Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Have you been “rick-rolled”?

April 2, 2008

youtube.jpgIn one of the more bizarre Internet phenomena to sweep the music world, 80s crooner Rick Astley has shot back into the headlines after years in obscurity thanks to millions of Web surfers being “rick-rolled”. For weeks now unsuspecting Internet users have clicked on enticing-looking links related to celebrities and instead been directed to a video of Astley performing his huge hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

It appears Youtube decided to get in on the joke, featuring a similar link on its main page on Tuesday, which just happened to be April Fools’ Day. (The image on this blog is a rather arbitrary snap of Youtube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Sorry, but our pictures archive did not feature Mr. Astley, although that may be about to change).

As many as 15 million people, among them me, have seen the flame-haired Briton strut his stuff as a result of the gag. Bloggers have written about being both irritated and impressed by the trick, but either way it has begun to spill over into the real world.

Astley’s record label has brought forward the re-release of his greatest hits by around two weeks to April 28 to try to cash in on the craze. Astley himself is not available to speak about it, although he did tell the LA Times recently how he found it ironic that a pop song which he himself describes as “pretty naff” has become a kind of cultural beacon, rather than a hit with an obvious political or social message.

If I am anything to go by, “rick-rolling” victims old enough to have been around in 1987, when the song was Britain’s biggest selling single, will be struggling to get the kitsch-yet-catchy tune out of their heads.


Heh, this has been going on closer to a year, and way more than 15 million people have been rickrolled.

Posted by Eric | Report as abusive

You forgot to mention that the rick-roll started on a popular image board website and was the successor to the less funny “duckroll”. I’m not making this up.


15 million referred to the you tube gag.

Posted by Rich | Report as abusive

Duckroll is indeed a true phenomenon, but not as popular as RICKROLL!!

here’s the duckroll: iU

Posted by Allison | Report as abusive

Rick Rolling is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a looong time. And even though I’m well away of it and have been looking out to not get Rick Rolled……I still fell for Allison’s link!!! Arrgh!! You got me!

Posted by Butch | Report as abusive

Pretty cute Allison! But here is an actual link to duckroll….

Posted by Rick | Report as abusive

Ah, I must admit, I was rickrolled. They actually got me via Confusion set in quickly, followed by laughter, dying down to general disappointedness as I realized what just happened. Got me!

Posted by Chels | Report as abusive

Okay, enough fooling around, everybody. This is a Rick-Roll: THIS is a Duck-Roll:

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

It should be noted that this phenomenon has been going on for more like six months or even a year or so – much longer then the article suggests. It’s just bigger now since YouTube has decided to get in on the Rick Rolling, but it’s been big for a while.

Posted by John McCartney | Report as abusive

ARGH!!!!! How did I actually fall for ALL of those links :P … you people make me cry.

Seriously… youtube Search – Duckroll there are some pretty good ones.

Posted by Gir | Report as abusive

Well apparently, Rick Astley isn’t the only former singer celeb being rolled. MC Hammer has now fallen victim to the craze, as people are now getting “HammerRolled”.

A website located at explains this version of the gold ‘ole Rick Roll.


yea just recently went on you tube got rolled and serched it up and i kinda like the song but its kinda annoying when you get the one that dances around the screen.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

don’t feel bad Gir, i fell for all of them as well.

Posted by Bryan | Report as abusive

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