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Subject: Brain Wall, Stargate (production team), Stonehenge
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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 Norwegian
Years active 2000–present
Genres Comedy music, EDM, pop, Power Metal, 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 549 million views as of October 2015.[1]

Early life and debut

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 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 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 , 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.


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. That year, the brothers also launched a comedy 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. It was the most watched video on YouTube worldwide in 2013,[6] and as of 10 August 2015, the video has had over 535 million views.[1]

Ylvis have received further offers for interviews, concerts, and major label record contracts from several countries since the release of "The Fox". 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.

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
2011–2014 I kveld med YLVIS 71 episodes
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
2007-2009 Ylvis III Over 200 performances
2011-2013 Ylvis 4
2014-2015 The Expensive Jacket Tour 23 concerts in Norway and Sweden
Year Title Role Notes
2006 O-fag Host



Year Title Peak chart positions Album
2000 "Rumour Says"[20] Non-album singles
2004 "Kjempeform"[21]
2011 "Stonehenge"[22]
"La Det På Is"[23]
"Sammen Finner Vi Frem"[24]
"Work It"[25]
2012 "Jeg Heter Finn"[26]
"Someone Like Me"[27]
"Janym (Жаным)"[28]
"Jan Egeland"[29]
"Da Vet Du At Det Er Jul"[31] Ylvis Volume 1
2013 "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"[32] 1 9 19 9 2 4 3 45 17 6 Non-album single
"The Cabin"[33] Ylvis Volume 1
2014 "Trucker's Hitch"[35] 10
"I Will Never Be A Star"[37]
"Ytterst På Tissen"[39]
"Shabby Chic"[41]
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

DVD releases

  • 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[42] 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[43] 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[44] Hit Of The Year The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) Ylvis Won
Gullruten[45] 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[46] Stuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New Song The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) Ylvis Won
MTV Millennial Awards[47] Viral Video Of The Year The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) Ylvis Won
2015 Berlin Video Music Awards[48][49][50] Best Animation Ytterst På Tissen Julian Nazario Vargas, Animaskin Nominated
Gullruten[51][52][53] 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[54] Ylvis and Charter-Svein - I kveld med Ylvis Live! Ylvis and Charter-Svein Nominated
Nordic Music Video Awards[55][56] 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


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  43. ^ "2013 Korean Music Festival Winners list". MAMA. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
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External links

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