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Norwegian comic duo, Ylvis
Vegard (left) and Bård Ylvisåker (right)
Medium Variety show, Late-night talk show, Sketch comedy, Comedy music
Nationality Bergen, Norway
Years active 2000–present
Genres Comedy music, EDM, pop, comedy hip hop, R&B, PBR&B, hip hop
Influences Monty Python
Members Vegard Ylvisåker
Bård Ylvisåker
Website Ylvis

Ylvis is a Norwegian comedy duo consisting of brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. They debuted as professional variety artists in 2000 and have since appeared in several countries in variety shows, comedy concerts, television shows, radio shows and music videos. They are currently the hosts of the Norwegian talk show I kveld med Ylvis (Tonight with Ylvis). Written and filmed for the talk show, their song and music video "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" went viral on YouTube in September 2013 with over 482 million views as of January 2015.[1]

Early life and debut[edit]

Vegard (born 19 May 1979 in Trondheim) and Bård (born 21 March 1982 in Bergen) Urheim Ylvisåker were born to parents from the Sogn district of western Norway, the older two of three brothers. Their early childhood years were spent in Angola and Mozambique, where their father was an engineer during the civil wars there. After a few years in Africa, the family moved back to Bergen, where the brothers received a musical upbringing and were trained in classical instruments. Vegard played the viola and double bass and Bård the violin.[2] However, both quit during their youth, Vegard instead focusing on guitar, voice, piano and comedy, and Bård on guitar, voice, comedy and acrobatics such as aerial silk.

While attending high school at Fana gymnas, they were heavily involved in school and variety shows as well as the school choir. During a performance, they were spotted by impresario Peter Brandt, who orchestrated their debut as professional variety artists at Ole Bull Teater in Bergen in 2000. Their debut show was called Ylvis en kabaret (Ylvis: A Cabaret)[3] and was followed in 2003 by Ylvis en konsert (Ylvis: A Concert).


In 2006, the brothers signed a management contract with the live production company Stageway. They also debuted as hosts on national broadcasting with the radio show O-fag (orienteringsfag, theoretical subject, named after a subject previously taught in Norwegian primary schools, a combination of science and social studies) on NRK Radio.

In January 2007, they appeared onstage at Ole Bull Theater with a new variety show, Ylvis III. They toured with the show for almost three years, the last show being played in Odda in western Norway in December 2009. The show was also recorded and published on DVD. Also in 2007, they debuted as hosts on national television with the show Norges herligste (Norway's Most Wonderful), a version of the Swedish show 100 höjdare (100 Highs). This was released on DVD as well as broadcast on Swedish TV.[citation needed]

In 2008 they released a second series of the radio show O-fag and also a new TV show based on their Ylvis møter veggen stage show on TVNorge, a game show concept inspired by the "Brain Wall", a feature in the Japanese game show Tonneruzu no Minasan no Okage deshita on Fuji TV.

This was followed up by another game show, Hvem kan slå Ylvis (Who can beat Ylvis?) in 2009, based on the German show Schlag den Raab (Beat Raab). Members of the public were invited to try to beat the brothers at various tasks, with a reward of up to one million Norwegian kroner.[citation needed]


In 2010, they hosted "Nordens herligste" ("Scandinavia's Most Wonderful"), a pan-Nordic version of the show. In 2011 they reprised their variety stage show with "Ylvis 4", premiering at the Ole Bull Theater with the entire run sold out before opening night.[citation needed] That year, the brothers also launched a comedy talkshow "I kveld med Ylvis" ("Tonight with Ylvis") on TVNorge, with Calle Hellevang-Larsen from comedy trio Raske Menn as a sidekick.

Upon being renewed for a second season, the brothers created a production company, Concorde TV,[4] in order to retain rights and creative control of their work. The second series was broadcast in 2012, with David Batra replacing Hellevang-Larsen in the role of sidekick. In the Fall of 2013, Hellevang-Larsen returned for the third series of "I kveld med Ylvis". Despite technical difficulties during the broadcast, the first episode took the top ratings spot.[5]

A number of comedy and parody music videos, either originally featured on "I kveld med Ylvis" or used to promote the show, have been released onto YouTube and other streaming media. "The Fox" and "Stonehenge" have also been released as singles. "The Fox", produced by StarGate and M4SONIC, which was released on 3 September 2013 to promote the upcoming third series of "I kveld med Ylvis", went viral on YouTube and received 40 million views in its first two weeks.[citation needed] It was the most watched video on YouTube worldwide in 2013,[6] and as of 10 January 2015, the video has had over 482 million views.[1]

Ylvis have received further offers for interviews, concerts, and major label record contracts from several countries[which?] since the release of "The Fox".[citation needed] Their first performance abroad was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the USA, where they appeared on 20 September 2013.[7] They also made an appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas the next day. On 9 October 2013, Jimmy Fallon brought them to his late night show to perform live.[8] On 11 October 2013, they performed on The Today Show outside the studios. On 15 November 2013 they performed on BBC Children In Need where they were joined on stage by Jedward, The Cheeky Girls and Bucks Fizz. On 22 November 2013 Ylvis attended Mnet Asian Music Awards for the first time, and received the International Favorite Artist award.[citation needed]

On 12 December 2013, they appeared on Live! with Kelly and Michael to promote their new children's book titled "What Does the Fox Say?" and later to perform. The book "What Does the Fox Say?" debuted as no. 1 on the The New York Times Best Seller list.[9]

On 15 October 2014 Ylvis released on iTunes a single titled "I Will Never Be A Star", which was recorded by their younger brother, Bjarte Ylvisåker.


Year Title Role Notes
2007–08 Norges herligste Host 14 episodes
2008 Ylvis møter veggen 10 episodes
2009 Hvem kan slå Ylvis 8 episodes
2010 Nordens herligste 9 episodes
2011–present I kveld med YLVIS 71 episodes
(as of 16 December 2014)
Year Title Role Notes
2000-2001 Ylvis en kabaret Various
2001 Ylvis Goes Philharmonic
2002 Ylvis Goes Philharmonic – episode II
2003-2005 Ylvis en konsert
2007-2010 Ylvis III Over 200 performances
2011-2013 Ylvis 4
2014 The Expensive Jacket Tour
Year Title Role Notes
2006 O-fag Host



Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2000 "Rumour Says" Non-album singles
2004 "Kjempeform"[20]
2011 "Stonehenge"[21]
"La det på is"[22]
"Sammen finner vi frem"[23]
"Work It"[24]
2012 "Jeg heter Finn"
"Someone Like Me"[25]
"Janym (Жаным)"[26]
"Jan Egeland"[27]
"Da vet du at det er Jul"[29] Ylvis Volume 1
2013 "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"[30] 1 9 19 9 2 4 3 45 17 6 Non-album single
"The Cabin"[31] Ylvis Volume 1
2014 "Trucker's Hitch"[33] 10
"I Will Never Be A Star"[35]
"Ytterst På Tissen"[37]
"Shabby Chic"
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

DVD releases[edit]

  • Ylvis III
  • Norges herligste


Mnet Asian Music Awards

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 Ylvis International Favorite Artist[39] Won

World Music Awards

Year Recipient Award Result
2014 The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) World's Best Song Nominated
World's Best Video Nominated
Ylvis World's Best Group Nominated


Year Recipient Award Result
2013 The Fox Hit Of The Year Won


Year Recipient Award Result
2008 Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker People price Nominated
2012[41] Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker TV Name Of The Year Nominated
I Kveld Med Ylvis Best Entertainment Nominated
Best New Programme Nominated
Bård Ylvisåker Best Male Presenter Nominated
2014[42] The Fox TV Moment Of The Year Won
Live: Helkveld Med Ylvis Best Event Nominated
Ylvis Audience Award Nominated


Year Recipient Award Result
2001 Ylvis Best Ensemble Nominated
2007 Ylvis (for Ylvis III) The Year's Funniest (Audience Award) Nominated
2011 Ylvis (for Ylvis 4) The Year's Numbers Nominated
The Year's Funniest (Audience Award) Nominated
2012 I Kveld Med Ylvis Best Performance - TV/Film Won
Ylvis (for I Kveld Med Ylvis) The Year's Funniest Nominated
2013 Bård Ylvisåker Best male artist, TV/Film/Net Nominated
2014 Bård Ylvisåker The Year's Male TV Comedian Nominated

Radio Disney Music Awards[43]

Year Recipient Award Result
2014 The Fox Stuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New Song Won

MTV Millennial Awards[44]

Year Recipient Award Result
2014 The Fox Viral Video Of The Year Won


  1. ^ a b "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Ylvis goes philharmonic". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  3. ^ "Om oss". Ylvis Holding ASA. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  4. ^ http://www.purehelp.no/company/details/concordetvas/998009812
  5. ^ "Ylvis knuste konkurrentene". Se og Hør. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  6. ^ "Most-Watched YouTube Videos of 2013: Ylvis, Harlem Shake & More". The Daily Beast. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Fremførte "The Fox" for første gang". TV2. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  8. ^ "The Fox Says, ‘I Can Make You Famous’". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  9. ^ "Ylvis book tops New York Times bestseller list". The Local - Norway's News in English. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". Norwegian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  11. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  12. ^ "Ylvis – Chart History: Billboard Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  13. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". Danish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  14. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  15. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  16. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography Ylvis". Swedish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  17. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Ylvis". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  18. ^ "Ylvis > UK Charts". officialcharts.com/ Official Charts Company. 
  19. ^ "Ylvis – Chart History: The Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 
  20. ^ "Ylvis - Kjempeform". YouTube. 
  21. ^ tvnorge (6 September 2013). "Ylvis - Stonehenge [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  22. ^ tvnorge (18 September 2013). "Ylvis - La det på is [Official music video HD]" (in Norwegian). YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  23. ^ tvnorge (11 October 2013). "Ylvis - Sammen finner vi frem [Official music video HD]" (in Norwegian). YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  24. ^ tvnorge (27 November 2012). "Ylvis - Work it [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  25. ^ tvnorge (12 September 2012). "Ylvis - Someone Like Me [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  26. ^ tvnorge (21 October 2012). "Ylvis - Janym (Жаным) [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  27. ^ tvnorge (30 September 2012). "Ylvis - Jan Egeland [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  28. ^ tvnorge (8 November 2012). "Ylvis - Pressure [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  29. ^ tvnorge (14 November 2012). "Ylvis - Da vet du at det er Jul [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  30. ^ tvnorge (3 September 2013). "Ylvis - The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  31. ^ tvnorge (19 September 2012). "Ylvis - The Cabin [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  32. ^ tvnorge (22 October 2013). "Ylvis - Massachusetts [Official music video HD] (Explicit Lyrics)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  33. ^ tvnorge (16 September 2014). "Ylvis - Trucker's Hitch [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  34. ^ tvnorge (30 September 2014). "Ylvis - Mr. Toot [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  35. ^ tvnorge (14 October 2014). "Ylvis - I Will Never Be A Star (Bjarte Ylvisåker) [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  36. ^ tvnorge (28 October 2014). "Ylvis - Yoghurt [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  37. ^ tvnorge (11 November 2014). "Ylvis - Ytterst På Tissen [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  38. ^ tvnorge (18 November 2014). "Ylvis - Intolerant [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "2013 M.net Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  40. ^ "Spellemann.no". Retrieved 2 February 2014. Årets Hit: Ylvis - «The Fox» 
  41. ^ "Her er de nominerte til årets Gullruten". Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  42. ^ "Årets TV-øyeblikk - The fox". Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  43. ^ "Radio Disney Music Awards 2014: Selena Gomez, One Direction, Taylor Swift Among Winners". Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  44. ^ "MTV Millennial Awards 2014 Winners List: Dulce María, Maluma, CD9 Among Fan Favorites!". Retrieved 13 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Se og Hør's TV Personality of the Year
Succeeded by