The pair purchased the property from Rhett & Link.
Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla have announced they’ve bought back Smosh from fellow YouTubers Rhett McLaughlin and Link O’Neal – better known as the hosts of Good Mythical Morning. The news was shared on June 20, 2023, six years after Anthony left the channel over what he called a loss of creative inspiration.
We sold Smosh.
Ian & Anthony, the original founders of Smosh, have reunited and bought back the wildly popular brand they founded 18 years ago! We are extremely proud of everything we and Ian accomplished during our time working together, and will continue to be fans and… pic.twitter.com/TbAnEsVA2X
— Rhett & Link (@Mythical) June 20, 2023
Writing on Twitter, Rhett and Link said:
“Ian & Anthony, the original founders of Smosh, have reunited and bought back the wildly popular brand they founded 18 years ago! We are extremely proud of everything we and Ian accomplished during our time working together, and will continue to be fans and friends of Smosh as they enter this new era!
“We acquired Smosh 4 years ago in the first creator-to-creator acquisition of its kind – a huge moment in Mythical’s history. We couldn’t think of a more perfect outcome on our investment than selling Smosh back to the internet’s other iconic best-friend duo. It’s another pioneering first in the creator economy and a validation of our belief that creator-entrepreneurs play a huge role in the future of entertainment.”
Smosh began in 2002 as a website established by Anthony. He and Ian turned it into a YouTube channel three years later, where they amassed a following with their lip sync videos and comedy sketches.
In 2011, the pair sold the property to Defy Media, under which they continued to expand the brand to include a mobile phone game and the feature-length film Smosh: The Movie (2015). They released the YouTube Red original Ghostmates a year later.
Anthony left Smosh in 2017 and went on to host the popular interview series I Spent A Day With…, which has featured such guests as Kris Tyson, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, Daniel Howell and Michael Stevens of VSauce.
Following the collapse of Defy Media, Smosh was purchased by Rhett and Link’s Mythical Entertainment, under which it’s run since 2019. Under the Mythical umbrella, Ian and the crew behind Smosh’s other channels – Smosh Pit, SmoshCast, ElSmosh and Smosh Games – have been able to continue growing the brand, which has amassed millions of subscribers.
According to Ian, after he and Anthony rekindled their relationship, he asked on a whim if his former comedy partner and best friend would be interested in buying back Smosh. Anthony agreed, and with assistance from Breeze Financial, the pair were able to make their dream a reality.
Along with announcing the news on Smosh’s main channel, Anthony and Ian also filmed an episode of I Spent a Day With…, in which the pair deep dived into what happened between them, their issues with Defy Media and what led to their re-connecting.
Under the new agreement, Rhett and Link will remain minority stakeholders, operating in an advisory capacity. All Smosh channels will remain active, with familiar faces Damien Haas, Courtney Miller and Shayne Topp remaining with the team.
“The spirit of buying Smosh is sort of mirrored in the spirit of selling Smosh,” Rhett told Variety. “Neither of these opportunities was something we were actively pursuing. We always secretly hoped they would get back together… We have a soft spot for internet duos.”
Link added, “I feel like the four years we’ve had Smosh under our wing and, literally, under our roof was preparation of this… Their fans always wanted to see them get back together. But we weren’t, as the owners of Smosh, going to push that.”
At present, the plan is for Ian and Anthony to release a new comedy sketch on the main Smosh channel every two weeks, with content remaining the same on the brand’s side channels.
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