This Thanksgiving, millions of Americans enjoyed their turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and an additional, surprise side dish: a Rickroll.
At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ’80s musician Rick Astley performed his very own Rickroll, the internet meme in which a video link is provided, but the expected content is redirected to the video for Astley’s first pop hit, "Never Gonna Give You Up."
On Thursday morning, as the float for the Cartoon Network show Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends pulled up to the cameras, an announcer said that the show’s characters — Bloo, Eduardo, Wilt, Fluffer Nutter, Jackie Khones and Cheese, among others — would sing "Best Friend" (popularized by the TV show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father) and be joined by a "special musical surprise."
Sure enough, the colorful characters were interrupted in their singing by the familiar opening notes to "Never Gonna Give You Up" as Astley himself — in a long black coat and gloves — walked out lip synching, smiling and dancing. By the end of the bit, the character Cheese (known for blurting out inane comments or non sequiturs) declared, "I like Rickrolling!"
Check out the Thanksgiving Rickroll below:
Since I was on the West Coast, I learned of the live Rickroll via East Coasters on Twitter. This was actually fortunate since I had no previous plans to watch the parade. So instead, I recorded it on my DVR and later fastforwarded it to the 1:50 mark to catch the goodness. Awesome.
Not everyone loves Rickrolling, and even I admit that it has been overdone. I have a particular fondness for Astley though, beginning way back when "Never Gonna Give You Up" wasn’t so ironic. I absolutely loved that video growing up. Here was this goofy, redheaded Brit who couldn’t dance, singing this infectious pop song with an incredibly rich voice.
My best friend and I became immediate fans, bought several of his albums and I even quoted the lyrics to one of his songs in my maid of honor speech at her wedding. Uh, yeah … we’re dorks. But hey, it’s all in good fun, and so far, Astley has let this strange little phenomenon run its course. The Thanksgiving appearance was the first time he really actively participated in Rickrolling.
I’m still trying to figure out who thought of the idea — was it the Turner Networks, of which Cartoon Network is a part? And why pair it with Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends? Astley’s daughter is 16, so he probably didn’t do it for her.
What did you think of the Thanksgiving surprise? What’s your take on Rickrolling?