Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, the co-founders behind the formative YouTube let’s play and sketch comedy channel, Smosh, broke the internet with the surprising announcement that they bought their old channel back from fellow comedic YouTubers Rhett & Link.
Padilla and Hecox announced their return to their collective brainchild in typical YouTuber fashion: with a video titled “WE BOUGHT SMOSH!” In the video, Padilla and Hecox not only revealed that they were able to make Smosh independent by acquiring it back for an undisclosed amount of cash, but that they’ll also be returning to both onscreen and behind-the-scenes work producing more sketch comedies across Smosh’s three YouTube channels. You can check out their announcement video below.
“After months of negotiating and deliberating on whether this was a good idea or not, today, Anthony and I can say officially that we own Smosh,” Hecox said in their announcement video.
As reported by Variety, Smosh was acquired by Rhett & Link through their production company, Mythical Entertainment, four years ago. Prior to that, Smosh was bought in 2011 by the now-defunct Defy Media. In the announcement video, Padilla said that under Defy’s ownership, the quality and scale of videos on the channel increased; however, Padilla also felt that the company’s “goals for Smosh were just too different from my own,” and left him little time to craft the sketches he and Hecox had used to make. And sketches, Padilla said, are what “made Smosh Smosh.” This led to Padilla leaving Smosh to become an independent creator on his own YouTube channel.
“Ian & Anthony, the original founders of Smosh, have reunited and bought back the wildly popular brand they founded 18 years ago!” Rhett & Link wrote on Twitter. “We are extremely proud of everything we and Ian accomplished during our time working together, and will continue to be fans and friends to Smosh as they enter this new era!”
Kotaku reached out to Anthony Padilla for comment.
Fellow Youtubers like Jessica Nigri, Jacksepticeye, and Game Grumps’ Arin Hanson congratulated Padilla and Hecox for their return to their YouTube brain-child online with replies saying “nature is healing” because the “boys are back.”
“What an insane day. Can’t wait for you to see what we’ve got coming up,” Padilla wrote on his personal Twitter account yesterday. “Pure joyful absurdity.”