NewsFeed has always upheld an anti-Rick Rolling policy. It is not in the best interests of readers to be stunned by the sudden über-squareness that is Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” But apparently Oregon state legislators do not share this sentiment and saw fit to play a political prank in which the song was cleverly slipped into the lawmakers’ floor speeches. The video of the joke has now gone viral.
Last year then-freshman Oregon House member Jefferson Smith came up with the joke while brainstorming with his wife. The bipartisan chorus interpreted the song one lyric at a time while politicking the state’s legislative business, remaining unknown to anyone. He convinced his colleagues, who remember Astley’s tune and understand the concept of Rick Rolling, to go through with the prank. It took a year and two months to put together the video, which was spliced together from footage of the legislative sessions kept for public record.
(More on TIME.com: See YouTube’s 50 best videos)
On this recent April Fools’ Day, the video was released and has so far garnered more than 780,000 hits on YouTube.
The banter doesn’t seem authentic, but Smith says the whole thing is the real thing. “Were they actors? Were people’s voices dubbed? The answer is that it’s all real,” he told Yahoo. “Every second is real.”
Smith insists no taxpayer funds were spent on playing the gag, and at the end of the video shows a disclaimer stating every bill discussed in the video passed.
(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 April Fools’ pranks)