It's a semi-autobiographical and fantastical screenplay that features the adventures of Rhett, Link, and Link's dog Tucker. Rhett and Link read Gutless Wonders over six episodes of Good Mythical Morning in 2012; subsequently, fans turned it into both a live-action video and a musical, animated video.
Around the age of 15 in 10th grade, or at the end of middle school going into high school, Rhett and Link made a blood oath with each other that they would stick together and create things/work on some unknown, ambitious project as adults. They wrote down this oath on two sheets of paper, which have not survived into the present day, and signed it with their blood that they cut from their palms. Link kept his copy of the blood oath until high school, at least the age of 16, when he lost the wallet that contained it. (Link has also provided a conflicting story wherein he kept the blood oath for 8 years before losing the wallet.) Rhett and Link are also blood brothers due to the fact they shook hands before signing the blood oath (but there is some uncertainty regarding whether they shook hands).
In their junior year of high school, Rhett, Link, and several friends started a band called Wax Paper Dogz. Rhett's and Link's families had joined a new offshoot church with an associated local Christian cafe, and they wanted to perform on the stage there. The band primarily played cover songs that were suitable for Christian outreach, and its style evolved from country to pop-punk over time. Both Rhett and Link first served as co-lead singers, but about three months after forming the band, Rhett began learning to play guitar. The Wax Paper Dogz continued to perform at Christian festivals and other venues until the band broke up in Rhett and Link's sophomore year of college.
At the age of 16, Rhett received his driver's license and his first car, a 1981 Oldsmobile Omega that was handed down to him from his older brother. Several weeks later, Rhett purposefully drove the car beyond its limits and "killed" it to get a new car, a 1989 Dodge Dynasty. Link received a 1987 Nissan pickup truck at the age of 15, before he received his license the year after Rhett at the age of 16.
In 1994 (age 17 and 16), Rhett and Link acted in a modified version of the play Oedipus Rex (retroactively given the title Oedipus Rhett) with friends from school and recorded it on VHS; the VHS was later re-discovered by the parents of the girl who recorded it and was given over to Rhett and Link.
Rhett continued to play basketball extensively through high school, when he seriously considered becoming a professional basketball player. His father was particularly invested in his basketball career and enforced his practice drills outside of school. Rhett set a record his senior year for the most 3-pointers scored in a single season -- 77 of them -- that still stands as of 2018, 22 years later. He eventually decided against professional basketball due to a combination of developing a love for music performance, a love for entertainment/filming, and his team not making the state playoffs his senior year. Rhett also ran cross-country in the basketball off-season and was on the rotation squad for the golf team.
Link continued to play soccer through high school, where he found some success—namely in his junior year, when he made two unassisted goals in one game, both with his left foot; these were the only goals he ever scored. He also attempted baseball but did not enjoy it.
In his senior year of high school, Link got a cartilage piercing in his left ear. He also had bleached hair at the time.
Rhett and Link graduated high school in 1996 from Harnett Central High School.
ADULTHOOD - GENERAL
Rhett is 6'7" tall and ranges from 205 to 212 lbs. His shoe size is a men's 12 (though he has previously stated it as size 11). Link is 6'0" tall and approximately 168 lbs, with a presumed shoe size of 11.
Rhett suffers from nosebleeds, psoriasis, Restless Legs Syndrome, and back pain including herniated discs that is caused in part by his exceptional height, as well as degenerative disc disease. He has experimented with many methods over the years to alleviate his back pain, including swimming and hot yoga; more recently, a daily morning stretch routine and special equipment have helped him achieve a new level of physical health. He has arthritis in some of his joints, including one of his elbows and one of his knees. He is allergic to maple syrup on his skin (not when ingested), and he is "at least somewhat" lactose intolerant, which he also describes as a lactose sensitivity. He had a permanent retainer installed on his bottom teeth until it came loose and was removed in August 2013. Rhett also has sweaty palms that he previously treated with a prescription medication called Drysol. Rhett has a self-described form of synesthesia in which he associates musical sounds and some words with three-dimensional shapes; this manifested itself more prominently in childhood than adulthood. He also appears to have grapheme-color synesthesia, in which he associates numbers with colors. Rhett is afraid of heights. He considers himself "a little bit of a hypochondriac," as is his mother and brother, and often Google searches medical conditions.
Link has recurring cold sores and has suffered from effects of TMJ disorder in his jaw. He has also acknowledged having anxiety, anal-retentiveness, and behaviors similar to Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). He is near-sighted with astigmatism and got his first pair of glasses in 2006, at age 28. As of 2018, he has had at least 7 pairs of glasses in total. More recently, he has discussed having lingering shoulder issues that may be hereditary but was exacerbated by his sleeping position; he has treated it with physical therapy, regular exercise, and the occasional steroid shot. Link is also very squeamish around blood and once fainted into his father-in-law's arms after accidentally cutting his finger. He talks in his sleep.
They both underwent procedures for vasectomies in August 2017; in fact, they were each present in the room for the other's vasectomy. The whole process was filmed for an episode of Good Mythical Morning and referred to as the "brosectomy."
Rhett's favorite movie is Pulp Fiction.
In addition to guitar, Rhett can play piano with enough proficiency to aid in writing songs. In 2018, in anticipation of performing a live concert at VidCon London, Rhett decided to learn piano more earnestly and played it throughout the rest of the Rhett & Link Live concert tour. In addition to recorder and trumpet, Link can play the harmonica.
After filling a survey test online, Link was found to be 35% left-handed. He naturally holds microphones, holds his phone, and texts all with his left hand. Rhett is 0% left-handed.
Rhett and Link have never punched each other in the face.
Rhett and Link grew up as evangelical Christians and worked extensively with Christian organizations in the past, including working for Campus Crusade for Christ and playing the Fabulous Bentley Brothers for a children's Bible education series on Jelly Telly. However, their faiths have evolved and they no longer identify as evangelical Christians. They also stated in the past that they prefer to keep their religious beliefs separate from their Rhett and Link-branded work, as their main goal is only to entertain and make people laugh.
Rhett has stated that he wants to be cremated when he dies, with half his ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean and half spread in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Link is interested in a biodegradable burial.
ADULTHOOD - NORTH CAROLINA
Rhett and Link both attended college at North Carolina State University, where they were roommates for all four years and resided in room #24 of Syme Dorm when they lived on campus. They remain fans of the NC State Wolfpack sports teams. They originally wanted to attend film school at University of North Carolina - Asheville but were convinced by Rhett's father to pursue a more practical field.
They attended NC State at the same time as now-celebrity TV host Jill Wagner, whom they only knew as "Ms. Perfect" from seeing her around campus. They finally met and talked to her when she agreed to be a guest on The Mythical Show in 2013.
Link has stated that his most embarrassing moment happened in college after showering in the gym, as he was getting re-dressed. He bent over to put on his clothes and accidentally pressed his naked buttocks firmly into the back of a shirtless man sitting behind him. Their eyes met before Link was able to fully dress and flee. This remains his most embarrassing moment.
Link worked at IBM for a semester in 1998, while a junior in college, as part of a co-op program. This delayed his graduation date until the year after Rhett graduated. Link would later work at IBM full-time after graduating. Rhett didn't do the co-op program, but he worked for a summer at Black & Veatch, which would later become his post-graduation employer.
On January 8, 1999, at the age of 20, Link had a snowboarding accident that left him with a broken pelvis and a severe concussion that impaired his memory of the event and surrounding timeframe: He lost 8 hours of memory. Immediately after the accident, as a result of the concussion, Link began repeating, "Hold on...I'm just coming to. Evidently I've hurt my left hip" as he continually forgot and re-discovered his injury. Rhett wrote down the full story and later made it available for download.
About a month later, Rhett also suffered a concussion from a snowboarding accident. As he continually came to, he said, "Hey, what is the status of me and Jessie Lane's relationship?" He and Jessie were not even dating at the time.
During college, Rhett spent a summer in Slovakia. He has stated he was there to teach English, specifically "working at an English teaching camp" (BOM 144). In an Ear Biscuits episode, Link said that Rhett was in Slovakia at the same time that Link's then-girlfriend Christy (now his wife) was spending the summer on the west coast; in the Book of Mythicality, Link says this was "the summer after our junior year of college" (BOM 142).
Link began dating Christy in his sophomore year of college; she was attending Meredith College, an all-girls school near NC State. They dated for about a year and a half before Link proposed. He had planned to propose about two weeks after Christy came back from her summer trip to the west coast so that he could buy a ring, but he was unable to wait and proposed the night that she returned. They married at the end of May 2000. The wedding ring Link wears is the one that belonged to his grandfather, Clyde, who passed away in 1998 from complications associated with emphysema.
Rhett met his now-wife Jessie when she was a senior in high school and he was a junior in college (BOM 138). Their first semi-dating experience at a Valentine's Day banquet did not go well, but by the next year (once Jessie was in college), they were dating seriously. Rhett and Jessie became engaged when Jessie was only 19 years old (BOM 144). They married on June 2, 2001.
After Link got married and began living with Christy, Rhett purchased an apartment in Raleigh that he both lived in and rented out to numerous roommates, presumably until he married Jessie.
During the second half of the year 2000, Rhett served as a staff columnist for NC State's student newspaper, Technician. He wrote about topics ranging from religious themes and marriage to childhood friend Ben Greenwood.
After graduating, Link went on to work for IBM redesigning the production line at a refurbishing facility. Rhett worked for a company called Black & Veatch designing underground systems for power plants. Rhett was eventually laid off when the company had to downsize following the Enron Corporation scandal, although he had already been planning to resign to pursue full-time work with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Rhett has two children. His son Locke was born in 2004, and son Shepherd was born in 2008. They are not named after LOST characters, as many have speculated. Rhett previously served as assistant men's basketball coach for his son's first-grade team.
Rhett has stated that his most embarrassing moment happened in Kentucky, prior to the birth of either Shepherd or Lincoln, at a gas station when he tried to force entry into a minivan that he thought was Link's rental; he believed Link was toying with him and locking him out of the car. It turned out to be the van of a mother with her children in the car, who were all terrified as Rhett demanded to be let in. This remains his most embarrassing moment to date.
Rhett and Link began considering working in comedic entertainment very shortly after graduating college and beginning their engineering jobs, after writing and performing an original comedic song at the wedding rehearsal dinner of their friend Greg. On the way home afterward, Jessie and Christy encouraged Rhett and Link to find other avenues for performing their music, which kick-started their pursuit of it.
After about 2 years working as engineers, Rhett and Link quit their careers and joined the Campus Crusade for Christ's MidSouth Headquarters as full-time staff ("videographers/speakers/lounge singers") in an outreach missionary role, using this time to expand their skills and experience as entertainers. They worked for Campus Crusade for 3 years, between 2003 and 2006 [EB 226, 41:30].
Rhett and Link started their YouTube main channel in 2006, after someone uploaded their "Pimp My Stroller" video to YouTube and it received more views than on Rhett and Link's website. They then formed their Internetainment business, originally called RhettandLinKreations, in early 2007. Their original filming studio was in an "undisclosed basement location" in Lillington, North Carolina.
In 2007, Rhett and Link were selected as co-hosts for the show Online Nation on the CW, along with Stevie Ryan and Joy Leslie. Due to the fact Online Nation was filmed in California, Rhett and Link left their jobs at Campus Crusade for Christ to pursue this opportunity, which they viewed as a big break (prior to revealing their missionary work, they had claimed they quit their engineering careers in order to serve as hosts). This marked the beginning of their full-time pursuit of entertainment and online content. The show was promoted as an interactive show that would select and air Internet videos within the TV format. The show only aired four episodes before being canceled in October.
In October 2007, Rhett was caught on Google Street View on the front porch of his house in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. The image is no longer available in Google Maps; the section of the map where Rhett's former house is located can no longer be accessed in Street View at all.
Following Online Nation's cancellation and without full-time jobs, Rhett and Link began seeking sponsors for their online videos and got their first paid Internetainment work making "The Cornhole Song," a video sponsored by AJJCornhole. They were paid an initial $2,000 to make the video and $20 for every 1,000 views for 2 years after publication, with the video receiving millions of views. They also began the RhettandLinKast Live podcast series in December 2007.
Starting in 2006, Rhett and Link worked on a film documentary that was released in 2008 to film festivals and 2009 to DVD as Looking for Ms. Locklear, a documentary about reconnecting with their first-grade teacher without use of the Internet to track her down. It won several awards and was an official selection at numerous film festivals, mainly in the southeast region.
In 2009, Rhett and Link started a project sponsored by Microbilt called I Love Local Commercials. This began their foray into producing over-the-top cheesy local commercials and resulted in viral videos for The Red House furniture store, Butt Drugs pharmacy, and others.
Also in 2009, Rhett and Link rebranded their company to Rhett and Link, Inc.
Rhett and Link each have a tattoo on their right buttocks of their respective wives' names. They received them in 2010 as part of their experience making a commercial for True Blue Tattoo parlor. In 2014, Rhett had his tattoo minutely updated by reinforcing the dot in the "i" in Jessie's name.
In the spring of 2010, Rhett and Link moved out of the undisclosed basement location in Lillington -- the address of which they then disclosed as 19 East Front Street, Lillington, NC -- and into a building in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. They named the new studio the Kave and remained there until 2011.
On January 3, 2011, Rhett and Link began the talk-show style series Good Morning Chia Lincoln. This became the precursor to their hugely successful Good Mythical Morning show, which would start the next year.
ADULTHOOD - CALIFORNIA
In 2010/2011, Rhett and Link made a pilot for IFC that was green-lighted and became the show Rhett and Link: Commercial Kings. As a result of this, they moved with their wives and children to the Los Angeles area of California in March 2011. Just the two of them undertook a 6-day Mythical Road Trip across the U.S. and met up with Mythical Beasts on their journey to California. Commercial Kings built on Rhett and Link's previous success with producing bizarre and humorous commercials for local businesses; the show resulted in the hugely viral Nope...Chuck Testa commercial and subsequent Internet meme. Commercial Kings aired for one season, from June 24, 2011 to August 26, 2011.
After moving to California, Rhett and Link began the series Good Mythical Morning on January 9, 2012. GMM has evolved into their most successful and popular Internetainment endeavor to date, with more than 16 million subscribers to the GMM channel.
In June 2012, Rhett and Link returned to North Carolina to give the commencement speech at Harnett Central High School, the same high school from which they graduated.
In 2013, Rhett and Link moved out of their shed studio in Rhett's backyard and into a full studio building in Burbank, California.
Merle Haggard has been both Rhett and Link's favorite singer and idol since middle school, when Rhett discovered a compilation cassette in his father's collection that included "Okie from Muskogee." At the end of 2013, their wives bought them tickets to a Merle Haggard concert, along with an opportunity to meet Merle briefly just before the concert. The experience was not quite as expected, but they finally got to meet their hero. In December 2014, they got another chance to meet Merle, this time spending some "quality time" with him.
Along with their wives, they each submitted DNA samples to the service 23andMe in 2014 and had their genes analyzed, including both ancestral and health information. Link was found to be 99.9% European, (63.9% British and Irish), while Rhett is 98% European with 1.3% Sub-Saharan African DNA.
Rhett and Link were both again caught on Google Street View in 2015, this time in the Los Angeles area of California. It's unclear if they are aware of this, as the image was discovered by a Mythical Beast.
In 2015, Rhett and Link moved out of the first Burbank studio and into another studio building, still in Burbank. At some point in late 2014/early 2015, they also rebranded their company into Mythical Entertainment.
After holding out for many years, Link and his family adopted a puppy named Jade in the summer of 2015. Jade is an English long-haired miniature dachshund. Rhett stated that the McLaughlin family would follow suit and get a dog in 2016, which was fulfilled in February, when the McLaughlins adopted a Maltese mix puppy named Barbara.
Rhett and Link partnered with the new subscription service YouTube Red in 2016 to create the series Rhett and Link's Buddy System, an eight-episode scripted comedy series featuring an original song with accompanying music video integrated into each episode. The series emerged as one of the most successful endeavors on the YouTube Red platform at the time, reaching the #1 spot in digital series in March 2017, according to Parrot Analytics. Buddy System was renewed for a second season that premiered on YouTube Red on November 29, 2017.
In August 2017, Mythical Entertainment was re-branded simply to Mythical, just prior to the start of GMM Season 12.
In early 2017, Rhett and Link announced The Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery. It was officially released on October 10, 2017. In its first week of public sales (the week ending October 14, 2017), Rhett and Link's Book of Mythicality reached #1 on The New York Times's Best Sellers list for Advice, How-To, & Miscellaneous. Rhett and Link were first notified of this accomplishment in the middle of a Facebook livestream about the book.
The book's release was accompanied by a touring music and comedy show called the "Tour of Mythicality" spread over several months in 2017; it was Rhett and Link's first-ever live touring event as professional entertainers. They expanded the Tour of Mythicality to Australia for 3 shows in July 2018, in addition to adding 3 shows in northeast North America in November 2018.
Link's hair began going naturally gray sometime in his 30s. In 2017, he revealed he had been coloring his gray hair for at least 5 years to cover it up but that he would stop doing so and let his gray hair show.
Also premiering in late 2017 (November 6, 2017), toward the end of Season 12, was the expansion of Good Mythical Morning into four daily episodes that totaled approximately 22 minutes, made in partnership with YouTube and brand advertisers. It was unofficially referred to as "GMM 22." The expanded show was reported as being "more like late-night TV" and described by Rhett and Link as not only a way to expand their brand but also a means to illustrate the YouTube/digital realm as a legitimate space for content and advertisers. Starting in Season 13, the number of daily videos was reduced to 3. GMM returned to its classic format of 1 episode per day followed by Good Mythical More starting in Season 14.
Rhett began going to therapy in late 2017 and has since become an advocate for using therapy as a mental health aid, speaking publicly about it regularly. He expressed being overworked in the year 2017, which led to such high stress and physical symptoms that his wife told him he needed to go to therapy for help.
Rhett revealed near the end of 2017 that he was invited to audition for the role of Taserface in the hit Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Despite the fact that Rhett and Link don't typically go on auditions or perform separately, Rhett went through with the audition and was received very well, ending up part of a candidate group narrowed down to just 3 people. Due to Rhett and Link's time constraints and their desire to still work as a duo, Rhett ultimately did not move forward any further with the audition process.
In July 2018, Link discussed in depth the fact that his grandfather and namesake, Charles Lincoln Neal, Sr., was declining in health. Link's paternal grandparents were instrumental in helping to raise him as a child, and he described his Papa as being his hero. Although Link didn't state the exact timeframe, he confirmed that his grandfather passed away shortly after.
In July 2019, Rhett and Link revisited significant locations from their childhood in the Buies Creek area. The trip included renewing their iconic blood oath in the same location where it was originally made. This visit was filmed and released as a 3-part documentary on the GMM channel in November 2019.
Believing his family to be Scottish in origin, Rhett planned and took his whole family—including his parents, his brother's family, and his own family—on an ambitious trip around Scotland in the summer of 2019. Although the trip was meaningful for his family and largely a success (minus his mom's broken ankle), Rhett realized afterward that his family is probably Irish in origin.
As part of his continuing journey of self-reflection and growth, Rhett decided around September 2019 to change his physical appearance for the first time in nearly a decade by growing out his hair and beard as he practices a new mantra of "be in the heart."
Rhett and Link released their first fiction novel, The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek, on October 29, 2019. In its first week of public sales (the week ending November 2, 2019), the novel reached #9 on the New York Times's Best Sellers list for Hardcover Fiction and #13 for Combined Print & E-Book Fiction. Rhett and Link were notified in a phone call from their publisher.