Jemaine Clement Slams New Zealand TV

Publish Date
Monday, 17 August 2015, 8:15PM
Photo / Sarah Ivey

Photo / Sarah Ivey

Jemaine Clement has criticised local television networks, telling a US newspaper they have "no interest in making television comedy in New Zealand at all".

The Flight of the Concords comedian told the Seattle Times that he and co-star Bret McKenzie decided to start a band after being rejected by New Zealand television producers.

"Television in New Zealand is, well, you think television in America can be bad, New Zealand has all the bad stuff without the good stuff," he told the Seattle Times.

"They really have no interest in making television comedy in New Zealand at all ... So we thought, let's make a band."

It's not the first time Clement has spoken out against New Zealand television networks.

Last year he told the Guardian that, "Not being too clever is a concern in New Zealand TV."

Clement and McKenzie performed their Flight of the Concords act in local bars and comedy festivals before attracting international attention.

He said Flight of the Concords was rejected by local TV producers before becoming a smash hit on HBO in the United States.

"They'd say, 'Middle New Zealand won't get it.' Idiots! I'd go, 'What are you talking about? I'm from middle New Zealand, and you're not.' I always have a working-class chip on my shoulder about those people."

Clement confirmed to the Seattle Times that a sequel to vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadow was in the planning stages, as well as a Flight of the Concordstour.

A new HBO series with Taika Waititi was also in the works, which he described as "kind of one-off episodes, stand-alone comedy, short films".

He recently starred as a single dad of twins in People Places Things and has been cast in the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's book 'The BFG'.

NZ Herald

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