Songs and Moments from ‘Flight of the Conchords’ That Still Fly
During the back half of the aughts, comedy fans were gifted with a show featuring two New Zealanders making jokes, music and jokes as music. Flight of the Conchords is the brainchild of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, the comedic duo who play fictional versions of themselves trying to make it in the United States with both their music and the ladies. They fail spectacularly on both counts, but no one cares because watching these goofballs break out in one hysterical song after another is what it's all about. Screw the romance; bring on the bromance.
Here are some of the show's best songs and moments that still rock, just like that one specific poster in band manager Murray’s office…
’The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)’
Flyest Line: And I can't believe that I'm sharing a kebab with / The most beautiful girl I have ever seen with a kebab
The first episode of Flight of the Conchords was a banger right out of the gate, featuring many of their funniest songs. In “The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room),” Clement whips out his best impression of Prince and makes a move on Sally (Rachel Blanchard), the woman he thinks is the most beautiful in the room and probably top three on the street, “depending on the street.”
The Opening Theme Song
As far as immediately-recognizable opening songs go, this one’s near the top of the list. It’s kind of annoying that every show doesn't feature animated salt-and-pepper shakers jamming along to the opening credits. Producers should really look into that.
’Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros’
Sometimes our rhymes are polite
“Like, thank you for the dinner Ms. Wright
That was very delicious, goodnight”
Sometimes they're obscene
Like a pornographic dream
NC-17 with ladies in a stream of margarine
Hahahahaha yeah, some margarine
These guys aren’t shy about spitting some bars. In this scene, McKenzie and Clement are confronted by some muggers who never imagined their targets would end up rapping, “there ain’t no party like my nana’s tea party” to them.
’Too Many Dicks (On the Dance Floor)’
Flyest Line: The only boobs I'll see tonight will be made of origami
This one’s packed with great moments. There’s McKenzie peering at everyone through a hole in a speaker. There’s Clement sliding past the camera while saying, “Too many dicks.” There’s a bunch of Army guys dancing badly on a disco floor. There’s the bit where they stick tiny disco balls to the front of their pants. And then there’s the very important message of the song: When attempting to score with a woman at a club, “It ain’t no good if there’s too much wood.”
Those New Zealand Posters
Throughout the show, New Zealand Deputy Cultural Attaché and band manager Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby) frequently changes his office’s decorative posters about New Zealand and all its wonders. One of the first posters we see is the classic play on Murray’s music career as well as New Zealand's mountainous topography:
In fact, a lot of these posters lean into the country’s landscape, like this perfect gem:
There’s also no lack of obligatory sheep jokes:
Other posters make jokes about New Zealand not being part of Australia, and there’s also this crucial and needed reminder:
The Prime Minister of New Zealand
Bryan (Brian Sergent) is New Zealand’s prime minister who’s deeply disinterested in running his country. Instead, the man’s obsessions lie with American movies like Cars and thinking that everyone’s living in The Matrix.
Flyest Line: Come on and make a donation / To save a shaking dalmation
When the guys meet Brahbrah (Kristen Wiig), who is looking for her epileptic dog in the park, they do a charity concert to raise awareness of canine epilepsy in a veiled attempt to score points with her. Filled with lines like “send lots of money to stop these dogs from actin’ funny,” the song hilariously ends with a “remix version” featuring strobe lights because these two bozos have no idea what they’re doing.
’Bret You've Got It Goin On’
Why can't a heterosexual guy tell a heterosexual guy
That he thinks his booty is fly?
Not all the time, obviously
Just when he's got a problem with his self-esteem
Don't let anybody tell you you're not humpable
Because you're bumpable
Well, I hope this doesn't make you feel uncomfortable
In an effort that drips with good intentions, Clement tries to cheer up McKenzie, who’s feeling down because he’s small and skinny. The song quickly derails into a sort of confession about Clement once pretending that McKenzie was a woman. It’s the perfect payoff.
’Inner City Pressure’
So you think maybe you'll be a prostitute
Just to pay for your lessons, you're learning the flute
The ladies wouldn't pay you very much for this
Looks like you'll never be a concert flautist
In a parody of Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls,” Clement and McKenzie sing/lament about the struggles of living in the city. From their landlord breathing down their necks to counting coins just to buy muesli at the 7-Eleven, the song touches on relatable elements of urban living, including crossing the street for no apparent reason.
You're wearing that baggy old ugly T-shirt
You got from your work several years ago
Mmm, you know the one, baby
With the curry stain, oww!
The juxtaposition of Clement getting in the mood for some boinking with Sally and the two of them doing everything but — “Then we’re in the bathroom, brushing our teeth / That’s all part of the foreplay” — is comedy gold here. The awkward couple eventually does get down to business, and watching Clement think that absolutely everything is sexy in the moment, even when Sally asks him, “Is that it?” is unforgettable.
’Foux du Fafa’
Et maintenant le voyage à le supermarché!
Soupe du jour
Jacques Cousteau, baguette, hon!
One of the duo’s most famous songs, it’s the scene where they spontaneously start singing in French after spotting some croissants in a bakery. Well, “singing in French” might be a stretch here since they basically string a bunch of French 101 words together to try and make up a handful of lyrics. It doesn’t matter, though, because this ridiculous song was one of the show’s best earworms. Also, McKenzie saying “Bœuf” is a moment.
When I shake it, I shake it all up
You probably think that my pants have the mumps
It's just my sugalump bump-a-bumps
They look so good; that's why I keep 'em in the front
Clement and McKenzie contemplate becoming sex workers to make more money. Parodying "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas, Clement pulls out his sexy hip swings as McKenzie does some Justin Timberlake-style backup vocals while spinning on top of a Lazy Susan.
Clement as David Bowie
We will state right here that Clement might just do the best David Bowie impersonation we have ever seen in comedy. Not just that — the man does three versions of the late musician who visits McKenzie in a “freaky dream” to impart some wisdom on self-esteem. There’s 1972 David Bowie from the Ziggy Stardust tour wearing a Beetlejuice suit while discussing eye patches. There’s 1980 David Bowie from the music video “Ashes to Ashes” who advises McKenzie to do “something outrageous.” And then there's 1986 David Bowie from the movie Labyrinth, who is all depressed because none of his advice helped McKenzie out of his funk. At least Sad Bowie can still play with his magic balls.
These aren't tears of sadness because you're leaving me
I've just been cutting onions
I'm making a lasagna
Possibly the funniest song to come out of the episode with the funniest songs; it’s the one where McKenzie and Clement want you to know that they are absolutely and most definitely not crying. Italian food just makes them sad, okay?