Ylvis (Norwegian pronunciation: ['ylvɪ̯s]) is a Norwegiancomedy duo consisting of brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker. They debuted as professional variety artists in 2000 and have after 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 showI kveld med Ylvis (Tonight with Ylvis). Their song and music video "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)", written and filmed for the talk show, went viral on YouTube in September 2013, with over 600 million views as of July 2016. They have additionally released an album called Ylvis: Volume I that's a mixture of ten singles that they wrote in the past.

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 (Hans Terje Ylvisåker and Helga Urheim) from the Sogn district of western Norway, the older two of three brothers. The younger brother is Bjarte Urheim Ylvisåker. Their early childhood years were spent in Angola and Mozambique, where their father was an engineer throughout 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. Notwithstanding both quit throughout 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).

2006–09

In 2006, the brothers signed a management contract with the live production company Stageway. They additionally 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 additionally 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 additionally 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.

2009–present

In 2010, they hosted "Nordens herligste" ("The Nordic’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 additionally 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 throughout 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 additional streaming media. "The Fox" and "Stonehenge" have additionally 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 January 2016, the video had over 570 million views.

Ylvis have received further offers for interviews, concerts, and major label record contracts from several countries after 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 additionally 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 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. On 19 November 2015 Ylvis released their first album "Ylvis: Volume I" on iTunes, which is a collection of a few of their popular YouTube hits. On 5 January 2016, Ylvis revealed the music video and song "a capella" on I kveld med YLVIS on TVNorge. "a capella" parodies a cappella groups like Pentatonix.

Filmography

Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
2007–08Norges herligsteHost14 episodes
2008Ylvis møter veggen10 episodes
2009Hvem kan slå Ylvis8 episodes
2010Nordens herligste9 episodes
2011–presentI kveld med YLVIS71 episodes
Radio
YearTitleRoleNotes
2006O-fagHost
2008

Stage

Stage
YearTitleRoleNotes
2000–01Ylvis en kabaretVarious
2001Ylvis Goes Philharmonic
2002Ylvis Goes Philharmonic – episode II
2003–05Ylvis en konsert
2007–09Ylvis IIIOver 200 performances
2011–13Ylvis 4
2014–15The Expensive Jacket Tour23 concerts in Norway and Sweden

Discography

Studio albums

List of studio albums
TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
NOR
Ylvis: Volume I24

Singles

YearTitlePeak chart positionsAlbum
NOR
AUS
CAN
DEN
FIN
NZ
SWE
SWI
UK
US
2000"Rumour Says"Non-album singles
2004"Kjempeform"
2011"Stonehenge"
"La Det På Is"
"Sammen Finner Vi Frem"
"Work It"
2012"Jeg Heter Finn"
"Someone Like Me"
"Janym (Жаным)"
"Jan Egeland"
"Pressure"
"Da Vet Du At Det Er Jul"Volume 1
2013"The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"1919924345176Non-album single
"The Cabin"Volume 1
"Massachusetts"
2014"Trucker's Hitch"10
"Mr. Toot"
"I Will Never Be A Star"
"Yoghurt"
"Ytterst På Tissen"
"Intolerant"
"Shabby Chic"
2016"a capella"Non-album singles
"Old Friends"
"Engine For Gabriel"
"Language Of Love" (featuring Esther Roe)
"—" denotes single that didn't chart or wasn't released.

DVD releases

  • Ylvis III
  • Norges herligste
  • Nordens herligste

Awards

YearAwardCategoryProjectRecipientResult
2001KomiprisenBest EnsembleYlvisNominated
2007KomiprisenThe Year's Funniest (Audience Award)Ylvis IIIYlvisNominated
2008GullrutenPeople's prizeBård and Vegard YlvisåkerNominated
2011KomiprisenThe Year's NumbersYlvis 4YlvisNominated
The Year's Funniest (Audience Award)YlvisNominated
2012GullrutenTV Name Of The YearBård and Vegard YlvisåkerNominated
Best EntertainmentI Kveld Med YlvisYlvisNominated
Best New ProgrammeYlvisNominated
Best Male PresenterBård YlvisåkerNominated
KomiprisenBest Performance - TV/FilmI Kveld Med YlvisYlvisWon
The Year's FunniestYlvisNominated
2013KomiprisenBest male artist, TV/Film/NetBård YlvisåkerNominated
Mnet Asian Music AwardsInternational Favorite ArtistYlvisWon
2014World Music AwardsWorld's Best SongThe Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)YlvisNominated
World's Best VideoYlvisNominated
World's Best GroupYlvisNominated
SpellemannprisenHit Of The YearThe Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)YlvisWon
GullrutenTV Moment Of The YearThe Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)YlvisWon
Best EventLive: Helkveld Med YlvisYlvisNominated
Audience AwardYlvisNominated
KomiprisenThe Year's Male TV ComedianBård YlvisåkerNominated
Radio Disney Music AwardsStuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New SongThe Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)YlvisWon
MTV Millennial AwardsViral Video Of The YearThe Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)YlvisWon
2015Berlin Video Music AwardsBest AnimationYtterst På TissenJulian Nazario Vargas, AnimaskinNominated
GullrutenBest Entertainment ProgramI kveld med Ylvis LIVEYlvisNominated
Best Male TV HostI kveld med Ylvis LIVEBård YlvisåkerNominated
Audience AwardVegard Ylvisåker, Bård YlvisåkerNominated
TV Moment Of The YearYlvis and Charter-Svein - I kveld med Ylvis Live!Ylvis and Charter-SveinNominated
Nordic Music Video AwardsPost ProductionYtterst På TissenYlvisNominated
Best Artist PerformanceI Will Never Be A StarBjarte Ylvisåker and Ole Martin HafsmoWon
Music Video Of The YearIntolerantYlvisNominated
GAFFA Audience AwardIntolerantHarald Zwart (director)Won
2016KomiprisenHumor Program Of The YearI Kveld Med Ylvis LIVEYlvisWon
Male TV Comedian Of The YearI Kveld Med Ylvis LIVEBård Ylvisåker, Vegard YlvisåkerNominated
Humor Moment Of The YearI Kveld Med Ylvis LIVEYlvisNominated
The Year's FunniestI Kveld Med Ylvis LIVEYlvisNominated