Thursday, April 17, 2008

You've Been Rickroll'd

If you haven't been Rickroll'd yet, or haven't seen exactly how amazing this phenomenon has gotten, then today is your lucky day. This post is dedicated entirely to the awesomeness of Rick Astley and his now infamous video.

To begin, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably rarely use the interwebs. And if you do, you probably never venture outside of the same five or six websites contained within your small sphere of comfort. Get out there and live a little, man!

Luckily for you, Life in the Shadows is one of your few websites, and we're here to make sure you get caught up on all the fun stuff happening in that crazy world wide web. So, where did the Rick Roll start? I'm glad you asked.

A brief history: Rickrolling began way back when young Richard Paul Astley got sick of hearing how great the Beatles were and decided to do something about it. In 1987 he released the single, "Never Gonna Give You Up" and a legend was born. The second British invasion had arrived, but the world had no idea exactly how far this would go. (For a full history of Rick Astley click here )

Meanwhile, back in the future around April 20, 2006 a man named "4Chan" thought he was clever and decided to try something. He invented a duck on wheels and gave that duck a website. Then he got all of his Chinese friends to help him make that duck famous. They did this by tricking people. Unsuspecting web surfers would think they were about to click a link relevant to the topic at hand, but would instead be sent to the duck. Hence, duckrolling was born. (For more on 4Chan and "duckrolling" click here. Also, props to Wikipedia for this information.)

By this time, many had forgotten the awesomeness of Rick Astley, as he had decided to retire after creating a masterpiece that could never be outdone. Not surprisingly, someone came up with the brilliant idea of merging a duckroll with Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Now we have the Rickroll, and your life will never be the same.

The Rickroll has truly become a widespread epidemic. At first it was a fun little prank between a few friends. Then on April Fool's Day of 2008, things started getting a little out of hand. Youtube linked all of their front page featured videos to the Rick Roll. Many other sites also participated in rickrolling their viewers (for a full list of sites who participated in the April 1, 2008 Rick Rolling click here)

Then came this little gem, when it was discovered that there was a long lost blooper reel from the Muppets. This video is simply amazing:

(side note: I love Beeker's moves when he says " to make you, understand...")

Now flashback to February 2008. Imagine you want to do a protest against a ridiculous religion. What do you think would be the best way to get your point across during your protest? That's right. A Rick Roll:

Now we're gonna flash back to the future again to March 2008. The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team is in a heated battle against... well, who cares. Suddenly a familiar tune breaks out over the loudspeakers. What's that? Oh yeah, that's right. A Rick Roll:

(DJ steals the show, imo)

In April 2008, the New York Mets had the brilliant idea of letting online voters decide which song should be played during their 8th inning sing-a-long at Shea Stadium. They also let the voters choose their own song. Gee, I wonder what could possibly happen here? Perhaps...maybe...a Rick Roll?

Rickroll Bonus: At Liverpool Street Station in London, hundreds decided to get together and perform what has been aptly dubbed the "Rickmob." Participating in a Rickmob has now joined my list of things to do before I die. Rickmob:

Obviously, Rickrolling is here to stay. If you come up with a good idea for a rickroll, be sure to videotape it and put it up on Youtube. It might make you famous. Also, if you come across any other great Rickrolls, be sure to add them to the comments here so that I can enjoy it as well.

Serious credits below:

Rick Roll Chart:


Chris said...


As I go through blog posts, I middle click just about every link. I didn't have my sound on, so I didn't realize that I had opened like 10 tabs of the same rick-rolled youtube video and was disappointed when I went to see the other sources you "cited" and found that I had been "rick-rolled" almost a dozen times.

I think you should probably give credit where credit is due though Art, so I'm going to go ahead and link to the original 4chan guy's site. 4chan's duckrolled site.

Chris said...

Ok, that was just mean and probably confusing.

In all seriousness though. If you want to learn more about rickrolling and it's predecessor duckrolling, I've written an extensive history of it over at my blog.

Rickrolling has been around for a while. If you visited the Casual Collective game site back in December, they were rick-rolling people as a joke left and right with fake links to new games.

Links to Duke Nukem forever teasers and such have been ripe for rick-rolling.

It's all in my post though,

Brian said...

I have to say it's a pleasure each and every time I get rickroll'd. Have you listened to the interview with Rick Astley about it? Since I'm too lazy to go and find it, just go to digg and search for the rick astley interview. It's not all that exciting, but it's funny to think about what he thinks about rickrolling. "Why my song?" he probably wonders.

@chris: not cool to post a comment to your own comment with another rickroll.

Arthur said...

Here's that interview from Digg (originally from LA Times/ Web Scout?). Nice find Brian!

Rick Astley Interview

I know you're scared to click that link. Trust me though, it's really not another Rick Roll. No, really.

Lee Ann said...

Here's an updated Rickroll that I found. Apparently the WWE was Rickroll'd!