Studio 6A, the Rockefeller Plaza residence of NBC’s “Late Night v Jimmy Fallon,” to be filled with fabricated smoke and laser lights as soon as Bard and also Vegard Ylvisaker arrived. These Norwegian brothers, who had actually spent the ahead days traveling from Oslo to London to new York, did no seem to be particularly fazed together they surveyed your surroundings, which consisted of a formation of dancers in fox masks and also makeup, two lengthy rows of full-length mirrors and a man dressed in a head-to-toe horse costume.

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“It’s absurd,” said Bard, that is 31, through a deadpan demeanor and also long blond hair. “But ~ a while, that starts to feel prefer work.”

This has become the routine for the Ylvisaker brothers, known jointly as Ylvis (pronounced ILL-vis), for the previous month, ever since they became unlikely popular music music sensations through a willfully stunner if undeniably attractive song dubbed “The Fox (What go the Fox Say?).”

Over a thumping digital beat, “The Fox” asks in pleadingly sincere tones why, if there are distinctive sounds linked with the many other animals in creation, is there no one for the fox? (As the lyrics put it: “Ducks say quack, and fish walk blub and also the seal go ow ow ow ... What does the fox say?”)


This week, “The Fox” got to No. 6 on Billboard’s warm 100 singles chart, surpassing hits favor Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Lady Gaga’s “Applause.” An same mystifying video clip that functions the photogenic Ylvisakers and other performers in a selection of animal outfits, evoking “I to be the Walrus,” if it had been command by Lars von Trier, has actually been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube.

But even as the song proceeds to grow in popularity, and also Ylvis is invited to perform it top top American programs prefer “Late Night” and the “Today” show, the is becoming both a blessing and also a load to its creators — a propitious opportunity and also a prank that backfired wildly. How much further, castle wonder, can they take something that was never meant to go almost everywhere in the first place?

“This to be the plan all along,” the floppy-haired Vegard, 34, shouted come Mr. Fallon during a break in filming top top Wednesday. They were both dressed together foxes, and also something in Vegard’s voice suggested he intended the opposite.

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

They do “The Fox” with assistance from Stargate, the Norwegian-born, new York-based developing duo that has likewise helped produce hit songs because that Rihanna, Katy Perry and Wiz Khalifa — other than that your track, the Ylvisakers said, was intended to it is in bad.


“From a comedian’s perspective, it would certainly be much much more fun if we misused your talents,” Bard said. “We walk make that song, we come earlier to our speak show and we say, ‘Sorry, guys.’ ”

Instead, the video clip became an international phenomenon once it to be posted in early on September, racking up thousands of thousands of see by the day and catching the attention of Warner Music, which had already signed Ylvis to the Norwegian eight of the company.

“The Fox” make its debut at No. 29 ~ above the Billboard warm 100 singles chart, helped by a amendment ranking mechanism that accounts for a song’s digital activity. Warner was particularly impressed by yes, really sales the the song — about 75,000 copies a week, states Peter Gray, senior vice chairman for promo at Warner Brothers documents — accomplished without radio pat or a i have lot of money marketing campaign.

“There room a lot of hit song that human being have put significant muscle and campaigns behind, because that months and also months, the aren’t selling half of that, or a quarter of that,” Mr. Gray said.

On the stamin of “The Fox,” Ylvis was booked top top “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and at the iHeartRadio festival in ras Vegas last month, performing top top a bill v artists like Justin Timberlake and also Miley Cyrus. However what the tape intends to carry out with this momentum continues to be an open question.

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Mr. Gray claimed that Ylvis might be challenged by “the perception of novelty, which i suppose enables people to happen something off as silly, together opposed to being taken seriously together art.”


Such a fate, it could be argued, befell Psy, the korean rapper who had actually a surprise an international hit through the track “Gangnam Style” (and the goofy to dance in that is accompanying video), but who walk not complement this feat v his follow-up single, “Gentleman.” But, Mr. Gray said: “I would certainly say this: once a name, always a threat. If Psy writes another hit song, or if Ylvis writes one more hit song, the door is open for them.” Though there is no current arrangement to release a full-length Ylvis album, Mr. Gray said, “A hit song changes everything.”

For Ylvis, “This is a big chance,” Bard said, yet promoting “The Fox” requires him and also Vegard to leave their wives and also young kids at house for days in ~ a time, and prevents them from functioning on your Norwegian TV show. For the moment being, Bard said, “We do the efforts to push all our work-related on ours colleagues.”

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

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

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

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

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

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