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The Lighter Side: Appreciating Ylvis, Monty Python for a new age

Many of you are familiar with the Norwegian group, Ylvis' mega-hit, "The Fox," but most non-Norwegians don't realize that the song is a work of comedy. In fact, EVERYTHING these brothers do is an act of comedy.

Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker grew up admiring the comedy of Monty Python. Now they have their own talk/variety show on Scandinavian television. I would like to go on record as saying that their show rivals The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Ellen, and The Graham Norton Show.

These men are an "undiscovered paradise" of comedy, so empty your bladder, sit back, and enjoy the laughs as I introduce you to Ylvis. (Press the CC button for English subtitles)

Sometimes they make fun of movies or television shows.

Here's one of a series of sketches they did called, "Intelevator." All the segments of Intelevator are hysterical!

Here's one called, "Voice controlled ATM"

Here's a similar prank pulled by Graham Norton.

Sketches are part of their show. Sometimes they make shows within their show: multiple part serials. This is the first of six segments that lead to a Kyrgistani video. Watch all the episodes. Truly wonderful.

As I said before, the Ylvis brothers love Monty Python. Did you know that "Monty Python" literally means, "the full display of the male genitals are the size of a mammal-eating snake" IN ENGLISH, of course you didn't because most of my readers are American, and 99% of Americans never stopped to think about it.

There is so much humor that goes over Americans' heads, but we are so used to being the force of entertainment and humor that it never occurs to us that there are jokes we might not be getting.


Here's an excellent case in point: "Massachusetts." This Ylvis song is an homage to Monty Python's classic, "Finland," only better. I doubt that anyone from the Python troupe ever ventured to Finland to research or film their song, but Ylvis went to Massachusetts.

I live in Massachusetts, and I nearly wet myself laughing when I first saw this. It had never occurred to me that one would assume "Massachusetts" was plural of "Massachusett," but it makes sense. There's been much ranting via The Boston Globe on this song. Why? THEY DON'T KNOW IT'S A JOKE.

What?! The over-educated, self-important, politically correct readers of The Boston Globe didn't get a joke about themselves? I was shocked too. (BTW, I have a subscription to The Globe, so I'm referring to people like me) The "Global" rants tend to be about the portrayal of homosexuality in Massachusetts via the video. The humor here is very nuanced and absolutely, pant-wettingly funny. The Ylvis brothers have taken the redneck premise that just stepping foot in our state will "turn you gay" because we were the first state to allow gay marriage. This is ridiculous to a Norwegian. Norwegians have had gay marriage just a little longer than Massachusetts, but allowed LGBT people to serve openly in the military since the 1970s. To a Scandinavian, all of America is quite backward when it comes to LGBT rights (not to mention maternity leave, health care, funding higher education, don't get me started).

Okay, so now we're on to the Ylvis songs. These guys make fun of every genre, and they do it well.

There's female-objectifying dance club music, complete with distorted vocal sound...

The navel-gazing pop ballad, "Stonehenge." Sorry I couldn't embed this.Here's a hero ballad I adore.

They even make fun of Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Weber AND dubstep...

Can't you just hear Mandy Patinkin sing this?
Then there's their latest international hit, "The Fox."

 Now that you're seeing this song in the context of all the Ylvis brothers do, do you get it?


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