The composition includes pieces of assorted fiddle tunes such as "Chicken Reel", and was written for a performance at a venue called The Armory in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. There are also two bars of "Entrance of the Gladiators" worked into it.
"Yakety Sax" is often used in television and film as a soundtrack for outlandishly humorous situations. It is frequently used to accompany comedic chases, most notably in the sketch comedy program The Benny Hill Show, where it accompanied otherwise silent, rapidly paced comedy sequences (often involving a chase scene). This use of the piece, and the chase scenes themselves, have been parodied in many other movies and TV shows.
The host of the nationally syndicated sports talk show Jim Rome Show, Jim Rome, uses "Yakety Sax" to make light of bad situations. Usually used when a sports figure makes a bad move or is wronged he will play it proceeding a line usually trying to illustrate that "Yakety Sax" makes everything better. Jim Rome plays "Yakety Sax" numerous times during a program, making it a big running joke on the show. According to "Jungle" lore, anything is funny, as long as "Yakety Sax" is playing at the same time. This has become a moderately common genre of video on YouTube in which disastrous/tragic scenes from films, television shows, and video games are paired with this song.
In the Baltimore, Maryland area, "Yakety Sax" was more popularly known as "The Lorenzo Stomp" as it was a regular feature on a local children's television show starring starring Gerry Wheeler, who portrayed a clown. As a regular feature on the show the television audience was invited to get up to dance "The Lorenzo Stomp" along with Lorenzo.