Naughty Nurse has some competition this
"The fox sold out almost immediately," said Marlon Heimerl, a spokesman for HalloweenCostumes.com in North Mankato, Minn. "Normally, that's not a huge seller."
Halloween costumes often reflect what's happening in the zeitgeist. The
This year saw avid interest in the "Twerkin' Teddy" leotard, following
The season's other hot sellers were inspired by TV, Heimerl said. A&E's reality show "Duck Dynasty" spurred a run on beards, wigs and camouflage tuxedos.
The absurd "The Fox" music video -- in which performers wearing animal costumes sing a song that appears to borrow its twisted inspiration from the children's nursery rhyme "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" -- was produced to promote Ylvis' late-night television show in Norway.
But the video captured global attention when it went viral on YouTube, where it has attracted nearly 175 million views since appearing on the site on Sept. 3.
"This would have been impossible 10 years ago -- a TV show in Norway has kids in L.A. dressing up as the fox," said Kevin Allocca, head of culture and trends at YouTube. "Yet, it doesn't feel incongruous at all when it comes to Internet culture."
Allocca said "The Fox" quickly caught on with the YouTube community, and has been averaging about 3 million to 4 million views every day. Typical viral videos see a big spike in viewership as people share it with family and friends.
Occasionally, a video becomes part of Internet nostalgia, like "Charlie Bit My Finger," a home video in which an infant boy takes a nibble on his older brother's finger, which continues to attract millions of views a year.
"A video like this, especially a video that's attached to a song, this is the kind of thing we saw with 'Gangnam Style,' that ballooned over months," Allocca said. "Everyone starts to share it. Then it becomes a shared inside joke."
The Internet video's popularity has elevated the status of brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, hosts of "I Kveld Med Ylvis" (Tonight With Ylvis), who subsequently have appeared on
The single also reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Johanna Blakley, managing director of the
"It's absurd that this non-commercial stuff gets so big on YouTube," said Blakley. "It finds an audience that the traditional media outlets never knew existed. That's why this is so fascinating. Even though it's absurd and crazy, it gives us the possibility to dream about a media ecology where everybody's needs are met, where the most eccentric interests are fed by content producers who understand their weird audience."