Jemaine Clement says Bret McKenzie is ghosting him over possible Flight of the Conchords reunion
It's been a motherflippin' 14 years since Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie took the U.S. by storm with their wacky HBO series Flight of the Conchords. And though they've linked up multiple times since the series concluded to take their characters on music tours, Clement is keen to reconnect with McKenzie to discuss a potential onscreen reunion.
"I don't know," Clement tells EW exclusively of whether he and McKenzie would consider doing a one-off special. "I emailed Bret twice in the last week, and he hasn't replied to either of those. So I don't know. I'm sure I'll get an answer, but it'll take some days. The first one I sent a few days ago, and he'll maybe reply to that one in a week. The second one I may get a reply in like a month saying, 'I just saw this!'
"It's surprising we got it together to make those two seasons," Clement adds with a laugh.
Since Conchords ended in 2009, the pair have certainly been busy.
McKenzie worked on The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted as a music supervisor and composer, made a cameo in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and starred in the romantic comedy Austenland, among other credits.
Clement has appeared in a variety of films including Gentlemen Broncos, Dinner for Schmucks, and Men in Black 3, and collaborated with Taika Waititi on the 2014 horror mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows. The success of that project spawned two spin-off TV series: What We Do in the Shadows on FX and Wellington Paranormal (which has been airing in New Zealand since 2018 and is coming to the CW on July 11).
And though the characters of Jemaine and Bret — fictionalized versions of Clement and McKenzie — haven't reappeared outside the duo's musical tours and a 2018 HBO concert special, Clement can imagine what they would've been up to during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think they would have been trying to jam over Zoom and being frustrated with the time lag," he says. "But they'd keep going! They'd be working all day trying to figure out who should start first and playing slightly earlier, so when I come in we would be on time. And Murray [Rhys Darby] would be a little box in the Zoom."
Clement doesn't mention Mel (Kristen Schaal), but it's hard to envision that virtual chat happening without her excitedly cheering as the chaos unfolds. And certainly, her devoted husband, Doug (David Costabile), wouldn't be too far away.
In any case, now could be the perfect time for the guys to make a big comeback, on the heels of another famous duo's split in Daft Punk.
"I think Jemaine would seize the moment and fill in," Clement joyously says. "Let's get our cardboard boxes on!"
Being asked to put the band back together isn't a new occurrence for Clement, but doing so is a complicated matter that extends beyond McKenzie's unhurried email replies.
"Even though I was making two TV shows — What We Do in the Shadows and Wellington Paranormal — making Flight of the Conchords was harder because we were making music for it at the same time," he says. "I was telling Bret how making two shows is still not as hard as making a musical show."
In the years since Conchords, many alums of the show have appeared in Clement's other projects. Both Schaal and Arj Barker popped up in the Shadows TV show, and McKenzie and Darby costarred in Diagnosis: Death and the Shadows film, with Darby also appearing in Wellington Paranormal.
McKenzie almost appeared in season 4 of Wellington Paranormal as well but was unfortunately "too busy" to do so, Clement says.
Bret, you've got it going on.
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