Conchords call time on popular TV show

By Michelle Coursey

Kiwi comedy duo Flight of the Conchords will be only making one more season of their award-winning sitcom.

Fans are sure to be disappointed, but Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie have told British music magazine Q two seasons will almost certainly be the end.

The first series of the quirky show has aired in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but the twosome said they were struggling with "a difficult second series" during an interview for Q.

"We've got a lot of half-songs," said Clement. "We've got an album's worth of beginnings of songs."

McKenzie revealed this series, made up of 10 new episodes, would likely be the last. "The second series seems to me like it would be a good end to the show. I feel like another 10... that will be enough."

If the sitcom finishes after this run, it will find itself in good company alongside Ricky Gervais' award-winning comedies, The Office and Extras, which ended leaving fans wanting more after two seasons.

Clement and McKenzie have been pursuing other avenues, including auditioning for movies.

McKenzie told Q he had applied for a part in a film adaptation of the Justice League of America.

Flight of the Conchords, which screened on Prime, has brought the Kiwi men international acclaim, along with winning a Grammy award for best comedy album.

Clement and McKenzie attribute much of their success to the series - including landing a booking for one of the biggest comedy gigs the world has seen, playing to 20,000 people in London's new O2 arena in January.

Rock royalty including The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Justin Timberlake and Neil Diamond have played at the arena which opened last year.

Heralded by Q as "the funniest thing to be found right now both on stage and TV," the Kiwis were low key about the achievement.

"I think having a TV show helps fill a big venue," Clement said. "We have seen how powerful TV can be."

The pair are now based in Los Angeles where they have been performing to sell-out audiences in venues such as the Orpheum Theatre and the Amoeba Music record store, where they attracted more fans than than Paul McCartney's visit.

Q celebrated the Grammy-award winning pair as the "cult hit of the moment," putting them on a level with Brit musical comedians The Mighty Boosh, and Hollywood actor Jack Black's band Tenacious D.

The performance at O2 will see the pair return to the UK, where they first gained worldwide acclaim.

Appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival saw them nominated for the festival's Perrier Award in 2003, and they performed a six-part BBC Radio 2 series in 2005.

The Welsh narrator of the radio show, comedian Rob Brydon, compared the duo's lyrics to "the wit of Paul Simon or Bob Dylan" when interviewed by Q.

He said: "Musical genre spoofs are hardly the world's freshest concept, but much of Flight of the Conchords' success is attributable to the robustness of their songwriting."

- Herald on Sunday

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