Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement laments lack of Kiwi TV comedy

Jemaine Clement stars in the new US indie rom-com People Places Things

Jemaine Clement has hit out at New Zealand's television networks, saying they have "no interest in making comedy at all".

In an interview with The Seattle Times to promote his new film People Places Things, due in New Zealand cinemas next month, the Kiwi actor, best known as one-half of Flight of the Conchords recalled how he and Bret McKenzie quickly became disillusioned while trying to make a living as television writers.


Jemaine Clement has recalled how he and Bret McKenzie decided to start the Flight of the Conchords after realising New ...

Jemaine Clement has recalled how he and Bret McKenzie decided to start the Flight of the Conchords after realising New Zealand's TV networks had no interest in making comedy.

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"We got really sick of the kind of stuff we were trying to get paid for," he told the Times's Moira Macdonald. "Television in New Zealand is, well, you think television in America can be bad, New Zealand has all the bad stuff without the good stuff. They really have no interest in making television comedy in New Zealand at all ... So we thought, let's make a band."

Playing firstly in local bars and then touring to comedy festivals, the Conchords eventually attracted the attention of HBO representatives who offered them the chance to make a series in the US. It ran for two seasons from 2007 to 2009.

Clement also confirmed a sequel to hit 2014 vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows is in the planning stages (focused on Rhys Darby's control-freak werewolf Anton), that he and McKenzie will tour again as Flight of the Conchords ("The TV show was a lot of stress, but the touring's pretty fun") and that he has another HBO series in the works with Waititi: "kind of one-off episodes, stand-alone comedy, short films".

As well as romantic-comedy People Places Things, in which he plays a graphic novelist facing single parenthood, Clement has also been cast in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's much-loved book The BFG, which is due out this time next year.

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