Spectators of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today (November 27) found themselves watching a formerly Internet-based prank, though many may not have even realized it.
The prank involves baiting others on the Internet to follow a link to something they supposedly would find interesting. When they click the link, they are directed to a video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
It’s called “Rickrolling” and has become a popular Internet joke.
This past April Fools’ Day, YouTube pointed the links of every video on their home page to the Astley music video, effectively Rickrolling hundreds of thousands of users.
During this year’s parade, the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends float promised a special musical presentation.
The puppets on the float began singing a nondescript children’s song before being abruptly cut off mid-song.
Suddenly the intro to “Never Gonna Give You Up” began to play, and Astley himself appeared on the float and began singing his most famous single.
And, thus, everyone watching the parade was Rickrolled.