Anger at US-only Conchords

01:43, Jan 31 2009

He plays the Flight of the Conchords' hapless manager, but Rhys Darby says the show's New Zealand stars played no part in the decision to broadcast a preview episode on the Internet to an American audience only.

Comedian Darby conceded the decision was no laughing matter after angry international fans bombarded to the website with complaints.

The first episode of the Conchords' second season aired exclusively last week on Funny or Die, a comedy website managed by comedian and film star Will Ferrell.

At the last minute, viewers outside the United States received a message saying they would not be able to watch because of "legal and contractual reasons".

Darby, who plays manager Murray Hewitt to struggling musicians Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie in the show, said yesterday that the actors had no say in the decision.

"I saw it was only available in the States and I thought, `OK, that's a dangerous move'. I don't know who was in charge of that."


"There were a lot of irate people, not just from New Zealand but from all over the world, saying, `Damn US!'

"I saw Bret at the airport terminal he was very concerned and knew there'd be a backlash, but there'd be nothing he could do about it."

More than 215,500 people have viewed the video in the six days it has been online, but hundreds of angry comments have been left by fans outside US borders.

"A lot of the blame has gone on America, the country itself which is great and then less blame to HBO [the broadcaster], but the most important thing is there shouldn't be any blame or anger towards the guys because they've got no control over it," Darby said.

The series will air in New Zealand on Prime early next year.



The Dominion Post