In 2006, Erik Helwig created the Rickroll. Maybe. Over at MEL Magazine, Brian VanHooker's "An Oral History of Rickrolling" takes us back to a time when the worst of the weaponized Internet memes were those created by advertising agencies, not corrupt politicians and warmongers. And if you're curious what I mean by that, watch the rather shocking video above. From MEL:
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Erik Helwig, founder of Rickrolling (maybe): This was small-town, rural Michigan and there was this radio program called the Postgame Show that covered local sports. People would call in and say stuff like, “My son Christopher played on the team tonight, and he did a real great job!” Stuff like that, so my friends and I started pranking it and the calls started getting weirder and weirder. We’d call in and talk about our favorite Nicolas Cage movies and other weird stuff like that. Then one day I called them and just played “Never Gonna Give You Up” on the air. I didn’t say anything, I just played the song. The host had absolutely no reaction to it, he didn’t say, “I’m being Rickrolled” or anything like that because it was before all that.
I don’t know if I want to call myself the “founder” of Rickrolling. That’s difficult for me because it was something that I did on a whim and later realized that I did this six months before anyone else, which I thought was cool, but that’s about it. I only picked that song because I really like the song — it’s a great 1980s song that’s fun to laugh at in the best way.
Rick Astley is getting around lately. We recently saw him on a Canadian morning show for a live, in-person rickroll. Now he's singing his 1987 hit song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," with Choir! Choir! Choir! in Toronto.
Here's what Choir! Choir! Choir! wrote about it:
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In March 2018, we made a video asking pop legend Rick Astley to come sing with us.
We just had a feeling it would be a perfect fit.
HE SHOWED UP two weeks later!!
And guess what?
We were right,
But it was even more incredible than we could have expected.
Rick looks and sounds better than ever.
He's back in a BIG way writing and performing all new material, Slaying it all over again.
He is the real deal, and always has been.
He also challenged another musician to come sing with us,
So look for that at the end of the video...
Rick is back on tour throughout the US right now, and his band is killer, So look out for him making his way to your town!
Now enjoy the best version of Never Gonna Give You Up EVER!
Rick Astley was waiting to be interviewed in the studio for the Canadian morning TV show Your Morning and decided to rickroll Brandon Gonez, the show's weather reporter, on air. At first, the "Never Gonna Give You Up" video started playing unexpectedly during the forecast, then Astley himself appeared. Gonez is apparently a fan of Mr. Astley and kind of freaked when the pop artist started dancing with him.
Here's what it looked like from behind the scenes:
Astley is currently on a short tour.
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