Crazy Frog was an icon of the early 2000s. Arguably, he was the herald of an era where memes were funny because they were inherently stupid. He wasn’t funny, but he was annoying. And in 2003, kids got the laughs where they could find them.
But it wasn’t the laughs that everyone remembers Crazy Frog for. Beyond his weird eyes, gangly body and irritating tunes, he was most infamous for an appendage children were never meant to see: his dick.
Crazy Frog, Humble Beginnings
Crazy Frog was originally designed by Swedish animator Erik Wernquist. His digital birth was to accompany a funny .mp3 file of student Daniel Malmedahl imitating a motorbike sound. This was, of course, in the days where people shared .mp3 files with each other, for fun.
Wernquist named the animation ‘The Annoying Thing’ and uploaded it to his website and an early CGI forum, where it was downloaded and shared across the internet.
Eventually it caught the attention of ringtone company, Jamba, which purchased the rights to the character. Jamba dubbed it Crazy Frog (a name which disgusted Wernquist) and went on to produce music using the animation’s image.
In an instant, ‘The Annoying Thing’ went from being an obscure CGI animation from the web to being a smash hit music success. He was annoying, but he was catchy and every kid in the early 2000s was humming and ding-dinging along to the original ‘Axel F’ remix. Crazy Frog was everywhere. The pop charts. MTV. The internet. In ads between the news. In the period between 2003 and 2005, you couldn’t escape him.
Here’s a reminder, if you need one.
But it wasn’t long before controversy struck.
Crazy Frog was never meant to be a kid-friendly icon. This might explain why his dick caused him so much trouble. As you may be aware, the Frog’s design includes a vest and no pants. In some appearances, his body appears to be bulbous and free of genitalia, but in his more common form he has a short, stumpy penis between his legs.
While character art was often edited to remove it, it caused major problems for all of Crazy Frog’s music videos.
His visible scrotum caused major complaints and while it led to censoring on some commercial TV stations (a blurred bar appeared across his midsection), the UK Advertising Standards Authority did rule in favour of Crazy Frog in 2005.
Despite getting a free pass for showing his genitals on air, Jamba chose to censor all future Crazy Frog content to avoid backlash from concerned parents. Arguably, this controversy only buoyed his star. It made him infamous in the eyes of 2000s kids everywhere.
Like A Phoenix, He Rises
In 2020, Crazy Frog’s iconic ‘Axel F’ remix has a whopping 2.4 billion views on YouTube. This is despite the video being uploaded in 2009, way past the Frog’s peak popularity. The top comment on the video as of October 27 is, “No you’re not the only one who watches this in 2020.”
Somehow, Crazy Frog has achieved a longevity normally reserved for pop culture icons and legends.
Beyond maintain his popularity, Crazy Frog is also making waves in 2020.
In April of this year, he joined the world of Twitter with an inconceivable announcement. After a decade-long hiatus, he’d returned — and he’d brought a new album along with him. While its status is currently unknown (likely due to the coronavirus pandemic), it appears new Crazy Frog tunes are indeed in the works.
If you want to catch up with all of Crazy Frog’s latest antics, you can join his official Discord server, but be aware it’s 4,000 people actively admitting very forbidden thirst for the Frog on a daily basis. You can also subscribe to him on Spotify, alongside 200,000 other unfortunate souls.
It’s 2020 and Crazy Frog is back, baby.
It feels right that he should return in 2020. In a year where everything is going wrong, what’s one more disaster? Then again, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.
Perhaps Crazy Frog the hero we need in 2020.