What does the fox say? If you’ve to be vaguely online in the past five years, friend probably recognize the prize in the kind of a catchy, annoying, beloved refrain.

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“The Fox (What does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis to be released in September 2013, and it’s end up being one of the many beloved gimmick songs of the previous half-decade. The video clip has more than 685 million web page views and also still counting, and though the song was initially a gag, it take it on a real life that its very own soon.

The popular of the video surprised Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo that Vegard and also Bård Ylvisåker. Lock didn’t mean to do such a large viral hit, yet once your goofy video unexpectedly moved them into the spotlight, they absolutely seemed to enjoy the ride.

18 curious facts about “What does the Fox Say?”

1) The original song was an advertising for a Norwegian speak show

The Ylvisåker brothers room a comedy duo indigenous Norway, and also the initial idea for producing the track and the video was just to encourage the brothers’ 3rd season that their speak show, I Kveld Med Ylvis (Tonight through Ylvis). Instead, the brothers got a little more than castle expected.

“We’re not chasing the following hit,” Bård called Entertainment Weekly in 2013. “We’re just making ingredient that us think is funny. Part will gain like 100,000 views and also some obviously obtained 100 million, yet it’s the same recipe. It’s supposed to be 3 minutes because that a Norwegian speak show and this one traveled.”

Screengrab via YlvisBabe/YouTube

2) Both brothers have actually a music background

The two spent part of your boyhoods in Mozambique and also Angola, and according to Bård, they to be so socially awkward when they went back to their aboriginal Norway the “we virtually became those douches who pull out the etc by the campfire,” that said, via the Star. Vegard likewise learned just how to beat the double bass, while Bård studied the violin. “Our parents were constantly really fond of music and they urged us to do whatever we wanted to do. We went to choir and also stuff once we were kids,” Bård told Entertainment Weekly. Follow to Vegard, the songs were never ever meant to it is in taken seriously, even in your younger years. “We sang continuously, we made little music things in our room,” Vegard said. “But that was always with a comic context. We always hide behind that. We’re too lot of cowards to actually mean something.”


3) Monty Python was a huge influence for Ylvis

When the family moved come Africa, Vegard claimed they only had actually two comedy videos that the brothers can look to because that inspiration: Monty Python’s Life that Brian and a Norwegian variety comedian. “We developed humor the was a mix in between those two,” Vegard said.


4) Ylvis had some high-powered assist to develop the song

Stargate is a Grammy award-winning document production and also writing team that’s operated with Beyoncé, Rihanna, and also Katy Perry. After Ylvis do a mockumentary for Stargate co-founder Mikkel Storleer Eriksen’s 40th birthday, Stargate operated with the Ylvisåker brothers to record“The Fox (What walk the Fox Say?).” Tor Erik Hermansen, Stargate’s other co-founder, sent Ylvis a few options for a feasible track. The brothers soon entered Jay-Z’s Roc the Mic studio v the lyrics ready to go. “I just thought it to be a joke,” Hermansen called Spin. “The totality thing was completely for fun. I had actually no idea that it to be going to have actually this kind of appeal. It was simply a joke. Ns couldn’t have predicted this in ~ all.”

5) The tune was an alleged to it is in a joke, but not in the method you think

The idea for“The Fox (What walk the Fox Say?)” to be for that not to it is in hit. Instead, the brothers to be going to usage the clip of the track on their display in Norway to prove what absolute failures they were in the music business. They to be going for a comedic element, and also they wanted to misuse Stargate’s talent to rotate their opportunity right into a disaster. “To have actually that opportunity and come back to the show and say come the audience, ‘Sorry guys, we had actually the chance, us couldn’t find anything else than what sound the fox says— we go out the opportunity,’” Vegard said, via MTV.com. “And climate it type of backfired on us.”

6) Ylvis overthrew the power of above ’80s tune “Take ~ above Me”

“The Fox (What does the Fox Say?)” peaked in ~ No. 6 top top the Billboard top 100 on Oct. 19, 2003, the best showing for a Norwegian artist since A-Ha’s “Take top top Me” in 1985, which likewise happened to have an top music video.

7) there’s one means “The Fox” to win “Gangnam Style”

Though Psy’s “Gangnam Style” hit together high as No. 2 ~ above the Billboard chart with a video clip that’s been regarded billions of times,“The Fox (What walk the Fox Say?)” hit 100 million views on YouTube in simply 35 days. As the Wall Street Journal notes, it took “Gangnam Style” 51 days to reach the mark. Yet then again, Psy’s “Gentleman,” the follow-up to his very first massive hit, overshadowed 100 million see in only four days.


8) Ylvis never expected this kind of success

Um, no. “To be honest I am quite surprised,” Bård called Mother Jones soon after ~ the track was released. “This tune is created a TV show and also is an alleged to game a couple of Norwegians for 3 minutes—and that’s all. It to be done simply a few days back and we recently had actually a screening in ours office. Around 10 civilization watched—nobody laughed.” A couple months later, he told the Toronto Sun, “I think our stays will forever be identified as before and after the song now.”

9) Ylvis worried the song’s success could backfire

As for exactly how he would explain The Fox, Bård had actually no illusions around the quality of the brothers’ work. “It’s such a stupid thing, The Fox thing,” he told Spin. “Even though world find the interesting, it’s quiet a stupid fox song, and also when human being start to gain over this, it gets even worse, since it is therefore stupid. So it potentially could be kind of bad for us, i think.”

10) So, who the old dude?

His surname is Bernhard Ramstad, and also this is what he was doing in the video.


Those external of Norway most likely don’t know who Ramstad is, yet he’s had actually a long career in Norwegian films and TV, start in 1974. He’s additionally voiced over plenty the animated films that were analyzed into Norwegian, consisting of voices for the great Gonzo in A Muppet Christmas Carol, Cornelius in A Bug’s Life, and also Lawrence III in Pokemon 2000.

11) There’s a reason the brothers aren’t wearing fox costumes in the video

Why is Vegard wearing a squirrel costume and Bård a bear costume? Why is neither brothers dressed favor a fox? Apparently, Ylvis hired someone to do the costumes for the video, however it never concerned fruition. Then, the day prior to the video clip shoot, they tried to rental costumes from the Norwegian movie Institute. But the institute didn’t actually own any type of fox costumes. So, a bear and a squirrel costume were the next ideal options. “At first, us thought, ‘This is crap’ and also this watch silly and also suddenly we thought perhaps this no a stupid idea and maybe the silliness would include to it,” Vegard called the everyday Beast.


12) Those fox noises are actually kinda accurate

The brother told alphabet News the noises were merely improvised once they were inside the record studio. Vegard claimed they had less 보다 an hour to end up the vocals and also the brothers were “just act our finest … just completely nailing it.” lock both agreed that the “tchoff-tchoff” to be the closest one come the truth.


13) but what go the fox actually say?

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia has done its best to prize this for us (and because that Ylvis).

Turns out, foxes can scream. As Popular Science points out, “Foxes aren’t rather as varied in their vocalizations together dogs, yet they’re still qualified of making too many of different sounds. … Fox vocalizations are higher-pitched than dog vocalizations, partly because foxes are lot smaller. The barks room a kind of ow-wow-wow-wow, but really high-pitched, virtually yippy. It’s commonly mistaken because that an owl hooting.” here are two much more examples for your listening pleasure.


14) Ylvis had no idea about furries

Is Ylvis a pan of furries, specifically considering the brothers spend much of the video in animal costumes? Vegard pleaded ignorance, saying he didn’t previously understand anything around the furry community. “Their reactions to be mixed,” Vegard told what’s Trending in 2013. “, ‘This is violation to us furries.’ i don’t think it is, due to the fact that I didn’t understand furries existed.”

15)“The Fox (What go the Fox Say?)” influenced a New York Times bestselling book

Only two months after ~ the tune went viral, publisher Simon & Schuster released a children’s publication called What walk the Fox Say? that was based upon Ylvis’ tune. However actually, the brothers come up v the idea because that a book prior to the song came to be famous. “We assumed it would certainly be funny to have a really well-done publication as merchandise because that a tanked project,” Vegard called USA Today. “It’s just so stupid. Yet stupid dollars room the very same as clever dollars.” The book sold out in a solitary day ~ above Amazon, and also it instantly became the best-selling children’s book that week. However, not everybody to be impressed. Together the Telegraph wrote, “At only 32 pages Henrik Ibsen can sleep basic in his grave together Norway’s best literary authority.”

Photo via Amazon

16) Ylvis to be impressed by the ‘SNL’ parody

Naturally, “The Fox” motivated a variety of takeoffs and other copycat videos. Maybe the most renowned is Saturday Night Live’s “My Girl.”

The brothers stated they assumed the SNL skit to be funny, however they were many impressed through the details the the background scenes.

“You view those bricks there? it is what us really appreciate,” Bård told abc News. “We’re really nerdy when it pertains to television. They’ve replaced the bricks really authentically. This bricks really much look prefer the bricks in Norway.”

Here room the bricks presented in “The Fox” video:


And here was the elevator behind Jay Pharoah on SNL:


17) here’s what the fine Bros. Discovered about “The Fox”

The well Bros made “The Fox” the emphasis of two videos: One in which teens react …

And one in i beg your pardon elderly civilization react.

Not to spoil the videos, yet both generations of viewers, virtually unanimously, quite appreciated the song and also video.

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18) Ylvis additionally made a contempt NSFW music video clip about the wonders of Stonehenge

It’s funny, because it’s a song around a guy who’s totally obsessed through Stonehenge. It likewise eventually take away a fast detour right into a song about Vegard acquiring oral sex indigenous his wife.

It to be released in 2011, and as that this writing, the video clip has garnered around 29 million views, only 656 million less than “The Fox.”