Endless Thread podcast

MEMES, Pt. 3: Gotta Make You Understand

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Who gets credit for starting a meme? Usually... nobody -- they're made too quickly and organically. In the case of one of the most famous bait-and-switch memes of all time, the "Rick Roll," we may be looking at something experts call convergent evolution. Did the Rick Roll originate with a piece of code on the message board 4Chan, or with a prank call to a local sports show in Michigan? And why does the Rick Roll have such staying power? Is it codified in the DNA of the song itself?

We explore the meme’s origin, the history of the song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," and its impact on both internet users during COVID-19 and on the performer himself.

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    Who gets credit for starting a meme? Usually... nobody -- they're made too quickly and organically. In the case of one of the most famous bait-and-switch memes of all time, the "Rick Roll," we may be looking at something experts call convergent evolution. Did the Rick Roll originate with a piece of code on the message board 4Chan, or with a prank call to a local sports show in Michigan? And why does the Rick Roll have such staying power? Is it codified in the DNA of the song itself? We explore the meme’s origin, the history of the song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," and its impact on both internet users during COVID-19 and on the performer himself.
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