What does the fox say? If you’ve been vaguely online in the previous 5 years, you most likely recognize the answer in the form of a catchy, annoying, beloved refrain.

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“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis was released in September 2013, and also it’s become among the the majority of beloved gimmick songs of the previous half-decade. The video has actually even more than 685 million web page views and still counting, and though the song was originally a gag, it took on a genuine life of its own shortly.

The popularity of the video surprised Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo of Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. They didn’t expect to make such a large viral hit, yet when their goofy video all of a sudden driven them into the spotlight, they absolutely appeared to gain the ride.

18 curious facts around “What Does the Fox Say?”

1) The original song was an advertisement for a Norwegian talk show

The Ylvisåker brothers are a comedy duo from Normethod, and the original idea for creating the track and also the video was sindicate to promote the brothers’ third season of their talk show, I Kveld Med Ylvis (Tonight With Ylvis). Instead, the brothers got a tiny even more than they supposed.

“We’re not chasing the next hit,” Bård told Entertainment Weekly in 2013. “We’re simply making stuff that we think is funny. Some will certainly obtain choose 100,000 views and some obviously obtained 100 million, however it’s the very same recipe. It’s intended to be three minutes for a Norwegian talk show and this one traveled.”

Screengrab using YlvisBabe/YouTube

2) Both brothers have a musical background

The 2 invested part of their boyhoods in Mozambique and also Angola, and according to Bård, they were so socially awkward once they returned to their indigenous Norway that “we practically ended up being those douches who pull out the guitar by the campfire,” he shelp, via the Star. Vegard additionally learned exactly how to play the double bass, while Bård studied the violin. “Our parental fees were constantly really fond of music and they urged us to do whatever before we wanted to execute. We saw choir and also stuff when we were youngsters,” Bård told Entertainment Weekly. According to Vegard, the songs were never before meant to be taken seriously, even in their younger years. “We sang repeatedly, we made tiny music things in our room,” Vegard shelp. “But it was constantly through a comic context. We constantly hide behind that. We’re also much of cowards to actually intend something.”


3) Monty Python was a big affect for Ylvis

When the household relocated to Africa, Vegard sassist they only had two comedy videos that the brothers could look to for inspiration: Monty Python’s Life of Brian and a Norwegian variety comedian. “We occurred humor that was a mix between those two,” Vegard said.


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

Stargate is a Grammy award-winning record production and also creating team that’s worked via Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Katy Perry. After Ylvis made a mockumentary for Stargate co-founder Mikkel Storleer Eriksen’s 40th birthday, Stargate functioned with the Ylvisåker brothers to record“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?).” Tor Erik Hermansen, Stargate’s other co-founder, sent out Ylvis a couple of choices for a possible track. The brothers quickly gotten in Jay-Z’s Roc the Mic studio via the lyrics ready to go. “I simply believed it was a joke,” Hermansen told Spin. “The totality thing was entirely for fun. I had no principle that it was going to have actually this kind of appeal. It was simply a joke. I couldn’t have actually predicted this at all.”

5) The song was meant to be a joke, but not in the method you think

The principle for“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” was for it not to be hit. Instead, the brothers were going to usage the footage of the song on their display in Norway to prove what absolute failures they were in the music company. They were going for a comedic element, and they wanted to misuse Stargate’s talent to revolve their chance right into a disaster. “To have actually that opportunity and also come earlier to the display and also say to the audience, ‘Sorry males, we had actually the chance, we couldn’t find anything else than what sound the fox says— we blew the possibility,’” Vegard sassist, via MTV.com. “And then it sort of backfired on us.”

6) Ylvis overthrew the regime of iconic ’80s song “Take on Me”

“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 100 on Oct. 19, 2003, the finest showing for a Norwegian artist given that A-Ha’s “Take on Me” in 1985, which likewise happened to have an iconic music video.

7) There’s one method “The Fox” beat “Gangnam Style”

Though Psy’s “Gangnam Style” hit as high as No. 2 on the Billboard chart with a video that’s been viewed billions of times,“The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” hit 100 million views on YouTube in just 35 days. As the Wall surface Street Journal notes, it took “Gangnam Style” 51 days to reach that mark. But then aacquire, Psy’s “Gentleman,” the follow-approximately his initially huge hit, overshadowed 100 million views in only four days.


8) Ylvis never before supposed this type of success

Um, no. “To be hocolony I am rather surprised,” Bård told Mvarious other Jones quickly after the song was released. “This song is made for a TV show and is supposed to entertain a few Norwegians for 3 minutes—and also that’s all. It was done just a few days earlier and also we freshly had actually a screening in our office. About 10 civilization watched—nobody laughed.” A couple months later, he told the Toronto Sun, “I think our resides will forever before be characterized as before and after the song currently.”

9) Ylvis worried the song’s success could backfire

As for how he would certainly explain The Fox, Bård had actually no illusions around the high quality of the brothers’ occupational. “It’s such a stupid thing, The Fox thing,” he told Spin. “Even though people find it exciting, it’s still a stupid fox song, and when people begin to acquire over this, it gets also worse, because it is so stupid. So it perhaps can be type of negative for us, I think.”

10) So, who’s the old dude?

His name is Berntough Ramstad, and also this is what he was doing in the video.


Those exterior of Normethod probably don’t understand that Ramstad is, however he’s had actually a long career in Norwegian films and TV, beginning in 1974. He’s additionally voiced over plenty of animated movies that were analyzed right 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 factor the brothers aren’t wearing fox costumes in the video

Why is Vegard wearing a squirrel costume and also Bård a bear costume? Why is neither brvarious other dressed like a fox? Apparently, Ylvis hired somebody to make the costumes for the video, but it never involved fruition. Then, the day prior to the video shoot, they tried to rent costumes from the Norwegian Film Institute. But the institute didn’t actually very own any kind of fox costumes. So, a bear and a squirrel costume were the next finest options. “At first, we believed, ‘This is crap’ and this looks silly and unexpectedly we assumed possibly this isn’t a stupid concept and also maybe the silliness would include to it,” Vegard told the Daily Beastern.


12) Those fox noises are actually kinda accurate

The brother told ABC News the noises were sindicate improvised when they were inside the recording studio. Vegard sassist they had less than an hour to end up the vocals and also the brothers were “simply doing our finest … just completely nailing it.” They both agreed that the “tchoff-tchoff” was the closest one to the fact.


13) But what does the fox actually say?

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia has actually done its best to answer this for us (and also for Ylvis).

Turns out, foxes deserve to scream. As Popular Science points out, “Foxes aren’t rather as varied in their vocalizations as dogs, however they’re still qualified of making numerous different sounds. … Fox vocalizations are higher-pitched than dog vocalizations, partially bereason foxes are much smaller sized. The barks are a sort of ow-wow-wow-wow, but incredibly high-pitched, virtually yippy. It’s generally mistaken for an owl hooting.” Here are two even more examples for your listening pleacertain.


14) Ylvis had no principle around furries

Is Ylvis a fan of furries, particularly considering the brothers spfinish a lot of the video in pet costumes? Vegard pleaded ignorance, saying he didn’t formerly understand anything around the furry neighborhood. “Their reactions were blended,” Vegard told What’s Trending in 2013. “, ‘This is insulting to us furries.’ I don’t think it is, bereason I didn’t know furries existed.”

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

Only two months after the song went viral, publisher Simon & Schuster publimelted a children’s book referred to as What Does the Fox Say? that was based upon Ylvis’ tune. But actually, the brothers came up through the principle for a book prior to the song ended up being well known. “We assumed it would certainly be funny to have actually a really well-done book as merchandise for a tanked job,” Vegard told USA Today. “It’s simply so stupid. But stupid dollars are the exact same as smart dollars.” The book offered out in a single day on Amazon, and also it instantly became the best-marketing children’s book that week. However, not everybody was impressed. As the Telegraph wrote, “At just 32 peras Henrik Ibsen can sleep easy in his grave as Norway’s greatest literary authority.”

Picture through Amazon

16) Ylvis was impressed by the ‘SNL’ parody

Naturally, “The Fox” motivated a number of takeoffs and also other copycat videos. Perhaps the the majority of famed is Saturday Night Live’s “My Girl.”

The brothers said they believed the SNL skit was funny, but they were most impressed by the details of the background scenes.

“You check out those bricks there? That’s what we really appreciate,” Bård told ABC News. “We’re very nerdy as soon as it comes to television. They’ve reinserted the bricks extremely authentically. These bricks extremely a lot look favor the bricks in Norway.”

Here are the bricks shown in “The Fox” video:


And below was the background behind Jay Pharoah on SNL:


17) Here’s what the Fine Bros. uncovered around “The Fox”

The Fine Bros made “The Fox” the focus of two videos: One in which teenagers react …

And one in which elderly civilization react.

Not to spoil the videos, however both generations of viewers, virtually unanimously, fairly took pleasure in the song and video.

See more: Don'T Underest I Know More Than I Say Quotes About More You Know

18) Ylvis likewise made a slightly NSFW music video around the wonders of Stonehenge

It’s funny, because it’s a song around a man who’s totally obsessed with Stonehenge. It likewise inevitably takes a quick detour into a song around Vegard acquiring dental sex from his wife.

It was released in 2011, and also as of this creating, the video has actually garnered about 29 million views, just 656 million much less than “The Fox.”