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What’s With All The Gay Cracks In ‘What Does The Fox Say’ Band’s Ode To Massachusetts?

The just released ditty “Massachusetts" is the follow up to brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker’s adorably weird song “What Does the Fox Say?,” which has attracted 150 million eyeballs on YouTube since its release last year.

“Forget New York and California / There’s a better place … Our favorite place on earth! Massachusetts!” the new song begins. Ylvis, who originally attracted notice at home as a comedy duo, shout out to the Boston Public Library, Attleboro, Haverhill, Suffolk County and Pingryville. “I can’t believe this place is real!”

“It's about a place we go to in order to charge the batteries during the off season,” Bård Ylvisåker claimed in a recent interview (Google translated here). “A place where we can truly be ourselves and just totally relax. It could really be hectic at home at times.”

The song’s upbeat satire of Massachusetts and its “famous Massachusetts Bay” is wacky fun. But then the video detours to shots of two guys in a pickup: “Just two friends hanging out together / But never crossing the line / It’s a thin, thin line! / Oh, we’re nothing more than friends / Just good friends!”

Then “Just because your kissin’ a man doesn’t make you gay / Confused! … Who hasn’t ever seen a hunk on a bus and thought / “Mmm, I wanna sit on your lap” / Massachusetts!”

The punchline is that everyone in Massachusetts is gay and closeted. I guess. Which rings dumb and out of touch here in a state that has pioneered gay rights, including being the first in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage nearly a decade ago now. Oh, Ylvis.

This program aired on October 23, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Greg Cook Twitter Arts Reporter
Greg Cook was an arts reporter and critic for WBUR's The ARTery.

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