The record-breaking digital series “Epic Rap Battles of History” created by Peter Shukoff (aka Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (aka EpicLLOYD), features comedic rap battles between historical and/or pop culture figures - such as Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking, James Bond vs Austin Powers, Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates and Jim Henson vs Stan Lee. The series, which airs on the YouTube channel /ERB, is currently the most viewed format on YouTube on a per episode basis. The series has garnered over 2.5 billion views and more than 14 million subscribers and has been nominated for numerous awards including the Emmys in 2016 & 2017.
Musician, comedian Nice Peter and actor, comedian, and emcee EpicLLOYD first met freestyling on a porch in Chicago. EpicLLOYD recruited Nice Peter to join the improv comedy group Mission IMPROVable, which he helped found at the University of Massachusetts and later expanded across the country. In 2009 the improv group began the M.i. Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica, CA and after separate moves to Los Angeles, Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD connected again in the comedy circuit performing at the club.
In 2010 Nice Peter, already a well-established YouTube personality, suggested that one of the live segments he, EpicLLOYD and MC Mr. Napkins (Zach Sherwin) were performing—an improv rap show that featured comedic, poignant altercations between two characters suggested by the audience—was better suited as a digital format. Tapping into his growing YouTube fan base, Nice Peter went to his channel subscribers for potential matchup ideas. Premiering on Nice Peter’s channel in September 2010 as “Epic Rap Battles of History,” John Lennon vs. Bill O’Reilly, the first battle in the series, was an instant hit. It was Episode #2 though, Adolf Hitler vs. Darth Vader that became a viral sensation—with now over 96 million views.
“Epic Rap Battles of History” has since featured appearances from hugely popular stars including Weird Al Yankovic, Snoop Dogg, T-Pain, Key & Peele, Rhett and Link, George Watsky and DeStorm Power, among others. In addition to the /ERB YouTube channel, the series’ behind-the-scenes channel /ERB2 features vlogs, bloopers, extra footage and more. The series has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Wired Magazine, Forbes.com, CNN.com, and The Huffington Post, among others, and generates an unprecedented average of 30 million views an episode.