Crazy Frog, the CGI amphibian who took over 00s music charts and ringtones worldwide, is making a comeback.
Arguably the internet’s first viral meme, Crazy Frog – originally called The Annoying Thing – was first sold as a ringtone, before being made into a divisive single that – paired with a CGI video of a naked frog on a motorbike – would become the most popular and inescapable tune of the era. With his catchphrase “rring ding ding ding baa baa”, the track topped charts around the world in 2005, including in the UK, where it held the top spot for four weeks.
Now, the animated amphibian is set to return on YouTube on December 10 with a new single and a mash-up of classic hits inspired by TikTok. What’s more, the project’s OG producer Reinhard ‘Voodoo’ Raith is behind it.
According to Wolfgang Boss, president of A&R for Sony Music, who has produced and owns all of Crazy Frog’s music through his Mach 1 record label, the decision to bring the creature back follows a peak in interest on YouTube. The original track has more than three billion views on the platform, making it the 19th most popular video in YouTube's history, while the official Crazy Frog YouTube channel has 11.5m subscribers.
“When we started Crazy Frog, there was no TikTok, it didn’t exist,” Boss told the BBC. “But right now TikTok is super important. It’s basically the number one platform for people to share new music and funny things connected with music.”
The original Axel F Crazy Frog video caused controversy for featuring the creature’s genitals, which prompted an initial ban in the US and a flurry of complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority from parents in the UK until an edit was made.
With the comeback, “the new video will have the Crazy Frog like he was originally meant – with a penis,” said Boss.
“But we will have to do a censored version again because US media will not show the original version,” he added.