Not only do roosters have teeth, they have fans. At least online mega-presence RoosterTeeth.com does. Rooster Teeth, an entertainment company, focuses on animation, gaming, and comedy. More than 45 million subscribers follow it on YouTube, five million people visit RoosterTeeth.com monthly, and three million people participate as registered community members. A lot of them showed up for RTX Austin.
Rooster Teeth Experience (RTX) Austin brings together fans, celebrities, cosplayers, gaming companies, and a cornucopia of art, t-shirts, and you-name-it emblazoned with character and game images. This happy group took over the Austin Convention Center and several adjacent hotels, theaters, and random buildings around the city from August 3 to 5.
So, what are these people fans of? Rooster Teeth has produced some of the biggest online series in history. One of these takes the crown as the longest series on the interwebs: Red vs. Blue. They also created the animated series RWBY (pronounced “ruby”), the first Western anime series to be distributed in Japan. Their online channel includes animated and live-action shows, podcasts, game shows, gaming and entertainment news, and even a reality show. Recently, they ventured into new territory with a soon-to-be-released-theatrically feature film, Blood Fest.
The day before the official start of RTX, fans were already lined up at the pop-up store, The Coop (roosters, chickens – get it?). They waited in the 100-degree Austin sun for a chance to buy everything from koozies to elaborate statues based on themes from their favorite shows and games. As a special treat for attendees, the store featured work from pop artist Todd Francis and chainsaw sculptor Griffon Ramsey.
Opening night started with a showing of previews of new shows, a live gaming/comedy event called PLAY LIVE, and parties – lots of parties and a rave.
I’d describe Rooster Teeth fans as dedicated and enthusiastic. As I watched the previews, the fans would scream and cheer when their favorite actors appeared on screen. Roster Teeth draws on a stable of regular actors and talent developed over its 15-year history.
Comedy with Teeth
Previews included an Untitled Funhaus and Rooster Teeth Comedy Sketch Show and The Weird Place, an unscripted reality show produced in partnership with iconic artist collective Meow Wolf.
The sketch comedy was what Rooster Teeth refers to as immersive. Picture a man in a hospital as the sketch begins. Someone turns on the TV in the patient’s room. We get sucked into the TV and a parody of COPS called CUCKS.
Returning from that, the original story moves along. We see a photo on the front of an entertainment magazine. Then we find ourselves with an actor whose management team keeps trying to cast him as a pedophile. Back to the hospital, where a doctor emerges from the operating room. “This is difficult to say,” he says with a serious look, “because I just learned English this morning.”
The reality show involved a group of Rooster Teeth regulars playing Monopoly on a glammed-up, oversized Monopoly board customized with Rooster Teeth show names. The hook? They play for real U.S. dollars, not fake Monopoly money.
Rooster Teeth promotes RTX as “the place where gaming meets the internet.” It began in 2011 with 600 attendees, and has grown to last year’s crowd of 63,000. RTX has expanded in recent years, adding shows in London and Sydney. For more info, visit RTXAustin.com.
(Photos by author unless otherwise credited.)