It allstarted with this year's "Rickrolling" prank craze (the act ofsurprising web surfers with a video of carrot-topper crooner Rick Astley).Suddenly, the long-forgotten carrot-toppedcrooner of the late '80s was a massive new-millennial sensation. He beat outthe likes of U2 and Green Day to win the "Best Act Ever" award at the2008 MTV Europe Awards; "Never Gonna Give You Up" became a hitringtone; and it all culminated in Rick Astley's comeback performance on livetelevision this past Thanksgiving morning, when millions of unsuspectingAmericans watched Rick himself bumrush the Cartoon Network's Macy's Paradefloat and start singing his viral hit accompanied by a cast of Rickrolledpuppets.
In themeantime, another equally so-geek-he's-chic easy-listening icon, Barry Manilow,was slowly but surely experiencing his own resurgence. He mentored the American Idol contestants; he famously battledwith conservative View co-hostess ElisabethHasselbeck; he made cameos on TheColbert Report and Family Guy; hescored a number-one album with his collection of '50s covers; and his music waseven used as punishment for criminals, proving Barry's one tough cookie.
So now it'sall come together. For his new album--a collection of '80s cover songs thistime--Barry Manilow has willingly Rickrolled himself, recording his own showtune-ishversion of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." And frankly, we'renever gonna give either of these guysup. We'd call this squareness squared to the Nth degree, but really, a morefitting equation would be ASTLEY + MANILOW = AWESOME.
CompareBarry and Rick's versions below, and get ready for the new "Barryrolling"phenomenon to sweep the interweb...