Ylvis (Norwegian pronunciation: ['ylvɪ̯s]) 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). 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.
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 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).
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" ("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 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 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 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. On 19 November 2015 Ylvis released their first album "Ylvis Volume 1" on iTunes, which is a collection of some 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.
|2007–08||Norges herligste||Host||14 episodes|
|2008||Ylvis møter veggen||10 episodes|
|2009||Hvem kan slå Ylvis||8 episodes|
|2010||Nordens herligste||9 episodes|
|2011–present||I kveld med YLVIS||71 episodes|
|2000–01||Ylvis en kabaret||Various|
|2001||Ylvis Goes Philharmonic|
|2002||Ylvis Goes Philharmonic – episode II|
|2003–05||Ylvis en konsert|
|2007–09||Ylvis III||Over 200 performances|
|2014–15||The Expensive Jacket Tour||23 concerts in Norway and Sweden|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2000||"Rumour Says"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
|"La Det På Is"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Sammen Finner Vi Frem"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2012||"Jeg Heter Finn"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Someone Like Me"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Da Vet Du At Det Er Jul"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Volume 1|
|2013||"The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)"||1||9||19||9||2||4||3||45||17||6||Non-album single|
|"The Cabin"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Volume 1|
|"I Will Never Be A Star"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Ytterst På Tissen"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016||"a capella"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album singles|
|"Engine for Gabriel"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Language of Love" (featuring Esther Roe)||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.|
- Ylvis III
- Norges herligste
- Nordens herligste
|2007||Komiprisen||The Year's Funniest (Audience Award)||Ylvis III||Ylvis||Nominated|
|2008||Gullruten||People's prize||Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|2011||Komiprisen||The Year's Numbers||Ylvis 4||Ylvis||Nominated|
|The Year's Funniest (Audience Award)||Ylvis||Nominated|
|2012||Gullruten||TV Name Of The Year||Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Best Entertainment||I Kveld Med Ylvis||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Best New Programme||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Best Male Presenter||Bård Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Komiprisen||Best Performance - TV/Film||I Kveld Med Ylvis||Ylvis||Won|
|The Year's Funniest||Ylvis||Nominated|
|2013||Komiprisen||Best male artist, TV/Film/Net||Bård Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Mnet Asian Music Awards||International Favorite Artist||Ylvis||Won|
|2014||World Music Awards||World's Best Song||The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)||Ylvis||Nominated|
|World's Best Video||Ylvis||Nominated|
|World's Best Group||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Spellemannprisen||Hit Of The Year||The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)||Ylvis||Won|
|Gullruten||TV Moment Of The Year||The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)||Ylvis||Won|
|Best Event||Live: Helkveld Med Ylvis||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Komiprisen||The Year's Male TV Comedian||Bård Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Radio Disney Music Awards||Stuck In Our Heads – Catchiest New Song||The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)||Ylvis||Won|
|MTV Millennial Awards||Viral Video Of The Year||The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)||Ylvis||Won|
|2015||Berlin Video Music Awards||Best Animation||Ytterst På Tissen||Julian Nazario Vargas, Animaskin||Nominated|
|Gullruten||Best Entertainment Program||I kveld med Ylvis LIVE||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Best Male TV Host||I kveld med Ylvis LIVE||Bård Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Audience Award||Vegard Ylvisåker, Bård Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|TV Moment Of The Year||Ylvis and Charter-Svein - I kveld med Ylvis Live!||Ylvis and Charter-Svein||Nominated|
|Nordic Music Video Awards||Post Production||Ytterst På Tissen||Ylvis||Nominated|
|Best Artist Performance||I Will Never Be A Star||Bjarte Ylvisåker and Ole Martin Hafsmo||Won|
|Music Video Of The Year||Intolerant||Ylvis||Nominated|
|GAFFA Audience Award||Intolerant||Harald Zwart (director)||Won|
|2016||Komiprisen||Humor Program Of The Year||I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE||Ylvis||Won|
|Male TV Comedian Of The Year||I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE||Bård Ylvisåker, Vegard Ylvisåker||Nominated|
|Humor Moment Of The Year||I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE||Ylvis||Nominated|
|The Year's Funniest||I Kveld Med Ylvis LIVE||Ylvis||Nominated|