You're innocently surfing the Web. Clicking on stuff. Sports scores, news stories. You know, normal things. Then it starts. A fusillade of electronic drums. A doinky synthesizer beat. A dude with a pompadour and a lot of sincerity. He's dancing--badly. He is 1980s pop star Rick Astley, and you have been RICKROLLED.
Rickrolling is an increasingly common online practical joke. The object is to trick people into clicking on a benign-looking link that takes them to the video for Astley's hit Never Gonna Give You Up. By now millions of people have inadvertently watched the video, which came out in 1987, a more innocent time when people actually listened to generic soft-core pop on purpose--the song went to No. 1.
Astley, who is currently on a 1980s revival tour with Bananarama and Cutting Crew, is reportedly bemused by the whole phenomenon, which continues to escalate. In April pranksters hijacked an online poll held by the Mets, resulting in the song being played at a Major League Baseball game, thereby effectively rickrolling thousands of unsuspecting fans and players. If Moises Alou isn't safe, who is?