Flight of the Conchords (TV series)

Flight of the Conchords

Opening Title Screen
Genre Musical
Created by James Bobin
Jemaine Clement
Bret McKenzie
Starring Jemaine Clement
Bret McKenzie
Rhys Darby
Kristen Schaal
Arj Barker
Country of origin United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) James Bobin
Stu Smiley
Troy Miller
Producer(s) Anna Dokoza
Location(s) New York City
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 26 minutes
Original network HBO
Picture format 480i (2007)
1080i (2009)
Original release June 17, 2007 (2007-06-17) – March 22, 2009 (2009-03-22)
External links

Flight of the Conchords is an British-American-New Zealand television comedy series that was first shown on HBO on June 17, 2007. The show follows the adventures of Flight of the Conchords, a two-man band from New Zealand, as its members seek fame and success in New York City. The show stars the real-life duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, who play fictionalized versions of themselves. A second season was announced on August 17, 2007 and shown from January 18, 2009. On December 11, 2009, the duo confirmed that the series would not return for a third season.[1]

Throughout its run, Flight of the Conchords received positive critical reception, with its second season scoring 80/100 on Metacritic. The show has received 10 Emmy Award nominations, including "Outstanding Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series" for Jemaine Clement, both in 2009.


The series centers on the day-to-day lives and loves of two shepherds-turned-musicians, Jemaine and Bret (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, playing fictionalized versions of themselves), who have uprooted themselves from their native New Zealand to try to make it big as a folk duo in New York City. The two have frequent appointments with their officious and ineffectual band manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), a Deputy Cultural Attaché at the New Zealand Consulate. Jemaine and Bret constantly fend off the amorous attentions of Mel (Kristen Schaal), a married woman who is their sole fan and stalker. Their friend Dave Mohumbhai (Arj Barker) works at a pawn shop and gives them advice on dealing with American women and culture. Other recurring characters include their landlord, Eugene (Eugene Mirman), Bret's short-term girlfriend Coco (Sutton Foster), Jemaine and Bret's ex-girlfriend Sally (Rachel Blanchard), Mel's husband Doug (David Costabile), and Murray's put-upon assistant Greg (Frank Wood).

Most episodes center on the five main cast members. The antagonists outside of this small group are usually either Doug (Mel's husband), their girlfriends, or Australians (see "Bret Gives Up the Dream", "Sally Returns").

Jemaine or Bret break into song in each episode. The songs are built into the narrative structure of the show in several different ways. Some songs form part of the plot of the show. In these instances, Bret or Jemaine sing to another character. Other songs serve as the internal monologue of one of the two. Typically, at least once per show, a song is shot in the form of a music video. Some songs use a combination of the styles. For example, in the first episode, "Sally", the song "Most Beautiful Girl in the Room" is a mix of Jemaine's thoughts and his spoken invitations to Sally to get a kebab and to go back to his place. The music video for "Business Time" (from "Sally Returns") depicts a daydream that Jemaine is having. As the series evolved, other main characters also had their own musical interludes, depicted in a similar manner to Jemaine and Bret's own songs.

The enthusiastic manner in which the characters express themselves through song contrasts with the otherwise low-key tone of the show. Thus, when the characters cannot speak about their feelings, the songs serve as inner monologues.[2]


Season 1 (2007)

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
11"Sally"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJune 17, 2007 (2007-06-17)

Bret and Jemaine go to a party at Dave's place where Jemaine sees, and falls for, a beautiful girl named Sally (Rachel Blanchard), Bret's ex. Jemaine's growing relationship leaves Bret feeling neglected and Murray helps the band film a music video. Cameo: Judah Friedlander.

Songs featured: "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)," "Not Crying," "The Humans Are Dead/Robots"
22"Bret Gives Up the Dream"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJune 24, 2007 (2007-06-24)

The band's poor financial state leads Bret to get a job as a human billboard to help make ends meet. However, it interferes with the band's gig at a travel expo, so Murray and Jemaine replace Bret with a cassette tape in hopes of outdoing the flashier Australian display. Bret is attracted to a girl, Coco (Sutton Foster), at his new job.

Songs featured: "Inner City Pressure," "Boom," "Rock the Party"
33"Mugged"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJuly 1, 2007 (2007-07-01)

Bret loses Jemaine's trust after Bret abandons him when they get mugged. To regain it, Bret tries to retrieve Jemaine's stolen "camera phone" (a phone with a camera taped to it) from their muggers, who are experiencing their own trust issues.

Songs featured: "Hiphopapotamus vs. Rhymenoceros," "Think About It"
44"Yoko"Troy MillerJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJuly 8, 2007 (2007-07-08)

Bret begins dating Coco, but Jemaine won't stop tagging along on the dates. When Bret asks him to stop, Jemaine concludes that Coco is trying to break up the band.

Songs featured: "If You're Into It/Coco's Song," "Pencils in the Wind/Sellotape"
55"Sally Returns"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJuly 15, 2007 (2007-07-15)

After Jemaine reconnects with Sally, Bret decides that he wants to pursue her as well. However, when they both show up at her birthday party to woo her with their homemade presents, they are in for a shock.

Songs featured: "Business Time," "Song for Sally"
66"Bowie"Troy MillerJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJuly 22, 2007 (2007-07-22)

After a photo session, Bret develops body image issues and gets some advice in a series of dreams featuring his idol, David Bowie (played by Jemaine). Jemaine plots to cheer him up and Murray tries to get one of the band's tunes used for a musical greeting card.

Songs featured: "Bret, You've Got It Going On," "Bowie/Bowie's in Space"
77"Drive By"Taika WaititiTaika WaititiJuly 29, 2007 (2007-07-29)

Bret and Jemaine are shocked by the prejudiced actions of Sanjay (Aziz Ansari), a fruit vendor who refuses to sell to them because they are New Zealanders. Dave recommends a strong response and teaches them how to "flip the bird". Murray is smitten with the new tech support lady at the consulate.

Songs featured: "Albi the Racist Dragon," "Mutha'uckas," "Leggy Blonde"
88"Girlfriends"James BobinEric KaplanAugust 5, 2007 (2007-08-05)

Bret and Jemaine pick up two women who work in a croissant shop (Eliza Coupe, June Raphael) and have very different dating experiences. Murray negotiates a record deal for the band.

Songs featured: "Foux Du Fa Fa," "K.I.S.S.I.N.G./A Kiss Is Not A Contract"
99"What Goes on Tour"Paul SimmsPaul SimmsAugust 12, 2007 (2007-08-12)

Murray organizes a warm-up tour in preparation for a big gig in Central Park. However, the boys' carelessness and an encounter with a women's water-polo team threatens to ruin the tour and strain their relationship with the well-intentioned Murray.

Songs featured: "Mermaid," "Rock the Party"
1010"New Fans"Taika WaititiDuncan SarkiesAugust 19, 2007 (2007-08-19)

A performance at a local 'World Music Jam' results in the Conchords gaining two new fans, Summer and Rain, but Mel is suspicious of the newcomers and their motives. Murray encourages the band to adopt a more 'rock star' attitude to enhance their image.

Songs featured: "Ladies of the World/Something Special for the Ladies," "The Prince of Parties," "Rock the Party"
1111"The Actor"Michael Patrick JannDamon Beesley & Iain MorrisAugust 26, 2007 (2007-08-26)

Bret and Jemaine ask Ben (Will Forte), a 'semi-professional' actor / dry cleaner, to cheer Murray up after a gig does not go well, but the actor gets caught up in the role and offers the band a record deal. Murray pays for the 'signing' party, while the actor stars in the movie Dry Cleaner with John Turturro.

Songs featured: "Cheer Up, Murray," "Frodo (Don't Wear the Ring)"
1212"The Third Conchord"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieSeptember 2, 2007 (2007-09-02)

Murray hires a bongo player for the band without consulting Bret and Jemaine. They are not happy about it and decide to fire him, but it's Bret who ends up out of the band. He responds by forming his own competing band. Eventually, the two new members of their bands, Todd and Demetri (Todd Barry and Demetri Martin), decide to form their own duo with Murray agreeing to manage them.

Songs featured: "Bret's Angry Dance," "Doggy Bounce"

Season 2 (2009)

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
131"A Good Opportunity"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieJanuary 18, 2009 (2009-01-18)

Bret and Jemaine fire Murray for neglecting them in favour of the Crazy Dogggz and almost immediately they receive an offer to write a jingle for a commercial. Meanwhile Murray's fortunes reverse after he discovers that the Crazy Dogggz big hit is a rip-off of a 1990s Polish song.

Songs featured: "Rejected," "Femident Toothpaste," "Angels"
142"The New Cup"James BobinDuncan SarkiesJanuary 25, 2009 (2009-01-25)

Bret and Jemaine's fortunes unravel after Bret buys a new tea cup. With emergency band funds unavailable, Jemaine takes desperate measures in hopes of supplementing their income.

Songs featured: "Sugalumps," "You Don't Have to Be a Prostitute"
153"The Tough Brets"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieFebruary 1, 2009 (2009-02-01)

After disparaging rappers in a song, Bret starts a gang when he fears for his safety; Murray endures a series of degrading encounters with members of the Australian consulate.

Songs featured: "Hurt Feelings," "Hurt Feelings (Reprise)," "Stay Cool"
164"Murray Takes It to the Next Level"Troy MillerJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieFebruary 8, 2009 (2009-02-08)

Murray tries to elevate Bret and Jemaine on his friendship graph, bringing his questioning pal Jim (Jim Gaffigan) in on the plan; Mel demands an apology from Bret for inappropriate dream behavior.

Songs featured: "Dreams," "Friends"
175"Unnatural Love"Michel GondryIain Morris & Damon BeesleyFebruary 15, 2009 (2009-02-15)

After a one-night stand, Jemaine is horrified to discover he has accidentally slept with an Australian. Bret and Murray are also dismayed, but Jemaine can't resist continuing to date her.

Songs featured: "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor," "Carol Brown"
186"Love Is a Weapon of Choice"James BobinPaul SimmsFebruary 22, 2009 (2009-02-22)

Bret and Jemaine both fall for Brahbrah (Kristen Wiig), a lazy-eyed woman whose missing dog has epilepsy, leading to a duel, a canine benefit and a couple of new tunes.

Songs featured: "We're Both in Love with a Sexy Lady," "Love Is a Weapon of Choice," "Epileptic Dogs"
197"Prime Minister"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieMarch 1, 2009 (2009-03-01)

Foiled by the White House, Murray arranges a presidential meeting for the visiting Prime Minister of New Zealand; a tribute gig ends with Jemaine getting a date with Karen (Mary Lynn Rajskub), an Art Garfunkel fanatic.

Songs featured: "Demon Woman," "Oh, Dance, Baby"
208"New Zealand Town"Taika WaititiTaika WaititiMarch 8, 2009 (2009-03-08)

Trying to look cool for a gig at the Grand Opening of New York's one-block New Zealand enclave, the Conchords end up getting hooked on hair gel.

Song featured: "Fashion Is Danger"
219"Wingmen"James BobinJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieMarch 15, 2009 (2009-03-15)

Bret enlists Jemaine and Dave to help him try to land a girlfriend; Murray regrets making Greg his scapegoat.

Songs featured: "Rambling Through the Avenues of Time," "I Told You I Was Freaky"
2210"Evicted"Taika WaititiJames Bobin & Jemaine Clement & Bret McKenzieMarch 22, 2009 (2009-03-22)

Unable to pay off their back rent, Bret and Jemaine move in with Mel and Doug; Murray looks to cash in on a stage play about the Conchords' travels.

Songs featured: "Everyday Sounds Musical Montage," "Petrov, Yelyena, & Me," "Flight of the Conchords: The Broadway Musical"


The show was created by Clement, McKenzie and James Bobin, and was based on the successful improvised 2005 BBC Radio 2 radio series of the same name.[3] Bobin serves as the show's main writer and director. The first episode of the series aired on HBO on June 17, 2007. The series received 100,000 views for the first season premiere scored on MySpace.[4]

On August 17, 2007, HBO announced a second season for Flight of the Conchords, originally set to premiere in 2008,[5] but which was postponed to January 2009. Prior to the announcement, Jemaine Clement stated in an interview with The New Zealand Herald, "[HBO] is interested in doing another series but we have to think about it. It's not a definite offer but they have talked about us starting writing but we've got other things we want to do as well".[6] McKenzie stated that the second season took longer to produce because the band had used most of their material in the first season. In an interview with The Star Ledger, he said "We'd need some time to develop new material. It's like the second album syndrome. It might take a lot longer".[7] Shortly after the renewal announcement, Clement stated in an interview that the second season would likely consist of fewer than twelve episodes "so they could concentrate on "quality not quantity'".

McKenzie and Clement returned to their home town of Wellington to write for the second season,[8] although the writing process was delayed by the 2007–2008 Writers Strike. Filming for the 10 episode second series began in September 2008.

The second season of the show premiered on January 18, 2009 on HBO. It gathered 250,000 streams in its first 10 days on FunnyOrDie.com. Unlike the first season, the second season was filmed and broadcast in High Definition. The first episode of the season has been made available for streaming at http://www.hbo.com/conchords.

In Australia, the second season of the show first aired on June 8, 2009 on SBS. SBS also made the episodes available for streaming (from within Australia only).[9] The DVD of the second season was released in Australia on July 29, 2009.[10]

On December 11, 2009, McKenzie and Clement announced that the show would not return for a third season. Clement had previously stated that writing the show took up a great deal of time.[1]

The programme is currently seen as an interstitial program on HBO.


Main characters

Recurring characters

One-time characters

This section includes characters, including those portrayed by notable people. Ones that are already mentioned in episode list are not listed in this section.


Critical reception

The show has received a generally positive reaction from critics. Season 1 has a 68/100 rating based on 15 reviews on metacritic.com,[13] while season 2 has an 80/100 rating, based on 10 reviews.[14] The best reviews were from the Detroit Free Press, whose critic described it as "TV's most original and irresistible new comic concoction"[15] and the San Francisco Chronicle, whose reviewer stated that it "may well be the funniest thing you've seen in ages."[16] On IMDb Flight of the Conchords has received a rating of 8.8/10.


In the 2007 Satellite Awards the show was nominated for "Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical".

The pair was awarded with the status of "2007 Wellingtonians of the Year" in their home town after their international success blossomed that year.

The show received four Emmy Award nominations in 2008. "Sally Returns" was nominated for "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series", "Yoko" was nominated for "Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series" and two songs, "Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)" and "Inner City Pressure", were nominated for "Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics".

Also in 2008, the Writers Guild of America nominated the show for three awards: "Comedy Series", "Episodic Comedy" (for "Sally Returns") and for "New Series". The Television Critics Association nominated them for "Outstanding Achievement in Comedy" and "Outstanding New Program of the Year".

In 2009, the show was nominated for six Emmy Awards. It was nominated in the categories of Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (for the episode "The Tough Brets"), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Jemaine Clement), Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (for the song "Carol Brown"), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half Hour) and Animation, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (for the episode "Prime Minister").

Filming locations

Filming for the series took place at a variety of locations and landmarks around New York City. Flight of the Conchords has, however, been consistent with its geography with respect to their neighbourhood. Some of the primary locations are listed below. Information on locations specific to particular episodes may be found on the page for that episode. Transition shots and out-of-studio location shoots have been in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. Most street scenes were filmed in Lower Manhattan or the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn.

Name Location
Bret and Jemaine's apartment 28 Henry Street, Chinatown
New Zealand consulate 232 East Broadway
Dave's pawn shop Around the corner from the 'Consulate'. 10 Montgomery Street
Steiner Studios[17] 15 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn. Indoor stages for season one filming.
Broadway Stages Indoor stages for season two filming.

For a more detailed map of filming locations for both seasons see External links

Feature film

On November 28, 2011, Bret McKenzie has stated that efforts are being made to bring the comedy folk duo to the big screen. He said: "We're going to try and do a movie. We just need a story".[18] However, HBO has stated that it does not have plans for such a film.[19]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Bret and Jemaine farewell 'Flight of the Conchords' TV show". New Zealand Herald. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  2. Behind the scenes preview video from HBO on YouTube
  3. "Flight of the Conchords: best new sitcom in years?". The Guardian. London. 2007-07-13.
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20090101041806/http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ifa55677495b300154613543ae05a6ce3?. Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "HBO Orders 2008 Editions Of CONCHORDS & ENTOURAGE!!". Ain't It Cool News. 2007-08-17. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  6. Baillie, Russell (2007-08-16). "Doubles Champ". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  7. Sepinwall, Alan (2007-08-16). "Funny 'Conchords' is ready for takeoff". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  8. Cardy, Tom (2007-08-20). "Conchords get second TV series". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  9. "Flight of the Conchords". SBS. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  10. "Flight Of The Conchords Season 2 (DVD)". dStore.com.au. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  11. Arj Barker (2009). Flight Of The Conchords: Dave's Pawn Shop Commercial #1 (HBO). HBO.
  12. Sergent, Brian (2008-02-10). "Brian Sergent's Television Page". Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  13. "Flight Of The Conchords (HBO) - Reviews from Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
  14. "Flight of the Conchords (HBO) - Reviews from Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-28.
  15. Duffy, Mike (2007-06-15). "A GIGGLY FLIGHT OF FANCY: 'Conchords' mixes mirth and music". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  16. Goodman, Tim (2007-06-15). "Musical misfits hoping for their big break". San Francisco Chronicle.
  17. Filming locations for "Flight of the Conchords" (2007) IMDB.com
  18. http://www.nme.com/filmandtv/news/flight-of-the-conchords-announce-plans-for-a-movie/254022
  19. http://www.3news.co.nz/Flight-of-the-Conchords-movie-rumours-dismissed/tabid/418/articleID/234832/Default.aspx
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