Retsupurae was created by slowbeef, a Something Awful user and moderator known for making some of the first Let’s Plays released in a video format. In 2007, slowbeef came across a Super Mario All-Stars: Super Mario Bros. 3 walkthrough video shared on the forums. Finding the video to be amusingly bad, slowbeef teamed up with fellow Something Awful user Sinix to film a running commentary reminiscent of Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the short playthrough of the Nintendo game. The video was greeted with warm reception on the Something Awful forums, in part due to slowbeef’s role as a prominent figure in the growing Let’s Play community. The response inspired slowbeef to create a YouTube channel for these videos in February 2008. The channel, started on February 21, was initially known as “retsupray” (not to be confused with the later backup account “Retsuplay”) and slowbeef enlisted other Goons from the Let’s Play subforum to help add commentary including proteus4994, Dave_O, Psychedelic Eyeball, Cherrydoom, and Diabetus, who has since co-starred in nearly every video and even hosted several of his own. The videos typically satirize common themes of Let’s Play web series, including bad video or audio quality, singing along with the video game’s music, deliberately exaggerated commentary, demonstrating a walkthrough with little-to-no-experience at the game, spouting memes for no reason, poor editing or zero editing, or redundant gameplay footage.
Though Retsupurae was greeted with praise on Something Awful, a number of YouTube users initially expressed disdain for the group’s critical videos. Many of these users were fans of the people who were riffed on, with some incorrectly stating that the Goons never made LPs of their own and YouTube was the original source of all LPs. Sometimes, the creators of the riffed LPs attack the videos, usually in the form of flaming in the comments.
As of April 2014, Retsupurae has more than 10,400 “Likes” on Facebook and over 15,200 followers on Twitter. Interestingly, a handful of YouTuber Let’s Players who have been riffed on have actually appreciated the parodies, including SSoHPKC, John CandyFortyFive, and ElectricalBeast.
Retsutalk is the official Retsupurae podcast hosted by both Slowbeef and Diabetus, occasionally others joining the conversation as well, in which they discuss gaming, certain gaming YouTubers, the gaming industry, conventions, and other topics that have to do with gaming. The show was launched on March 3, 2013, and is still ongoing today, with no set schedule for new episodes.