Today is the birthday of someone who has given so much to the interwebs and asked so little in return. A man whose music has led to one of the most enduring memes in history. Today, we celebrate the 46th birthday of Rick Astley.
Rick Astley, as you probably know, had a hit song in 1987 called “Never Gonna Give You Up.” This song, which was quite popular in its day, gained new life sometime around 2007 thanks you YouTube, 4chan, and a classic bait-and-switch prank.
The trick was pretty simple. Shorten a link to the Astley video to where it was unrecognizable, and pass it off as a link to whatever relevant topic is being discussed. For instance, one could post on Facebook “Check out this awesome salsa recipe http://tinyurl.com/28rdnbz.” And there you go. You’ve just Rickrolled your friends. Rickrolling became huge on the internet and eventually spread into mainstream pop culture. Last year, the White House even Rickrolled their Twitter followers. As of right now, the video sits at over 46 million views on YouTube.
Both YouTube’s Facebook and Google+ accounts have gotten in on the fun, Rickrolling an untold amount of people today.
Here’s the famous video for your viewing pleasure. And yes, I do mean pleasure because as one YouTuber put it, “after being rickrolled countless times. This song has sort of grown on me.”
I suggest that we all Rickroll our friends today. Just for old time’s sake. It might be an overused, nearly dead meme but damnit, who didn’t love this one? Good job, internets.