Matthew Theunissen is a business reporter

Conchords apologise for mocking Aussies

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. Photo / Supplied
Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. Photo / Supplied

The Flight of the Conchords are off to Australia - to apologise. They say they are sorry for mocking the Ockers for all these years in their hit television show.

Americans, Canadians, Indians and Kiwis - many nationalities come in for a ribbing on Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie's show. But the Aussies have it worst.

When a New York fruit vendor mistakes the Kiwis for Australians, he says: "Too bad New Zealanders are a bunch of cocky a-holes descended from criminals and retarded monkeys."

Jemaine corrects the mistake: "No, you're thinking of Australians." So the vendor apologises profusely before the three go and flip the "bird" at a guard outside the Australian Embassy.

When Jemaine discovers a woman he went home with is a brash Australian called Keitha ("It's like Keith but with an A on the end. I was named after me dad") he panics and tries to flee.

So, when the Conchords announced the long-awaited Australian leg of this year's tour, Clement said: "We are finally returning to Australia.

Mostly to apologise."

McKenzie explained in an interview with the Newcastle Herald: "I think in the States we've helped give people an idea of what New Zealanders are like but I think we maybe made Australia look quite bad, which we will be apologising for on this tour.

"Americans often come up to me and say 'Do New Zealanders really hate Australians?' and I'm like 'Noooo, it was just a joke'."

As well as selling out the Sydney Opera House, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "fourth most popular folk-parody duo" have also sold out shows in Melbourne and Perth and already have near-full houses in Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong and Newcastle before their July tour.

They recently announced they would hold second shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, where the first show sold out in minutes. The New Zealand leg of the tour, which kicks off in Hastings on June 13, is also already close to selling out.


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