FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS
While most Americans know Flight of the Conchords as the cult HBO series involving two musically driven comedians from New Zealand, the story of the two wayward entertainers has taken on a life of its own with the duo achieving the success in real-life that their on-screen characters always dreamed of. The group, starring bandmates Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, formed in 1998 when the two were living as college roommates in Wellington, New Zealand. After finding out that their senses of humor were very similar, they decided to form their own comedy troupe and began refining their act in comedy clubs and nightclubs over the course of the late 1990s.
The duo, who calls themselves "New Zealand's 4th most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo," started to have consistent success during the early 2000s when they began playing larger gigs like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Flight of the Conchords saw their bookings increase over the course of the decade, appearing on a series of television shows and ad campaigns as well as their own HBO One Night Stand special.
By 2007, Flight of the Conchords had released their first EP, dubbed The Distant Future, and the duo heavily promoted the album by making appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman as well as at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. The album eventually won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, which opened a number of doors for the group. However, the biggest development in the group's career was the debut of their television series on HBO, which followed the fictional adventures of McKenzie and Clement as they tried to gain listeners in the American market and make it big. With a group of bright young comics like Arj Barker, Kristen Schaal and Rhys Darby, the series became a surprise hit, receiving an Emmy nomination during its first season and renewing for another.
Amazingly, Flight of the Conchords became a cult hit in the United States and many other countries around the globe, and, ironically, the fictional storyline on the show actually turned out in their favor in real life. Because of the success of the show, which combined McKenzie's and Clement's comedy as well as their music, their self-titled debut album, Flight of the Conchords, was released in 2008 and hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart in the United States. Soon after the debut of the HBO series' second season, the duo released another album, I Told You I Was Freaky, which climbed to No. 19 on the Billboard 200.
Since the end of the HBO series, Flight of the Conchords has performed at a series of shows and benefits, but there should be big plans for the duo in the future. McKenzie and Clement have both hinted about a movie deal in the works, as well as a full-scale tour in the near future, which means that the cult hit could have a few more surprises in store.