Everyone knows the answer to a question they never knew existed: What does the fox say? It’s all thanks to the Norwegian band Ylvis. The brothers recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to dish on the out-of-nowhere success of their song, which has more than 120 million views.
According to the news site, it wasn’t the duo's intent for “What Does the Fox Say” to become a viral hit. Brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker host a late-night talk show in their native land called “Tonight With Ylvis” and apparently cashed in a favor with Stargate, a Norwegian production company, which has produced hits like superstar Rihanna’s “Diamonds.”
“As comedians, it wouldn’t be a good thing if we went to pursue a hit in the States because they could potentially make something that became big, so we thought it would be more fun from a comedian perspective to come home to the talk show and say, ‘Listen we had the chance, we could’ve made it big, but the only idea we got for the song was this old idea about what the fox says, so we’re sorry. We screwed up.’ That was the plan,” Bård said. “That would’ve been funny to say on the talk show.”
“We had started writing the scripts for the show and we even had the introduction to this video, we wrote that as this, ‘We’re sorry, we screwed up, this was all we could do,’” Vegard added. Now that the video has become the brothers' biggest hit, they said they had to rewrite the whole thing.
Where did they get the idea for the noise a fox makes? The guys said there are some animals who have distinct identified sounds, like a cow goes moo, but there are some animals that don’t. They had other mammals in mind, but decided on the fox since they figured it would be funniest.
Though Ylvis is relatively unheard of in the U.S., “What Does the Fox Say?” wasn’t their first video. The guys, who grew up in Africa, have always loved music and comedy, EW.com wrote. They brothers said they didn’t have any vocal training but sang “continuously.”