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UK Playboy Interview - May 18, 2009

by peterpan » Tue May 19, 2009 4:24 pm

Playboy talks to Flight of the Conchords
Published May 18, 2009

One of the funniest things on TV right now, Flight Of The Conchords is the Emmy nominated show that follows two wannabe musicians as they try (and fail) to make it big in New York. The second series, which has just started on BBC4, has a huge cult following making it’s stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement comedy heroes: But how do they feel about that? What’s it like to be a famous comedian and where do they get their inspiration? Bret and Jemaine tell us here:

Playboy: It must be great being paid to be funny! How difficult is it to be funny as a job… or even not laugh as you’re making the show?

Jemaine Clement:
There's a lot of laughing when we're filming but they just cut it out when we do it. If you know where to look you can see us cracking a smile.

Bret McKenzie:
Murray (Rhys Darby) makes us laugh the most. We spend a lot of time on him. He's so fun to write for that often we have to stop and remind ourselves that we've got to put Bret and Jemaine in there. We could easily just write about him all day and write ourselves out.

Jemaine:
We often joke about doing a Murray spin-off show. We don't give ourselves any jokes! But that's normal in any sitcom. Usually the main characters aren't the funny ones, it's the friends, like Murray, Mel and Dave.

Playboy: Do you base Murray on your real manager?

Jemaine:
Yes on one of our managers, but we're not sure she knows, as she hasn't ever mentioned it! She'll do things like Murray will, like have a map and she's drawn on the map, things like that.

Playboy: How has the second series moved on from the first?

Bret: We thought about changing the story line, and considered the band becoming really successful but we just decided to keep it in the small, failed world of failure.

Playboy: Your first taste of success came through your live show and then your BBC Radio series. How difficult was it to then move to TV?

Bret:
We had to make a lot more of it up for this second series.

Jemaine:
I think we might have used four stories from the radio show in 12 episodes; so going to TV was a case of writing and writing. For this second series we've had to start from scratch.

Bret:
I was really surprised when we ended up agreeing to do the second season because the first one was so exhausting. When we did the radio shows, we worked with a much smaller team. Doing the TV show it's much bigger and more demanding.

Playboy: Tell us about some of the new songs. Do you write the songs first or the storylines?

Bret:
With the storyline where Brett accidentally sleeps with an Australian, we wrote the songs (Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor/Carol Brown) for that episode separately. 'Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor' actually came in at the last minute after an experience we had in Canada. These Canadian guys were like "too many dicks!" when we were in a club!

Jemaine:
Then with the story where Jemaine becomes a prostitute, that came from an idea I had where a girlfriend was trying to get her boyfriend to sell his body to the landlord to make money. She was pimping him to the landlord!

Playboy: Which of the storylines are your favourites?

Bret: I really like the one called ‘Love Is The Weapon Of Choice’ which is about us fighting over a woman who has a missing epileptic dog. It just makes me laugh. Kristen Wiig who guest stars as the woman is really funny.

Playboy: Are there ever times when one of you just doesn't get the other's joke?

Jemaine: Yeah, all the time. We'll be writing and Bret will say 'Nah I don't get it Jemaine?'

Bret:
That's why the live shows are good for testing jokes with an audience. You just try, without making it a big deal, and see how it works out. You can be pleasantly surprised or there are some shows we've done that haven't been as funny as we thought.

Playboy: Your fanbase are pretty intense to say the least, do you still get nervous playing in front of people with so much expectation?

Bret: The fans are fanatical, they shout out requests. But playing live is just really fun. We never get nervous doing the live show. We've done it for so many years now; although the first time was terrifying, I couldn't even move my fingers to play the guitar because I was too nervous to play in front of people. In the beginning we couldn't even sing and play guitar at the same time!

Playboy: Your BBC Radio show was based in London. Would you have liked to film the show in London?

Jemaine: It would have been good to do only six episodes a series! That would be a lot easier on us. People ask will we do a show in London but I don't think we could now.

Playboy: What did it feel like winning a Grammy for Best Comedy Album?

Jemaine: We didn't even go, or know as we were in New Zealand. We found out on the Internet!

Bret: It was great, as people have got to hear our songs. There was a massive shift in popularity between pre and post -TV show. It made a huge impact.

Playboy: Would you say you were enjoying the fame?

Jemaine: Fame sucks! It's terrible.

Bret:
We get recognised all the time. And it's worse when we are in New Zealand.

Jemaine: Wellington is a small place so if we, our friends or brothers, or anyone connected with us goes anywhere it makes the newspapers! No one knew of us back in New Zealand for ages as there were only two TV companies there and one wasn't allowed to play our stuff because of rights and the other channel didn't like us. We thought we were never going to get played in New Zealand. But then a new TV station started and it’s all changed now.

Playboy: OK finally, do you get that thing that seems to haunt all comedians – people shouting your own jokes at you in the street?

Jemaine:
Ha! Yes when we walk down the street or are in a shop. But it's not too bad. People just come up and say 'Hi' too… we are still getting used to that.

Source
peterpan
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by peterpan » Tue May 19, 2009 4:26 pm


Bret: With the storyline where Brett accidentally sleeps with an Australian, we wrote the songs (Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor/Carol Brown) for that episode separately.


I'm not sure who got this one wrong haha...
peterpan
Turning white clouds grey
 
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by nikki78 » Tue May 19, 2009 5:05 pm


I_am_Heather wrote:
Bret: With the storyline where Brett accidentally sleeps with an Australian, we wrote the songs (Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor/Carol Brown) for that episode separately.


I'm not sure who got this one wrong haha...


Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. The "Brett" and the fact that it was Jemaine that slept with the Australian... it was all too much for me. Until that point I quite enjoyed the article. ;D
nikki78
Smokin' with an eye that's broken
 
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