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

Consumer Privacy in the Digital Era: Three Trends to Watch

By: Special Guest    1/18/2018

Digital advertising has exploded in recent years, with the latest eMarketer data forecasting $83 billion in revenue this year and continued growth on …

Read More

CES 2018: Terabit Fiber - Closer Than We Think

By: Doug Mohney    1/17/2018

One of the biggest challenges for 5G and last mile 10 Gig deployments is not raw data speeds, but middle mile and core networks. The wireless industry…

Read More

10 Benefits of Drone-Based Asset Inspections

By: Frank Segarra    1/15/2018

Although a new and emerging technology, (which is still evolving), in early 2018, most companies are not aware of the possible benefits they can achie…

Read More

VR Could Change Entertainment Forever

By: Special Guest    1/11/2018

VR could change everything from how we play video games to how we interact with our friends and family. VR has the power to change how we consume all …

Read More

Making Connections - The Value of Data Correlation

By: Special Guest    1/5/2018

The app economy is upon us, and businesses of all stripes are moving to address it. In this age of digital transformation, businesses rely on applicat…

Read More