We asked some musical-based acts at the Glasgow Comedy Festival to tell us what they love about Flight of the Conchords
Is it the accents? Is it the hirsuteness? Is it the manner in which they stumble around an awkward social situation while singing a lovely / silly ditty? Just what is it that makes people fall so hard for Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie? Heck, maybe we just love everything about the duo that comprise Flight of the Conchords aka 'the fourth most popular folk parodist act in New Zealand'.
Ever since charming their way into the hearts of Edinburgh audiences in 2002 (the following year they were nominated for a Perrier Award), Clement and McKenzie enjoyed further adoration in the UK with one radio series (narrated by Rob Brydon and including Jimmy Carr as an obsessive fan), 22 TV episodes (also featuring more beloved overseas Fringe alumni, Kristen Schaal, Arj Barker and Rhys Darby) and even made an appearance on The Simpsons in 2010.
Separately they've not done too badly either with McKenzie scooping an actual Oscar for penning 'Man or Muppet' in 2011 film The Muppets, which resurrected Jim Henson's sock puppets, while Clement has appeared in winning movies such as Eagle vs Shark, Dinner for Schmucks and, get this, Men in Black 3.
But news of their recent reunion was hailed as the glorious tonic we all needed in these gloomy, doomy times, and with a TV special also tipped to be on the way, 2018 looks like it'll be the year of the Conchords. But don't take our word that their return is cause for enormous celebration: here are some thoughts from a bunch of Glasgow Comedy Festival comedians whose shows feature heavy doses of music.
Paul Vickers AKA Mr Twonkey: 'Think About It'
I would say 'Think About It' is the funniest one, with lines like: 'There's people on the street / Getting diseases from monkeys / Leave those monkeys alone / They have problems of their own' and 'They're turning kids into slaves / Just to make cheaper sneakers / But what's the real cost? / 'Cos the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper'. Mr Twonkey: Twonkey's Night Train to Liechtenstein, Laughing Horse @ Caroline Of Brunswick, Fri 11-Sat 12 May.
Neil Bratchpiece AKA The Wee Man: 'Where's Murray'?
Flight of the Conchords last played Glasgow at a sold-out SECC in 2010, during which a fan shouted 'where's Murray?' referring to the character in their TV show played by Rhys Darby. Quick as a flash Jemaine replied 'he isn't here 'cos he's fictional. He's on vacation with Homer Simpson. And Taggart.' That wry, offbeat Kiwi humour was displayed with a sharp local reference thrown in. How I wish I'd been there to hear it, but my pal Rob who went to the show told me this story. I also didn't get tickets in time for their upcoming Hydro gig before it sold out so if you know anyone who knows anyone don't be a stranger. After all, a stranger's one down from 'workmates' on the friendship graph. Better yet, just tell me any notable things from the show in case The List ask me to write something like this again, which is probably unlikely. I have, however, done this nice little cartoon (see top). Blabbermouths, The Stand, Sat 10 Mar; The Wee Man's Rap Battle Showdown 2K18, The Hug and Pint, Fri 23 Mar; Billy Kirkwood & Neil Bratchpiece Mandatory Festival Show, The Admiral Bar, Sat 24 Mar.
Rachel Parris: 'The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)'
I'm a sucker for a sexy love-song so 'The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)' ticks all my boxes. 'You're so beautiful / You could be a part-time model'. It tells most of the story from first glance to first fumble, between Jemaine and the gorgeous Sally and his overly rational / badly improvised compliments to her: 'You're so beautiful / Like a … tree?' And for all his flattery falling flat, this soulful number ends on a genuinely sweet lyric, asking: 'spend part of your time modelling and part of your time / Next to me'. Irresistible. Rachel Parris: Work in Progress, Veneer Gallery, Fri 16 Mar.
MC Hammersmith: 'Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros'
I'm a freestyle rap comedian, and a huge fan of hip hop. As such, my favourite Flight of the Conchords moment is undoubtedly 'Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymnoceros'. The contrast between the gangsta rap lyrics and their uncomfortably awkward delivery is a delight to behold. And rapping about wanting more constructive feedback is just inherently wonderful. Plus, Jemaine's freestyle section is a personal highlight for me: the journey from initial visible panic to completely failing to rhyme, ending with openly admitting his loss of confidence is coincidentally a perfect replica of my own first dozen freestyle rap performances. So it resonates with me on several levels. MC Hammersmith's Magical Freestyle Factory, Liberté, Sat 24 Mar.
Chris Iskander: 'The Bus Driver Song'
The most underrated thing about Flight of the Conchords is just how good they are as musicians. They have a knack for perfectly capturing any genre they pay homage to from the French acoustic stylings of 'Foux du Fafa' to their multi-layered 'Bowie'. My favourite moment from the duo though is a live performance of 'The Bus Driver Song'. The folk story follows a man called Tony as he gives a tour of a New Zealand town, eventually revealing that he regrets his life and wishes his bus could go back in time so that he can be with a different woman. It's funnier than I describe it. Chris Iskander: Hardly Any Fish, McPhabbs, Sun 25 Mar.
Phill Jupitus: 'They're like The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band'
They have an incredibly effortless energy. I think the idea of that kind of shruggy lo-fi reluctance will be very funny in a room like the Hydro unless they've gone full-scale rock show now. I was briefly in a band with Rowland Rivron, Neil Innes and Ade Edmondson called The Idiot Bastard Band and we used to do a cover of their 'Carol Brown'. I think much like Rubberbandits, the focus for them is on making really good music before the gags. The production on both their LPs is absolutely perfect. They're more like The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band than anything else. Phill Jupitus: Juplicity, Òran Mór, Fri 16 Mar.
Flight of the Conchords, SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Mon 26 Mar.