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 517 million views as of May 2015."The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)" on YouTube
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. 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) and was followed in 2003 by Ylvis en konsert (Ylvis: A Concert)."Ylvis goes philharmonic". Bergens Tidende. Retrieved 2013-09-20. "Om oss". Ylvis Holding ASA. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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, and as of 23 May 2015, the video has had over 517 million views.
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. 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. 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.
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.http://www.purehelp.no/company/details/concordetvas/998009812 "Ylvis knuste konkurrentene". Se og Hør. Retrieved 2013-09-20. "Most-Watched YouTube Videos of 2013: Ylvis, Harlem Shake & More". The Daily Beast. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2014. Cite error: The named reference wdtfs was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Fremførte "The Fox" for første gang". TV2. Retrieved 2013-09-20. "The Fox Says, ‘I Can Make You Famous’". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-12. "Ylvis book tops New York Times bestseller list". The Local - Norway's News in English. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2013.