Oregon Lawmakers 'Rickroll' Colleagues

By Michelle Amodio April 13, 2011

Dwight Eisenhower was right in saying that humor is part of the art of leadership.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, 12 lawmakers in the state of Oregon executed a plan to humor the masses using their colleagues in a video that has become a viral sensation. By utilizing the ever-famous “Rickroll” prank, an Internet meme that is really a bait and switch: a person provides a hyperlink that they claim is relevant to the topic at hand, but the link actually takes the user to the video of Rick Astley performing his one-hit wonder, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The lawmakers, however, took it a step further and, over the course of a year, slipped in lyrics from the song into their speeches on the house floor.

According to Yahoo News, Rep. Jefferson Smith (D) convinced a bipartisan group of colleagues to join him in reciting, piece by piece, the entire song in speeches during a special legislative session in February 2010. Because Oregon law requires that legislative proceedings be videotaped, the entire spectacle was secretly captured on tape. The clips were then cleverly edited together and the outcome was, in fact, the lyrics of the song tied together with the original pop hit video.

Smith said that this little prank helped “develop professional relationships” and was a “tiny spoonful of sugar to let the political medicine go down.”

The video opens with text that offers a similar explanation.

"In Oregon, the State House is tied with 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans," the text reads. "Fortunately, Oregon has a rich history of bipartisanship. This is one such example."

"It seemed non-time-consuming, funny and positive," Smith said. "Our country is facing some real partisan toxin. Any break from that seems not terrible."

Other members went along with the prank.

"It was fun," Sara Gelser, a Democrat from Corvallis said. "For five minutes I was cool.”

The video is posted on YouTube under the user LegislativeStudyGrp.

Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More

TMC Launches The New Intelligence - an Unparalleled AI and Machine Learning Conference & Expo in Florida

By: TMCnet News    6/28/2018

TMC announced the launch of The New Intelligence conference and expo - The Event Powering the AI Revolution. This exciting new event will take place o…

Read More