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Norwegian comic duo, Ylvis
Vegard (left) and Bård Ylvisåker (right)
Years active2000–present
Notable works and roles
  • Vegard Ylvisåker
  • Bård Ylvisåker

Ylvis (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈʏ̀lvɪs]) 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 hosted the Norwegian talk show I kveld med Ylvis (Tonight with Ylvis) (2011-2016). Their song and music video "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)", written and filmed for the talk show, went viral on YouTube in September 2013. The video currently has over 1 billion views as of April 2021.[1] They released an album called Ylvis: Volume I, a compilation of ten older singles. In 2018 the brothers released a series titled Stories From Norway, in which the Ylvis brothers collected headlining stories from Norway and presented them as short, musical documentaries.

Early life and debut[edit]

Vegard Urheim (born 19 May 1979 in Trondheim) and Bård Urheim Ylvisåker (born 21 March 1982 in Bergen) were born to parents (Hans Terje Ylvisåker and Helga Urheim) from the Sogn district of Western Norway, the older two of three brothers. The youngest brother is Bjarte Urheim. 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 Bård the violin.[2] However, both quit during their youth, Vegard instead focusing on guitar, voice, piano, double bass 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 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 (The Nordic’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 31 million views in its first two weeks.[6] It was the most watched video on YouTube worldwide in 2013,[7] and as of July 2020, the video has over 947 million views.[1]

Ylvis received offers for interviews, concerts, and major label record contracts from several countries following the release of "The Fox".[citation needed] Their first performance abroad was on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the United States, where they appeared on 20 September 2013.[8] 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.[9] 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 New York Times Best Seller list.[10]

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. On 19 November 2015 Ylvis released their first album Ylvis: Volume I on iTunes, which is a collection of some of their popular YouTube hits. On 5 January 2016, Ylvis revealed the music video and song "a capella" on I kveld med YLVIS on TVNorge.[11] "a capella" parodies a cappella groups like Pentatonix.[12][13][14]

In 2015, Ylvis received a nomination at the Berlin Music Video Awards for Best Animation with their music video ''Ytterst på tissen” (On the Tip of the Willy)''. The video was made by Julian Nazario Vargas from Animaskin.[15]

On 1 November 2017, it was revealed that the brothers would start a new television show entitled Stories from Norway.[16] The show, which blends the mockumentary genre with musical numbers,[16] premiered on 19 February 2018 on TVNorge.[17]

In 2019, both members appeared on the first season of Kongen Befaler (Norway's version of Taskmaster).[18]


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
2011–2016 I kveld med YLVIS 71 episodes
2018 Stories from Norway Various 7 episodes
Year Title Role Notes
2006 O-fag Host


Year Title Role Notes
2000–01 Ylvis en kabaret Various
2001 Ylvis Goes Philharmonic
2002 Ylvis Goes Philharmonic – episode II
2003–05 Ylvis en konsert
2007–09 Ylvis III Over 200 performances
2011–13 Ylvis 4
2014–15 The Expensive Jacket Tour 23 concerts in Norway and Sweden
2017 The Expensive Jacket Tour 1 concert in Slovakia (Pohoda festival)


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
Ylvis: Volume I 24
Stories from Norway: Northug
  • Released: 13 March 2018
  • Label: Universal
  • Formats: Digital download


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2000 "Rumour Says"[30] Non-album singles
2004 "Kjempeform"[31]
2011 "Stonehenge"[32]
"La Det På Is"[33]
"Sammen Finner Vi Frem"[34]
"Work It"[35]
2012 "Jeg Heter Finn"[36]
"Someone Like Me"[37]
"Janym (Жаным)"[38]
"Jan Egeland"[39]
"Da Vet Du At Det Er Jul"[41] Volume 1
2013 "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"[42] 1 9 19 9 2 4 3 45 17 6 Non-album single
"The Cabin"[43] Volume 1
2014 "Trucker's Hitch"[45] 10
"Mr. Toot"[46]
"I Will Never Be a Star"[47]
"Ytterst På Tissen"[49]
"Shabby Chic"[51]
2016 "A Capella"[52] Non-album singles
"Old Friends"[53]
"Engine for Gabriel"[54]
"Language of Love"[55]
(featuring Esther Roe)[56]
2018 Nå er det OL
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

DVD releases[edit]

  • Ylvis III
  • Norges herligste
  • Nordens herligste


Year Award Category Project Recipient Result
2001 Komiprisen Best Ensemble Ylvis Nominated
2007 Komiprisen The Year's Funniest (Audience Award) Ylvis III Ylvis Nominated
2008 Gullruten People's prize Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker Nominated
2011 Komiprisen The Year's Numbers Ylvis 4 Ylvis Nominated
The Year's Funniest (Audience Award) Ylvis Nominated
2012 Gullruten[57] TV Name Of The Year Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker Nominated
Best Entertainment I Kveld Med Ylvis Ylvis Nominated
Best New Programme Ylvis Nominated
Best Male Presenter Bård Ylvisåker Nominated
Komiprisen Best Performance - TV/Film I Kveld Med Ylvis Ylvis Won
The Year's Funniest Ylvis Nominated
2013 Komiprisen Best male artist, TV/Film/Net Bård Ylvisåker Nominated
Mnet Asian Music Awards[58] International Favorite Artist Ylvis Won
2014 World Music Awards World's Best Song "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" Ylvis Nominated
World's Best Video Ylvis Nominated
World's Best Group Ylvis Nominated
Spellemannprisen[59] Hit Of The Year "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" Ylvis Won
Gullruten[60] TV Moment Of The Year "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" Ylvis Won
Best Event Live: Helkveld Med Ylvis Ylvis Nominated
Audience Award Ylvis Nominated
Komiprisen The Year's Male TV Comedian Bård Ylvisåker Nominated
Radio Disney Music Awards[61] Stuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New Song "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" Ylvis Won
MTV Millennial Awards[62] Viral Video Of The Year "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" Ylvis Won
2015 Berlin Video Music Awards[63][64][65] Best Animation "Ytterst På Tissen" Julian Nazario Vargas, Animaskin Nominated
Gullruten[66][67][68] Best Entertainment Program I kveld med Ylvis LIVE Ylvis Nominated
Best Male TV Host I kveld med Ylvis LIVE Bård Ylvisåker Nominated
Audience Award Vegard Ylvisåker, Bård Ylvisåker Nominated
TV Moment Of The Year[69] Ylvis and Charter-Svein - I kveld med Ylvis Live! Ylvis and Charter-Svein Nominated
Nordic Music Video Awards[70][71] Post Production "Ytterst På Tissen" Ylvis Nominated
Best Artist Performance "I Will Never Be A Star" Bjarte Ylvisåker and Ole Martin Hafsmo Won
Music Video Of The Year "Intolerant" Ylvis Nominated
GAFFA Audience Award "Intolerant" Harald Zwart (director) Won
2016 Komiprisen Humor Program Of The Year I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE Ylvis Won
Male TV Comedian Of The Year I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE Bård Ylvisåker, Vegard Ylvisåker Nominated
Humor Moment Of The Year I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE Ylvis Nominated
The Year's Funniest I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE Ylvis Nominated


  1. ^ a b "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" on YouTube
  2. ^ "Ylvis goes philharmonic". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Om oss". Ylvis Holding ASA. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Concorde TV AS - 998009812 - Firmapresentasjon". (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ "Ylvis knuste konkurrentene" (in Norwegian). Se og Hør. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
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  7. ^ "Most-Watched YouTube Videos of 2013: Ylvis, Harlem Shake & More". The Daily Beast. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
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  10. ^ "Ylvis book tops New York Times bestseller list". The Local - Norway's News in English. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  11. ^ Nyland, Bjørn Kristian (8 January 2016). "Ny Ylvis-låt går verden rundt: Vil brødrene gjenta The Fox-suksessen?" [New Ylvis song goes around the world: Would brothers repeat The Fox-success?]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  12. ^ Anderson, L.V. (6 January 2016). "Ylvis' New Music Video Explains Why A Cappella Groups Have Been Singing "Boodelooap" All This Time". Slate. Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  13. ^ Mav (6 January 2016). "Vokální muzika je nejvíc, přesvědčují norští komedianti. Přemůže všechna bezpráví". Reflex (in Czech). Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
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  23. ^ "Discography Ylvis". Danish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Discography Ylvis". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  25. ^ "Discography Ylvis". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Discography Ylvis". Swedish Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
  27. ^ "Discographie Ylvis". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien.
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  31. ^ "Ylvis - Kjempeform". YouTube.
  32. ^ tvnorge (6 September 2013). "Ylvis - Stonehenge [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  33. ^ tvnorge (18 September 2013). "Ylvis - La det på is [Official music video HD]" (in Norwegian). YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  34. ^ tvnorge (11 October 2013). "Ylvis - Sammen finner vi frem [Official music video HD]" (in Norwegian). YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  35. ^ tvnorge (27 November 2012). "Ylvis - Work it [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  36. ^ "Ylvis - Jeg Heter Finn". YouTube.
  37. ^ tvnorge (12 September 2012). "Ylvis - Someone Like Me [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  38. ^ tvnorge (21 October 2012). "Ylvis - Janym (Жаным) [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  39. ^ tvnorge (30 September 2012). "Ylvis - Jan Egeland [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  40. ^ tvnorge (8 November 2012). "Ylvis - Pressure [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  41. ^ tvnorge (14 November 2012). "Ylvis - Da vet du at det er Jul [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  42. ^ tvnorge (3 September 2013). "Ylvis - The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?) [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  43. ^ tvnorge (19 September 2012). "Ylvis - The Cabin [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  44. ^ tvnorge (22 October 2013). "Ylvis - Massachusetts [Official music video HD] (Explicit Lyrics)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  45. ^ tvnorge (16 September 2014). "Ylvis - Trucker's Hitch [Official music video HD]". YouTube. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  46. ^ tvnorge (30 September 2014). "Ylvis - Mr. Toot [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  47. ^ tvnorge (14 October 2014). "Ylvis - I Will Never Be A Star (Bjarte Ylvisåker) [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  48. ^ tvnorge (28 October 2014). "Ylvis - Yoghurt [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  49. ^ tvnorge (11 November 2014). "Ylvis - Ytterst På Tissen [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  50. ^ tvnorge (18 November 2014). "Ylvis - Intolerant [Official music video HD]". Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  51. ^ "Ylvis - Shabby Chic". YouTube.
  52. ^ Ylvis - a capella [Official music video HD], 5 January 2016, retrieved 19 January 2016
  53. ^ Ylvis - Old Friends [Official music video HD], 19 January 2016, retrieved 20 January 2016
  54. ^ TVNorge (1 March 2016), Ylvis - Engine For Gabriel [Official Music Video HD], retrieved 3 March 2016
  55. ^ TVNorge (25 March 2016), Ylvis - Language of Love [Official music video HD], retrieved 25 March 2016
  56. ^ LoL #languageoflove #seal 💬🎶❓❗️⭐️ #bårdylvisåker #ylvis #behindthescenes
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  58. ^ "2013 Korean Music Festival Winners list" Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. MAMA. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
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  60. ^ "Årets TV-øyeblikk - The fox". Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  61. ^ "Radio Disney Music Awards 2014: Selena Gomez, One Direction, Taylor Swift Among Winners". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  62. ^ "MTV Millennial Awards 2014 Winners List: Dulce María, Maluma, CD9 Among Fan Favorites!". Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  63. ^ "BMVA 2015 Online Competition via Dailymotion". Retrieved 19 April 2015.
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  65. ^ "Berlin Music Video Awards 2015 - Set 4 Official Selection". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
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  68. ^ "Nominerte". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  69. ^ "Hva er årets tv-øyeblikk?". Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  70. ^ "Nordic Music Video Awards er tilbake". Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  71. ^ "NMVA2015 - Vinnerne". Retrieved 23 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Live Nelvik
Se og Hør's TV Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Truls Svendsen