Rick Rolling House musician Jonathan Coulton gives Rick Astley a run for his money. Donning a turtleneck and trench coat, he sings "Never Gonna Give You Up" with the lyrics changed to be about other famous Ricks.
NPR logo

Rick Rolling

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361483002/362009436" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Rick Rolling

Rick Rolling

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/361483002/362009436" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR and WNYC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. And with me is our one-man house band, Jonathan Coulton and our puzzle guru, John Chaneski.


EISENBERG: And please welcome our contestants, Rachel Bralow and Candace Higham.


EISENBERG: So what kind of music do you remember playing in your house when you were growing up? Candace?

CANDICE HIGHAM: My mother was big into Led Zeppelin, so there was a lot of Led Zeppelin.


HIGHAM: And my father was Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Doors.



EISENBERG: ...That's a very cool household.


EISENBERG: I got Zamfir. Rachel.

RACHAEL BRALOW: So similarly to the previously mentioned music, that as well. All those things.


BRALOW: But most frequently The Grateful Dead was big. And also, my little sister playing violin, kind of, like, hacking out the Bach Double really...


BRALOW: ...Was what it was. And you were smiling, but not...

EISENBERG: It was not good.

BRALOW: No, I mean...

EISENBERG: But they were playing Zeppelin and The Dead.

BRALOW: And The Dead.

EISENBERG: So both of your parents were, like, high growing up. This game is called "Rick Rolling." Jonathan, I hope you're never going to let me down.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: I am - I am not. I'm never going to give you up nor will I run around, nor will I desert you.

EISENBERG: Thank you.

COULTON: This game is going to feature Rick Astley's classic song, "Never Gonna Give You Up." We have altered the lyrics so that they are about other famous - real or fictional - people named Rick. All you have to do is buzz in and and tell us which Rick we are talking about. And the winner, of course, will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end the show. Are you ready?




COULTON: I'm sorry that you have to hear this song - a lot.

(Singing) I'm no stranger to funk. My first big song was called "You And I." I wore long hair because I was such a hunk. Even offstage I was a super freaky guy.


COULTON: Candace.

HIGHAM: Rick James.

COULTON: Oh yeah, Rick James.


EISENBERG: He wore long hair because he was such a hunk.

COULTON: Such a hunk. Everybody loved him.

EISENBERG: Oh, a Honk.

COULTON: (Singing) This actor still makes you swoon. You love the Ricker but you're too shy to say it. You watched him grow up with a silver spoon. Had his own Pac-Man and he loved to play it.


COULTON: Candace.

HIGHAM: Rick Schroeder.

COULTON: Rick Schroeder is right.


EISENBERG: I like that you refer to him as his older year's name.

HIGHAM: Yeah, not Ricky.

EISENBERG: Yeah, not Ricky. You're like Rick Schroeder. That's when he was mature.

HIGHAM: He's an adult. He's an adult.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's when he wasn't...

HIGHAM: No Ricky.

EISENBERG: ...Sleeping in a racecar bed anymore.

COULTON: No, he still slept in one.

BRALOW: This is a game about Rick, Ophira. It's a game about Rick.

EISENBERG: That's right.

BRALOW: Not Ricky.

EISENBERG: Thank you.

HIGHAM: You're welcome.

EISENBERG: Thank you. I understand everything about you.


BRALOW: Accurately.

EISENBERG: Accurately.

COULTON: (Singing) I am always with you on your TV, mostly on the Nick at Night. And I'm going to play those drums and I'm going to lead the band. And I'm going to tell my Lucy, I love you.


COULTON: Rachel?

BRALOW: Ricky Ricardo?

COULTON: Ricky Ricardo, yeah.


COULTON: Or Rick Ricardo, as he was known...

BRALOW: Yes, Rick - Rick Ricardo.

COULTON: ...Later.


JOHN CHANESKI: When he was older, he was known as Rick Ricardo.

COULTON: When he was much older, it was Rick Ricardo.

EISENBERG: How did it feel stepping out of your own convention?


BRALOW: You know, you got me. You got me good. You got me.

COULTON: (Singing) Spent the '80s in a new wave band. Then got famous on the BBC. On "The Office" I'm an awful man. I'm David Brent and you've seen me on TV.


BRALOW: Rick...

COULTON: Rachel.

BRALOW: Rick or Ricky Gervais.

COULTON: That's right. Rick, quote "Ricky" Gervais is correct.


COULTON: I've got to tell you, I don't know how Rick Astley does it singing in that stupid voice all the time. Starting - starting to sort blow it out on my end over here.

(Singing) I just want to tell you how I'm feeling. Yes I feel bad cause I shrunk the kids. But I'm going to bust those ghosts and I'm going to flint those stones. And I'm going to space those balls and Schwartz you.


COULTON: Candace?

HIGHAM: Rick Moranis.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.


HIGHAM: I'm going to space those balls and Schwartz you - doesn't make any sense at all. This is your last question.

(Singing) I got my big break as Tracy Turnblad. Then John Waters said you're my star. So I'm going to dance out there and I'm going to spray my hair. Then I'm going to lose some weight and surprise you.


COULTON: Rachel.

BRALOW: Ricki Lake?

COULTON: Ricki Lake, yeah.


COULTON: Surprise.

EISENBERG: Surprise.

COULTON: It's me, Ricki Lake.

EISENBERG: You didn't know because I've lost weight.

BRALOW: Surprise.

COULTON: John Chaneski, what happened in that game?

CHANESKI: What happened was we have a tie.


COULTON: Oh my goodness.

And here's your tiebreaker question. Name one of the two Republican Ricks who ran for U.S. president in 2012.



BRALOW: Rick Santorum?

CHANESKI: Rick Santorum is correct. You're our winner, Rachel. Congratulations.


Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.