68 | Flight of the Conchords Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

68 | Flight of the Conchords Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 68 - Flight of the Conchords (Up 29 from 97 from last year)

Who is New Zealand's fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella rap funk comedy folk duo?

Of course we know Flight of the Conchords are Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement and they make Today FM’s list of Greatest Kiwis of All Time. 

The boys formed at Victoria University in Wellington in 1998 where they studied with another kiwi artistic legend - Taika Waititi.  They would perform at Bats Theatre to a small, but loyal crowd.

In 2002, Flight of the Conchords headed to the UK to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  They were offered development deals with Channel 4 in the UK and TVNZ in New Zealand.  TVNZ famously turned down the option to produce a series.

But the BBC did like it, commissioning a six part radio series for BBC Radio 2.  It featured Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr and introduced the audience to their manager, played by Rhys Darby.

The series won a Bronze Sony Radio Academy Award for Comedy.  HBO liked what they heard and signed up for a sitcom based on the pair trying to make it in New York.  The show catapulted Jemaine and Bret to global stardom.  Well, a cult following anyway.

Flight of the Conchords will play on HBO for two seasons.  The pair would continue to tour around the world, release albums and appear on talk shows like Letterman.  

Bret MacKenzie would go on to serve as music supervisor for two Muppet movies, winning an Oscar for Best Original Song.  He’d also appear in The Lord of the Rings.

Jemaine Clement would have roles in Men In Black 3, Eagle vs. Shark and What We Do In The Shadows, a collaboration with Taika Waititi.

The music is unmistakable.  The humour, typical of our dry kiwi wit.  We’re super proud of the Flight of the Conchords boys and their spot on the Today FM countdown of the Greatest Kiwi’s of All Time.