Throwback Thursday: The Splendid Surprise of a Rick Astley Rickroll
Rickrolling, as defined by Wikipedia, is a prank involving an unexpected appearance of the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up."
What started as one of the earliest internet memes hit the mainstream in 2008 when Astley himself rickrolled the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade live on NBC, interrupting a performance from Cartoon Network's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
Protestors have since trolled the Church of Scientology, a flash mob once took over a London train station in the pop star's honor, and recently, Apple TV+'s Emmy-winning series Ted Lasso rickrolled an emotional funeral scene.
The phenomenon has helped to propel the official video, uploaded almost 12 years ago, to one billion lifetime YouTube views. According to Variety, "Never Gonna Give You Up" is only the fourth music video from the 1980s to join YouTube’s Billion Views Club, behind Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” A-ha’s “Take on Me,” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
We know the game and we're gonna play it.
Picture the scene at Petco Park in San Diego, California.
A beautiful Sunday afternoon... Over 38,000 baseball fans in attendance... The middle of the 8th inning... A one-run San Diego Padres lead over the beloved Boston Red Sox...
Typically at this point in this game, our Padres Productions team would do a bit called "8th Inning Karaoke." A virtual wheel was spun on the video board, and whichever song it landed on, fans were encouraged to sing along prior to the Padres' next at-bat.
Blink 182's "All the Small Things"
Taylor Swift's "Blank Space."
The Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup."
Red Sox Nation has their own adopted 8th inning song, and we decided to adopt it for ourselves--with a twist, of course.
Add in a spirited sell job by yours truly, and what you have is pure gold.
Red Sox Nation was had.
The Friar Faithful cheered.
The internet went wild.
News of the stunt earned millions of views, likes, comments, and shares, thanks to countless well-known news sources like ESPN's SportsCenter, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times... and of course, the Boston Globe.
I had so much fun with this, I ranked it as my number-one announcing moment of 2019. And in the true spirit of Rick Astley's hit song, Padres Productions never gonna let you down, Friar Faithful.
For more examples of in-stadium features played at Petco Park throughout the baseball season, including the HP Home Run Derby, click on Alex's Live TV & VO Demo.