TV

What does the fox say? Ellen DeGeneres knows

Sep. 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM ET

You've probably heard the irresistibly goofy song, "The Fox," with its catchy chorus of "What Does the Fox Say?", performed by Norwegian brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåke, who perform as Ylvis (pronounced "Ill-vis"). 

The lyrics spell out what noises certain animals say -- "cow goes moo, frog goes croak" -- and then the song drops the puzzling question, "What does the fox say?" before answering its own question with a rat-a-tat-tat of hilarious nonsense syllables.

"I don't know a lot about Norway, but I'm gonna assume marijuana is legal there," Ellen DeGeneres cracked on her talk show Thursday after listening to the song.

And on Friday, DeGeneres brought the brothers on her talk show to perform the summer hit live for her studio audience -- and get a little inside info about the tune.

"You don't know how excited I am that you're both here," DeGeneres said before performing with the duo. Turns out she has something in common with them -- they have a talk show in their home country, and that's where the "Fox" song and video originated.

"It's the funnest story," said Bård, explaining that the two cut a deal with a Norwegian music production company. "They asked us to do them a favor and we asked them to do us a favor in return. So we thought, OK, if we give them a crap idea, and we bring it back to the talk show in Norway and say, 'Sorry guys, we had our window, we could have made a big hit, but we screwed up and we made a song about a fox, I'm sorry.' And it kind of backfired."

Before the brothers would let DeGeneres sing with them, they had to coach her on how to make the nonsense animal sounds that the fox supposedly makes.

"People, they read the lyrics and they go like, ringadingadingading, but you have to ... if you're going to perform it, you really have to put a lot of, you know, love (into it)," said Bård before launching into a high-pitched version of the "RINGADINGADINGADING" sounds.

You can judge for yourself if DeGeneres lived up to the task.

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