Welcome to Washington, Rick Astley! In the midst of the cantankerous debate over the debt ceiling, the White House decided to have a little fun with one bored constituent on Wednesday (July 27) by … Rickrolling him.
David Wiggs, an “energy tech enthusiast” from Tennessee, voiced his blah reaction to a Twitter town hall event, saying “This WH correspondence briefing isn’t nearly as entertaining as yesterday’s.”
Within minutes, the official @whitehouse Twitter replied (see above) with an apology to Wiggs, adding, “Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes. Here’s something more fun.” The link that followed was that old chestnut of online pranks, the beyond cheesy and decidedly uncool video for Astley’s chart-topper ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’
‘Never’ spent 23 weeks on the Hot 100 in 1987 and 1988, hitting the top spot. Rickrolling the meme got its start ten years later when Internet users started pulling a bait and switch on friends by claiming to list a relevant link to something but instead it takes you to Astley’s dance moves.
The bit-of-fun rattled some Twitter users and earned coverage by The Drudge Report, The Hill and The New York Times, but Wiggs was happy with his flash of notoriety even though someone spoiled it for him.
“Had best laugh of the week,” he wrote. “Unfortunately someone had already told me what it was before I hit the link. Could have been funnier.”