This Day In Internet History – November 27, 2008: Thanksgiving Gets Rickrolled


Greetings, internet historians! You may remember a trend from the previous decade called “Rickrolling.” That’s right, I said “decade.” Yes, it seems like only yesterday that I attempted to open a video called Bert & Ernie Exclusive Kissing Footage, only to be cruelly redirected to footage of Rick Astley shimmying in front of a microphone. Alas, it was not yesterday. It was nine years ago today that Rickrolling reached its apogee.

The Main Event

On November 27, 2008, the man himself, Rick Astley, took the entire Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by surprise when he suddenly appeared on the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends float, singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” For one brief, wondrous moment, it was like the entire country had been duped into clicking a prank link.

If you listen closely, you can hear a monster yelling, “I like Rickrolling!” at the end of the video. Well, bud, that makes one of us.

A Brief History of Rickrolling

On July 27, 1987, Rick Astley blessed the world with a sorta-soulful-mostly-cheesy, VERY catchy pop song called “‘Never Gonna Give You Up”. It was the debut song from his debut album. Well, folks, it was a hit. The song raced up the charts and hit number one in 25 countries, including the United States and Astley’s native United Kingdom.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your musical tastes), it was Astley’s only smash hit.

After the 80s, the song largely disappeared — until 2007. That’s when some prankster at 4chan got ahold of it, attached it to a misleading link that redirected to the music video, and the Rickroll was born.

If you haven’t gotten it yet, Rickrolling means that someone sends you a link for something that you’d be interested in seeing. The link has a disguised URL, so you can’t tell that it’s not actually the video you thought you were going to see. When you click it, you’re taken to the Rick Astley video. Burn!

Yes, it’s stupid. Yes, it’s valueless. What do you want me to say? It’s the internet, dude.

It didn’t take long for Rickrolling to gain steam online. By April Fool’s Day, 2008, it was part of the mainstream. Quite a few media companies Rickrolled themselves that day, including YouTube, which Rickrolled ALL of its featured videos (remember featured videos?!). Furthering the phenomenon, a website named ComedyCalls provided a way for people to Rickroll their friends’ phones.

Only a few weeks later, it was reported by the BBC that about 13 million people had been Rickrolled. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Astley said, “I think it’s just one of those odd things where something gets picked up and people run with it. But that’s what’s brilliant about the internet.”

Proving he was a good sport about the whole thing, Astley leaned right into the unexpected resurgence of the song, and the meme, by pranking us all with the legendary Thanksgiving Day Rickroll.

At current count, “Never Gonna Give You Up” has 374,352,518 views on YouTube. We estimate 374,350,000 of those were Rickrolls.

Get Rickrolled

For your viewing pleasure, here are some of the best Rickrolls of all time. Feel free to use these links to trick your friends. They’ve probably forgotten all about this meme by now, so it’s the perfect time to pull one over on those unsuspecting idiots.

Chemistry class gets Rickrolled

Ted Cruz Rickrolls Trump

A literary Rickroll

The Foo Fighters Rickroll Westborough Baptist Church

Family Guy gets in on the action, as usual

Rick & Morty, too

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi pranks us with cats

And my personal favorite, the R2D2 Rickroll

Happy anniversary to the Thanksgiving Rickroll of 2008!

Pee-Wee Football Player Gets Pumped Up on the Sidelines

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

(Getty/master1305/Tom Briglia)

A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails


Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.


Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.


(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.


He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.


Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.


Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

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8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.