Rickroll service spices up Zoom meetings with Never Gonna Give You Up

Rick Astley is Never Gonna Give You Up, even if you've given up on virtual meetings.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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InviteRick.com may be the greatest innovation in Zoom meetings ever.

InviteRick.com screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Zoom fatigue is real. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed much of the world into endless loops of virtual meetings, but there is a light in the Zoom darkness. Creative technologist Matt Reed has created a Rickrolling service that summons Rick Astley and his catchy Never Gonna Give You Up hit into your Zoom meetings.

Rickrolling, one of the internet's most venerable traditions, is all about getting unsuspecting people to listen to Astley's '80s pop anthem. InviteRick.com is like a rickrolling bat signal. It's here to rescue you from a world of Zoom meetings that blur into one another. 

Reed released a video showing how it works along with a blog post giving some background on its development.

I tested the service using my own Zoom. I started a meeting with myself and dropped the link onto InviteRick. I was 25th in line with a 12.5-minute wait time. Sure enough, right on schedule, Rick appeared in the waiting room. When I let him in, he briefly serenaded me before disappearing. It was sublime.

I immediately went into fantasy mode, imagining Rick appearing in real Zoom meetings, coming to rescue me at the exact moment my mind has started to wander. Delicious.

The virtual Rickroll is running on Reed's personal Zoom account. The service went live on Tuesday, but it may not work for long. Reed acknowledged it likely violates Zoom's terms of service.

So if you need a Rickroll in your Zoom meeting, if you crave it like a beacon of light in a dark forest, now is the time to call on its power while you still can. May Rick be with you in your time of Zoom despair. 

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