A Norwegian music/comedy duo, consisting of brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker. Internationally, they are most famous for their hit single "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" which went viral on YouTube
after being created for the talk show they host in Norway.
This show, I kveld med Ylvis
(In The Evening With Ylvis) has run for three seasons on the Norwegian channel TVNorge and also features comedian Calle Hellevang-Larsen. (In the second season, he was temporarily replaced by Swedish comedian David Batra due to conflicting obligations to his other comedy group, Raske Menn.) As well as songs and guest interviews, the show includes sketches and pranks like:
- Radio Taxi: Bård and Vegard improvise personalized songs to scare unsuspecting taxi passengers.
- Kan dettes brukes som vannskis? (Can these be used as water skis?): Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Hyss i Småland (Pranks in Småland): they dress up as 19th century farmers and play pranks.
- Dagens Spørsmål (Today's Question) and Tid for Hobby (Time for Hobbies): these how-to style segments are filmed in a room that's on the back of a truck driving in circles.
- Trapped in IKEA: false walls and actors are used to make people lose their way in IKEA
- The Intelevator: Bård and Vegard pretend to be an voice-activated elevator.
- Big in Kirgisistan: for which they attempted to become pop stars in Kyrgyzstan.
Besides I kveld med Ylvis,
the Ylvisåker brothers have also hosted the shows Norges herligeste
(Norway's Most Wonderful), in which they visited unusual people around Norway.
Ylvis has recorded several other songs in English besides "The Fox," including their ode to the American bay state "Massachusetts," the 80s rock ballad parody "Stonehenge," the romantic "Someone Like Me," and the hip-hop parody "Pressure." Additionally, many of their sketches and segments have been subtitled in English and posted on TVNorge's YouTube channel.
Tropes present in their work:
- Award Bait Song: Parodied in "Someone Like Me", which alternates between a Disney-style romance ballad and a dubstep breakdown.
- Big Little Brother / Little Big Brother: Vegard is the older one but also the shorter one.
- Birds of a Feather: The singers of "Someone Like Me" bond over their mutual love of dubstep.
- But He Sounds Handsome: Vegard once gave an interview while impersonated Josh Groban. He baited the interviewer into bringing up Ylvis and then mentioned how hilarious they were.
- Butt Monkey: Magnus plays this role on I kveld med Ylvis.
- Cool but Stupid: Of "The Fox", one of the brothers said, "even though people find it interesting, it's still a stupid fox song, and when people start to get over this, it gets even worse, because it is so stupid."
- Flair Bartending: This episode of Tid For Hobby.
- Gratuitous English: They sometimes lapse into English for effect on their show. And of course many of their songs are in English, though this is not necessarily gratuitous however, as most Norwegians understand and speak English quite well.
- Gratuitous Russian: Despite neither brother speaking Russian, they recorded a whole song in Russian with the help of some Kyrgyz producers as part of their mission to get big in Kyrgyzstan.
- Improv: Bård and Vegard are able to improvise songs together, and use this ability on their show to ambush people in taxis or on the street with personalized songs.
- Messy Hair: Calle. Dear lord.
- Naked People Are Funny: They have a segment called "Calle Bader" (Calle Bathes) in which all the humor is derived from Calle washing, completely naked, in some public area like a fountain or aquarium.
- Painful Rhyme: Played for Laughs in "Stonehenge":
How did they raise the stones so high
Completely without THE
We have to-dye?
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Vegard looks very similar to Josh Groban, so when Josh Groban came to Oslo, Vegard attempted to impersonate him and check into a hotel, make it through an interview, and enter Oslo Spektrum without anyone realizing who he really was. He nearly succeeded, too, only getting caught just as he was about to enter Groban's backstage room — even though his disguise was essentially just wearing a hat and speaking English.
- Serious Business: The eponymous monument keeps the protagonist of "Stonehenge" up all night and distracts him during sex, among other things.
- Sibling Team: Bård and Vegard.
- Song Parody: The song "Jeg Heter Finn" (My Name Is Finn) is a parody of the Ting Ting's "That's Not My Name."
- Springtime for Hitler: They had done a favour for production team Stargate, and in return asked that Stargate produce "The Fox" to promote the new season of Ylvis' TV talk show I kveld med YLVIS. The song very quickly caught on and ended up being immensely successful on the charts instead of staying the joke Ylvis had originally created.
- Vocal Tag Team: Bård and Vegard in several songs. Sometimes Calle joins in as well (e.g. in Massachusetts.)
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Both Bård and Vegard when they get incredibly drunk and make dinner in a parody of a Norwegian cooking show.