Once upon a time, I took a meeting with a book agent who handled some of my favorite comedians. I pitched him a couple of ideas, to the vein of “Like David Sedaris, but not as funny, and for Lena Dunham money.”
He gently pulled my head out of my ass and told me that no one made Lena Dunham money (except Garth Risk Hallberg, I guess), and if I really wanted to cash in, I would need to write for the YA genre. “Like Twilight,” he said, “but you know, not actually Twilight.” (Though based on the success of 50 Shades of Grey, I could have written actually Twilight.)
Imagine the Marx Brothers formed a boy band and were hosting a comedy hour on MTV, and you have something like I Kveld Med Ylvis, the Norwegian talk show for which “The Fox” was created. Since its YouTube release last month, the video has reached more than 100 million viewers, while the song itself has risen to No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker, aka Ylvis, visited New York City last week to perform their unexpected hit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Today. They also enjoyed a wine-drenched chat with Kathie Lee and Hoda. “It’s pronounced ‘Bored,’” Bård explained to Kathie Lee, who then touched his knee while wondering if the brothers were romantically involved.
Who can blame the ladies? Bård and Vegard are uncommonly handsome, which may be what is most odd about their extremely odd video. They are, to use an expression Kathie Lee might, “foxes.” But as the Transom discovered in a conversation last Friday, the Ylvisåkers are more accustomed to being objects of laughter than lust. They are, in other words, nerds in fox clothing.