Entertainment

The Crazy Frog is somehow now 20 years old

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Gary Ogden
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Apologies, but you must be feeling quite old right now. Because you remember the Crazy Frog, and you remember how much it annoyed you. You were sure it was only about ten years ago, though. The above headline says 20. God, you’re old. Call up Guinness World Records – there’s a new contender for oldest person in the world. You.

Don’t worry though, because you probably didn’t see it 20 years ago, that’s just when it was created. Here’s a brief history:

Way back in 1997 (before the Apple Watch, before VR, before colour television, before dinosaurs), an enterprising young fellow called Daniel Malmedahl decided to record himself making a noise like an internal combustion engine, presumably because all his friends were outside. He then put this sound on the internet, and it went mildly viral, as things did now and again back then. 

Fast-forward six years to 2003, and another enterprising young fellow, Erik Wernquist, decided he’d put the sound to an animation. This animation featured a weird blue creature wearing a motorcycle helmet, leather vest and no pants, or the exact same thing you wore on Valentine’s Day, and he called it The Annoying Thing (a name that has never fit something so severely). As there had now been a few more years of “the internet”, it went moderately viral, and ended up in the evil clutches of Jamba, a mobile phone ringtone company who immediately bought the rights.

They then changed the name to Crazy Frog, which original creator Wernquist was none too happy about: “If I had known that this was going to be such a big thing I would not have allowed them to use that stupid name. It has nothing to do with the character. It's not a frog and it's not particularly crazy either.” Regardless, it was their property now, and so they bought an unprecedented amount of TV ad slots, spending around £8 million, and broadcasted the fierce hellscream across the land in 2004. 

THIS is where you remember it from. So really, it’s only about twelve years old. 

Then, when you thought your ears couldn’t handle any more excruciating pummeling, it was remixed in a song that sampled Axel F. It was the fucking worst. So obviously it went to number one and stayed there for four weeks because the world is full of terrible, terrible bastards.

From there, a number of other merchandising opportunities were attempted, like further songs and albums, toys and two terrible video games. Thankfully, it eventually ran its course and the blood finally dried in the world’s ears. Then you read this article, searched for the song, listened to it, a blood vessel burst in your temple and you are currently in the back of an ambulance on your way to hospital. Sorry.

Here it is anyway, for good measure.

[Image: Rex Features]

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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