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April Fooled

By Shamus
on Tuesday Apr 1, 2008
Filed under:


Right now on the YouTube front page, every single one of the featured videos links to the same Rickroll. The videos themselves have thumbnails that indicate they are really something else, which means this can only be a practical joke on the part of YouTube. (That is, different thumbnails and descriptions, linking to the same video with the same ID. That’s not normally possible.)

As an aside, I’ve always wondered if Rick Astley knew that his 80’s pop song has become the payload for an internet meme / prank, and what his reaction was. Turns out he’s a really good sport about it:

In a March 2008 interview, Astley said that he found the rickrolling of Scientology to be “hilarious”; he also said that he will not try to capitalize on the rickroll phenomenon with a new recording or remix of his own, but that he’d be happy to have other artists remix it. Overall, Astley is fine with the phenomenon, although he finds it a little “bizarre” and only hopes that his daughter receives no embarrassment over it


Comments (28)

  1. Snook says:

    Saw this yesterday night (I stay up late…) and I was shocked, to say the least.

    It’s nice to see that Astley’s happy with it, if I were in his shoes I’d have the same reaction.

  2. Markus says:

    Hmm, I’ve never managed to hear about rickrolling until about a week ago and none of my friends have either. Maybe it’s because whole Finland has been emotionally mutilated by these two examples of 70s disco:

  3. Nilus says:

    For some more April fools fun check out the new products at Thinkgeek


    The Youtube Tazer is great, so is the Betamax to HD-DVD converter.

  4. Sharpie says:

    Yeah, the Darths and Droids one got me good. It was only about 10 minutes later when the light came on in my head that I caught on.

    That one was rough. The Youtube one is highly unoriginal and disappointing. Google’s Mars Colony prank is interesting, but not the best one either.

  5. Snook says:

    If anyone has gone to http://www.xkcd.com lately, you’ll notice it’s… not. Try clicking on the main banner, it’s a neat little ring. Also, http://www.vgcats.com went ahead and messed with its readers as well. That’s all I’ve found so far.

  6. henebry says:

    What’s interesting about the YouTube one is the titles and stills chosen for the prank. They’re all fakes, and they must represent what the folks at YouTube consider to be a representative sample of stuff that’s popular on the site:

    cute pet videos, dad snoring, embarrassing teachers, bikini-clad women, etc.

  7. Phlux says:

    The username for the youtube video is YTRickRollsYou

    Also, the Darths and Droids thing totally got me this morning. I wasn’t quite awake yet, so the april fools thing didn’t quite sink in until a little later.

  8. Clint says:

    Also, the Wizards of the Coast main D&D site has an amusing theme today.


  9. C. says:

    Snook@5: if you then try to go to the website that xkcd redirects to, it’ll redirect you again, and then that one will redirect. it’s a ring of redirect!

  10. AstroBoy says:

    It’s the 2nd of April in Australia atm. Everything is so stuffed up. I do like Darths and Droids’ author’s foresight to release the joke a day late (for him).

  11. BlackJaw says:

    The web game Urban Dead is doing a Facebook parody today. You can be friends with a zombie, or join various random groups, etc. The game screen looks like the feed off a facebook site.

  12. Rask says:

    After you led me to the YouTube April Fool’s, I saw a video on the main page that I actually wanted to see. So, I searched for it, watched it, then followed a link after to watch a related video. In the related video, they had the music from Marble Madness, and someone had commented that there might be a Chili Peppers cover of the song.

    So, I went over to Seeqpod.com to look for the song, put in a search, and guess what the first result was?


  13. Jeremiah says:

    Personally, I’m pretty excited about Google’s new Custom time.

  14. cheesemaster says:

    @Astroboy: Nup, he uploads the comics at 11 PM in his timezone. So it was still April 1st when he up’d it.

    It is a little weird getting April fools stuff on the second (due to being Aussie), though.

  15. ArchU says:

    I often get caught by these gags because, like cheesemaster (EDIT: and AstroBoy!), I’m in a time zone approximately 12 hours ahead of the US and Canada, where most of the best internet pranking is done. By the time the joke appears, All Fools Day is long over in this part of the world ^_^;

  16. Avaz says:

    I feel like a jackass. Here I thought Google’s reversing of time and Darths and Droids and a couple other stuff was all real.

    It didn’t occur to me that today is April 1st until I read this post.

    D’oh! hehe


  17. Craig says:

    This is the most elaborate april fool’s day prank I have ever seen. I almost wanted to believe it before realizing what a terrible idea a Zelda movie would be.


  18. ngthagg says:

    I watched the zelda trailer. I’d watch that movie.

  19. Plasma says:

    I particularly like Blizzard’s StarCraft II announcement, at http://starcraft2.com/features/terran/taurenmarine.xml

    The best part is, it looks like they may have actually made the unit in the engine, which means it could actually wind up being available via cheats or the editor (the editor previously having been confirmed to have most of the units that they create, whether or not they wind up making it into the final game).

  20. James says:

    BBC’s North West Tonight actually did a short feature on RickRolling, as he came from up North. (That’s in England)

  21. Phlux says:

    Nobody would ever make a Zelda movie that was so authentic. Link would be a girl played by the winner of America’s Next Top Model, Zelda would be her forbidden lesbian lover, who was betrothed to Gannon in an arranged marriage in an attempt to unite the forces of Wisom and Power.

    The force of Courage would be represented by Linkette’s determination to convince the king to allow gay marriage so that she and Zelda can finally be together.

    There would be no Triforce or Hero of Time. Epona would get a cameo as the horse who pulls Zelda’s carriage. Link, instead, would cruise around on a medieval steam-powered motorcycle.

    The end of the movie will pretty much be a rip-off of the Princess Bride, where Gannon forces the King to rush through the wedding, then Link, having escaped from the Dungeon of Doom, bursts in at the last moment to do a lesbian make-out scene with Zelda, while her friends the Gorons and their cousin The Thing from the Fantastic Four movies crash through the walls, chasing off Gannon, and allowing Link and Zelda to ride off into the sunset.

    The Thing becomes the new Dread Pirate Roberts.

  22. Deoxy says:


    Your understanding of the Hollywood “mind” (if you can really call it that) is frightening.

  23. Blurr says:

    Wizards did some great stuff with the next edition of DnD that day:


  24. Darci says:

    as soon as I found this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.

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