Fox hunting

Fox hunting

The duo responsible for the biggest viral video since Gangnam Style manage to make time to chat with Young Post

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Ylvis cover_L
Photo: AFP
The first time Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis realised they were the next Psy was when their spoof music video The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) topped 200 million hits on YouTube.

Their global breakthrough was cemented by a riotous guest appearance at Korea's Mnet Asia Music Awards) at the AsiaWorld Expo on November 22.

Brothers Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker, who together make up Ylvis, are still getting their heads around their fame. "We have no idea how we got this far. We are still trying to figure it out. If we did, we'd be very rich and we would be writing hit songs all the time!" says Bard, talking about The Fox.

"Obviously, we hit on something. Maybe it's because the song was supposed to be made as an anti-hit."

But one thing is for sure: Ylvis do not compare themselves with Psy. The Korean, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, is a professional musician who makes funny videos. The Norwegian brothers are legitimate comedians. Music is just one tool they use to bring laughter to the world.

"It's like in The Matrix where you have to choose between the red pill or the blue pill. If you go down the comedy road, you can't cross over and go back. So you make comedy based on the pop culture," says Bard. Deciding the red pill is comedy, he adds: "We chose the red pill."

Back home, Ylvis has long been dominating the Scandinavian country's comedy scene. The duo started out hosting a radio show called O-fag in 2006. The year after, their stage shows Ylvis Moter Veggen, or Ylvis Meets the Wall, were a sell-out. Local stardom came in 2010 when they started their comedy TV talk show, I Kveld Med Ylvis (Tonight With Ylvis).

Then in September the duo posted The Fox online.

They never expected it to go viral. Vegard says that when they first showed it to their production crew "everyone just gave us a grin, but no one laughed".

Shooting the video took two-and-a-half days and was great fun, they say. Still, there was a slight problem. In the video, they don't actually wear a fox costume.

"I wear a bear costume and [Bard] wears a squirrel costume. They [the team] were out of fox costumes," says Vegard.

Bard says: "We had a costume designer. He made the hats and masks. He was supposed to make the costumes for us, too."

But due to a technical error, the designer couldn't get the fox suits done in time, forcing the brothers to run to the closest costume store to get something similar. "It worked out pretty well," adds Bard. Most viewers haven't noticed.

The brothers say the inspiration for their belly-laugh-inducing material comes from their daily lives and the internet. Bard says they chose to sing about a fox because it is a mysterious creature in Norway.

What started as a joke has given Ylvis the chance to travel the world. The duo has now been all over the United States, appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

"It was so unintentional," Vegard says. "We never planned for any of this to happen. But when you hit on something people start picking up the phone and invite you over."

Young Post would be happy to have you back, Ylvis.



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