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December 12th, 2008

Will TV Rick and Roll?

Like millions of Americans I watched part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last month. I enjoyed the giant inflatable balloons (Garfield being my favorite – everyone loves Garfield!) and was mildly intrigued when a float came out and Matt Lauer promised a “special surprise.” And then… Rick Astley came out.

It’s a watershed moment when an internet meme crosses over fully to other media, indeed. But consider this: is just one single Rick Roll funny, or is it funny en masse? Seeing it just once, as probably many parade viewers did, would make me wonder what the hell was going on.

That said if TV wants to keep Rick Rolling… uh… rolling then I highly recommend adding it randomly to other TV shows. Rick Astley needs to squeeze every last penny out of this improbable career comeback, so let’s invite him as a special guest star! Lost? Easy, put him in a flashback. Pushing Daisies? Let the end of the series be a giant Rick Roll. ER? The entire series took place in Rick Astley’s head. (Think about it!) The possibilities are finite.

Without the sustained level of Rick Astley on TV, the meme will die a very quick death. Maybe that’s okay.

Posted in Pop Culture

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