By: Kara Gilmour - Staff Writer
Published: Apr 13, 2021

Legislative Prank Internet Sensation Prompts Rick Astley’s 1987 Video

It’s been dubbed as a legislative prank that’s now a big Internet sensation. The prank is a video featuring Rick Astley’s 1987 hit Never Gonna Give You Up. Lawmakers in Oregon are the star of the Internet prank from speeches on the House floor.

They did it right under the noses of colleagues, journalists, lobbyists, staff and the public. The video was released on April Fool’s Day and went viral this week. It has attracted more than 805,000 views and comments from fans cheering the politicians eager to have a little fun while doing the people’s business.

The mastermind is Rep. Jefferson Smith, a 37-year old Portland Democrat. He said he wants to drive people to politics instead of driving them away with partisan venom. Smith and about 11 other politicians managed to slip lyrics from Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up into their speeches while discussing politics with their colleagues on the House floor.

Speaking about why he initiated the prank, Smith said, “It’s a friendly, positive, bipartisan thing. And I think at a time when there is so much vinegar spilled and spats in national politics, it strikes a little bit of a chord.” Rick Astley recorded “Never Gonna Give You Up” on his 1987 album Whenever You Need Somebody. The song, his solo debut single, was a number one hit on several international charts, including the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and UK Singles Chart.

Here’s the video that’s now an Internet sensation.


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