Bret and Jemaine (Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) are a likable-but-awkward pair of New Zealanders attempting to make it as a folk music duo in New York. Calling themselves Flight of the Conchords, they attempt to land small-time gigs with the help of their oblivious band manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), who is also Deputy Cultural Attaché for the New Zealand Consulate.
Supporting characters include Mel (Kristen Schaal), the band’s obsessed — and only — fan, Eugene (Eugene Mirman), Bret and Jemaine’s quirky landlord, and Dave (Arj Barker), a local pawn shop owner who gives the two Kiwis humorous (and frequently terrible) advice about picking up American women.
In between unsuccessful romances, low-paying gigs, potential muggers, and confusedly racist street vendors, this is an offbeat comedy that blends the surreal with the sublime. Hilarity ensues as Bret and Jemaine attempt to find their way in the States as “New Zealand’s fourth-most popular comedy folk duo.”
Flight of the Conchords was already a widely-acclaimed comedy music duo in their home country of New Zealand for many years before they were an HBO series. Clement and McKenzie were actual flatmates when they attended the Victoria University of Wellington, where they both studied film and theatre. The band itself originated in 1998 and gained a cult following after widely successful runs at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Coming off a successful run as a radio show on the BBC, Clement and McKenzie elected to bring their quirky lyrics and bluesy acoustic sets to American shores. The duo co-created the show alongside comedy veteran James Bobin, an Englishman who wrote and directed several episodes of Da Ali G Show. Bobin, Clement, and McKenzie wrote and produced nearly every episode.
The series ran for only two seasons (2007 and 2009) but received significant acclaim from both audiences and critics alike and got six Emmy nominations. It remains a cult classic to this day, with frequent reruns shown on HBO.
Every episode of the show features a song-and-dance routine from either Bret, Jemaine, or both, usually in the form of a stylish music video. These frequently serve as inner monologues for the characters and contrast with the normally subtle, deadpan humor. Some of the songs serve as pivotal to the plot, some deliberately blend reality with fantasy, and many also serve as tongue-in-cheek references to various artists and/or genres. Flight of the Conchords was also shot primarily on location in New York City, mostly in Queens, the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, and Lower Manhattan.
“May well be the funniest thing you’ve seen in ages.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“TV’s most original and and irresistible comic concoction.” —The Detroit Free Press
HBO presents Flight of the Conchords
- Created by James Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzie
- Executive Producers — Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, James Bobin, Troy Miller, Stu Smiley, Tracey Baird
- Starring Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker, David Costabile, Eugene Mirman, Frank Wood, Sutton Foster
- Rated TV-MA