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BBC Newsbeat Interview and Video - January 27, 2009

by sargifster » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:16 pm

Conchords launch second series

By Iain Mackenzie
Newsbeat US reporter, New York

Their comedy personas may be hapless musicians struggling to find an audience, but Flight of the Conchords stars Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement have hit the big time.

New Zealand's self-proclaimed fourth most popular folk parody duo have just launched the second series of their TV comedy in the United States.

The Emmy award-nominated show is due to air in the UK in April.

The pair have also been nominated for a second Grammy award, after winning best comedy album in 2007.

Their show, which follows a Conchords search for fame in New York City, has enjoyed popular and critical acclaim.

However, production of the latest series was delayed by the Hollywood writers' strike. In the meantime Bret and Jemaine were able to work on new songs.

"That's the fun part," Jemaine told Newsbeat. "Last year we had to figure out how to write a sitcom. So we didn't have that challenge this time."

Conchords' songs, including The Humans Are Dead and Albi (the racist dragon), have gained a cult following.

Their track Business Time has been viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube.

Flight of the Conchords first came to public attention when they were nominated for the Perrier award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003.

The following year they starred in a BBC radio series, on which the US television show is loosely based.

Although the radio series was set in London, the Conchords say New York proved an irresistible draw.

"The English tend to go, 'We think it would be great if you would come and do a show with us'," said Jemaine.

"Americans go, 'We've booked a flight. Come over'. They're just more assertive."

In contrast to their real-life success, Bret and Jemaine's TV personas find themselves unable to attract a following, with the exception of their obsessive fan Mel.

Series co-creator James Bobin explained that the duo had not always enjoyed a high profile. He said: "A lot of the things you see in the show actually happened.

"They had a long time of playing to very few people."

Bret McKenzie added: "The Flight of the Conchords in the show are more like Flight of the Conchords 10 years ago. The real Flight of the Conchords... it's getting confusing."


Please note: there is also a video on the BBC webpage.
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