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Rune Dahl is an old friend and presently afternoon host at Radio Norge (the English rendition of “Norge” is “Norway”). He made me aware of this particular phone bit by Bård and Vegard Ylvisaaker, aka the Ylvis Brothers.

Bård Ylvisaaker, Vegard Ylvisaaker, Ylvis Brothers

The Ylvis Brothers

A phone bit? What could anyone possibly do that’s new?

The set-up is the guy is too nervous to talk on the telephone, so he sings instead. Give it a listen:

© Copyright 2008 by Vegard & Bård Ylvisaaker. All Rights Reserved

The Back Story

I asked Bård how they came up with this concept….

This was actually made on the last day on air {at NRK — Dan} for us. We needed something that could make us leave the air with a blast, and we were really quite desperate.

We’d been thinking about making a phone call as an improvised musical for a long time, but actually found the idea a bit cheesy — or cheap. But since we had no other idea, we tried it — and it turned out to work better than we imagined.

My brother, Vegard, played the piano in studio, while I was singing. We didn’t rehearse anything, just gave each other some signs to hint what moods we wanted for the separate parts.

Every now and then I hear something that’s both creative and new, and it gives me hope.

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  • Gary January 10, 2009, 3:15 am

    Simply wonderful. The way the tone and mood of the performance changes, but never gets in the way of us hearing the reactions of the two people on the phone made for compelling listening. And then those occasional moments of lyrical genius (particularly the spelling of S-W-A-T a the very end) were a joy. Nothing mean. Nothing attempting to show anybody up. No purposeful killer punchline. Simply original and compelling radio.

    I am jealous!

  • Michael Shishido January 10, 2009, 10:20 am

    It’s the genesis of a broadway show!

  • Mark Wilson January 10, 2009, 4:13 pm

    Freaking brilliant bit!

  • Helene January 19, 2009, 2:20 pm

    I blogged this one 🙂 amazing.. I have never heard that… even though I am Norwegian 🙂 Thanks a lot 😀 Amazing!!!

  • wilfu January 19, 2009, 6:41 pm

    Wow… that is stunning! Those two guys are freakin’ good!

  • Lennart January 20, 2009, 10:52 am

    Ylvis brothers are hillariouos! Their radio show is/ was called “O-FAG” which is short for “Orienteringsfag” (lit. “Orientation class”), a class in primary school in Norway.

    Most of it is in Norwegian.

    PS: There are alot of stuff on youtube as well. They produce some funny TV as well.

  • Anonymous January 21, 2009, 4:00 pm

    You should listen to them improvise songs on air… the concept is that the listeners tells them what they want the title to be, and the brothers takes it from there. Check out “If Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris had a baby.” Incredible!