The HBO sitcom “Flight of the Conchords,” which follows the two members of the titular folk duo, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, as they try to adjust to life in New York City after moving from their native New Zealand, is a musical comedy for people who hate musicals. The comedy scenes are uniformly deadpan, reminding one more of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” than the broad comedy that you might normally associate with musicals. And the music? In addition to being funny as hell, they’re as catchy as any traditional pop songs. Here are 3 “Flight of the Conchords” episodes musicans and comedians will both love.
“Sally” In the premiere episode of “Flight of the Conchords,” Jemaine falls unrequitedly in love with a girl named Sally. Comedians will love the way this comedic premise is brilliantly exploited, while musicians won’t be able to resist three of the band’s best songs: “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room),” “Not Crying,” and “The Humans Are Dead/Robots.” Not only are these songs accompanied by brilliantly staged musical sequences, but they’re almost as hilarious as the non-musical “Flight of the Conchords” scenes.
“Drive By” Musicians will enjoy the diversity of the songs in this episode of “Flight of the Conchords.” You have a stop-motion children’s cartoon parody called “Albi the Racist Dragon,” and the band’s manager Murray gets a song in “Leggy Blonde.” You also have one of the band’s most popular favorites, entitled “Motha’uckas.” For comedians, there’s the role of the racist fruit vendor played by comedy favorite Aziz Ansari before he was a big star.
“Prime Minister” This season 2 episode of “Flight of the Conchords” has plenty of music inside jokes for musicians to sink their teeth into. Lots of Simon & Garfunkel references (including a cameo from Art Garfunkel himself), plus the band gets involved in the world of singing lookalikes, which allows for even more inside jokes on account of an Elton John impersonator. For comedians, there’s Jemaine’s unhealthily-obsessed-with-Art-Garfunkel love interest played by “Mr. Show” veteran Mary Lynn Rajskub. And that Elton John impersonator? He’s played by none other than “comedian’s comedian” Patton Oswalt. This is an episode that almost seems specifically designed to appeal to both comedians and musicians.
There they are, 3 “Flight of the Conchords” episodes musicians and comedians will both love. It’s a cinch they’ll both respond to the show’s expert blend of music and comedy, but will they be able to put aside their differences and co-exist peacefully? Only time will tell, but “Flight of the Conchords” seems to suggest that yes, they can.