Studio 6A, the Rockefeller Plaza home of NBC’s “Late Night v Jimmy Fallon,” was filled with synthetic smoke and laser lights once Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker arrived. This Norwegian brothers, who had spent the ahead days traveling from Oslo come London to new York, did no seem to be an especially fazed together they surveyed their surroundings, which contained a squad of dancers in fox masks and makeup, two long rows the full-length mirrors and also a man dressed in a head-to-toe equine costume.

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“It’s absurd,” stated Bard, who is 31, with a deadpan demeanor and long blond hair. “But after a while, that starts come feel favor work.”

This has become the program for the Ylvisaker brothers, known jointly as Ylvis (pronounced ILL-vis), because that the previous month, ever since they ended up being unlikely pop music sensations v a willfully stunner if undeniably catchy song dubbed “The Fox (What does the Fox Say?).”

Over a thumping electronic beat, “The Fox” asks in pleadingly sincere tones why, if there space distinctive sounds connected with the many other animals in creation, is there not one for the fox? (As the lyrics placed it: “Ducks say quack, and also fish walk blub and the seal goes ow ow ow ... What go the fox say?”)


This week, “The Fox” reached No. 6 ~ above Billboard’s warm 100 singles chart, surpassing hits favor Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and also Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” An equally mystifying video that functions the photogenic Ylvisakers and other performers in a selection of pet outfits, evoking “I am the Walrus,” if it had actually been command by Lars von Trier, has been viewed much more than 100 million time on YouTube.

But even as the song continues to thrive in popularity, and also Ylvis is invite to perform it on American programs choose “Late Night” and the “Today” show, the is becoming both a blessing and also a burden to its creators — a propitious opportunity and a prank that backfired wildly. Exactly how much further, lock wonder, have the right to they take something that was never ever meant to go anywhere in the an initial place?

“This to be the setup all along,” the floppy-haired Vegard, 34, shouted to Mr. Fallon during a break in filming ~ above Wednesday. They were both dressed as foxes, and also something in Vegard’s voice said he meant the opposite.

In their homeland, the Ylvisaker brothers are jokesters with a loyal regional following and the master of their own comedy speak show, “I Kveld Med Ylvis” (“Tonight v Ylvis”), on Norwegian television.

They make “The Fox” with assistance from Stargate, the Norwegian-born, new York-based creating duo the has additionally helped develop hit songs because that Rihanna, Katy Perry and also Wiz Khalifa — except that your track, the Ylvisakers said, to be intended to be bad.


“From a comedian’s perspective, it would be much much more fun if us misused their talents,” Bard said. “We walk make the song, we come back to our talk show and we say, ‘Sorry, guys.’ ”

Instead, the video clip became an global phenomenon when it to be posted in beforehand September, racking up numerous thousands of see by the day and also catching the attention of Warner Music, i beg your pardon had currently signed Ylvis come the Norwegian arm of the company.

“The Fox” make its debut at No. 29 on the Billboard hot 100 singles chart, helped by a revised ranking system that accounts for a song’s virtual activity. Warner was an especially impressed by yes, really sales of the tune — around 75,000 duplicates a week, claims Peter Gray, an elderly vice president for promo at Warner Brothers records — completed without radio play or a i have lot of money marketing campaign.

“There are a most hit song that people have put significant muscle and campaigns behind, for months and also months, that aren’t selling fifty percent of that, or a quarter of that,” Mr. Gray said.

On the toughness of “The Fox,” Ylvis was booked ~ above “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and also at the iHeartRadio festival in las Vegas critical month, performing on a bill through artists prefer Justin Timberlake and also Miley Cyrus. Yet what the tape intends to execute with this momentum stays an open question.

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Mr. Gray claimed that Ylvis might be tested by “the late of novelty, which ns suppose allows people to happen something off together silly, together opposed to being taken seriously together art.”


Such a fate, it can be argued, befell Psy, the korean rapper who had a surprise global hit with the track “Gangnam Style” (and the goofy dancing in that accompanying video), yet who walk not complement this feat v his follow-up single, “Gentleman.” But, Mr. Gray said: “I would say this: as soon as a name, constantly a threat. If Psy writes an additional hit song, or if Ylvis writes an additional hit song, the door is open up for them.” Though there is no current plan to relax a full-length Ylvis album, Mr. Gray said, “A hit song transforms everything.”

For Ylvis, “This is a large chance,” Bard said, however promoting “The Fox” requires him and Vegard to leave their wives and young youngsters at residence for days in ~ a time, and prevents castle from working on their Norwegian TV show. For the time being, Bard said, “We make the efforts to press all our job-related on our colleagues.”

As they make their way from NBC headquarters come SoHo, the Ylvisakers stated they were satisfied and relieved by your appearance ~ above “Late Night,” whereby the residence band, the Roots, had joined in top top “The Fox.”

Before that evening’s performance of the song, Bard said, “We never rehearsed it, because it to be never claimed to be a live thing.”

Vegard added, “It’s not like a story; it’s just a bunch of pet sounds.”

He stated it was inescapable that enthusiasm for “The Fox” would wane. “You can’t be amazed for whole month,” the said. “At part point, it has to level off.”

Whenever the happens, Bard stated he would certainly be prepared.

“There can come a song around wolves from Denmark in the next week, and also then, suddenly, we’re turn off the hook,” the said. “That’s O.K. Also if the happens, it’s to be fun.”