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Jemaine Clement (born 10 January 1974) is a New Zealand comedian, actor and musician. He forms one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Bret McKenzie. The pair have released multiple albums, created a BBC radio series and a HBO American television series that aired for two seasons.

Jemaine Clement
Jemaine Clement Fantastic Fest (cropped).jpg
Clement at Fantastic Fest in September 2009
Background information
Also known as Hiphopopotamus
Born (1974-01-10) 10 January 1974 (age 43)
Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand[1]
  • Comedy
  • folk
  • acoustic
Occupation(s) Comedian, musician, singer, actor, director, writer, multi-instrumentalist
Years active 1994–present
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts
Comedy career
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
  • theatre
  • books

He has starred in films such as Gentlemen Broncos (2009), Rio (2011), Men in Black 3 (2012) and Moana (2016). In 2014, he made his feature film directorial debut with the horror comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, which he wrote, starred in and directed with Taika Waititi.


Early lifeEdit

Jemaine Clement was born on 10 January 1974 in Masterton, New Zealand, and was raised by his Māori mother,[2] in the Wairarapa region. He attended Makoura College in Masterton. After graduation, he moved to New Zealand's capital Wellington, where he studied drama and film at Victoria University of Wellington. There he met Taika Waititi (a.k.a. Taika Cohen) with whom he went on to form So You're a Man and The Humourbeasts. In 2004, the Humourbeasts toured New Zealand in a stage show titled The Untold Tales of Maui,[3] a rework of the traditional Maori legends of Māui. The duo received New Zealand's highest comedy honour, the Billy T Award.



Clement and Bret McKenzie formed Flight of the Conchords while at Victoria University. They have toured internationally and released four CDs: Folk the World Tour in 2002, The Distant Future EP in 2007 (winner of 2008 Grammy for Best Comedy Album), Flight of the Conchords in 2008 and I Told You I Was Freaky in 2009. In 2005 the Conchords produced Flight of the Conchords, a six-part comedy radio programme on BBC Radio 2. They appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show. After appearing in 2005 on HBO's One Night Stand, the Conchords were offered their own 12-part HBO series Flight of the Conchords, which was based on their earlier BBC radio series of the same name.[4] Its first season ran from June to September 2007, and was renewed for a second season, which aired on HBO in the US from January to March 2009.[5] In December 2009, the Conchords announced the show would not have a third season.[6]

Film and televisionEdit

Clement has appeared in several feature films. His debut was in the kung fu comedy Tongan Ninja, directed by New Zealander Jason Stutter. He has worked with Stutter on two more movies to date: the low budget ghost comedy Diagnosis Death and the drama Predicament, based on the book by late New Zealand novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson. He was also the voice of Swayzak in the Toonami Shockwave game "Trapped in Hyperspace". Clement also has a role in American comedy Gentlemen Broncos, directed by Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess. This role landed him a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male. Though Gentlemen Broncos was almost universally panned by critics, some[7] singled out Clement's performance for praise. In 2010, he voiced Jerry in Despicable Me and appeared in the film Dinner for Schmucks. In 2011, he voiced Nigel in Rio, and in 2012 he appeared as the primary antagonist Boris the Animal in Men in Black 3. In 2012, Jemaine co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in a vampire mockumentary titled What We Do in the Shadows with Taika Waititi. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 19 January 2014. He also reprised his role as Nigel in Rio 2.

Clement has starred in television commercials internationally and provided voiceovers for many others in New Zealand. On 5 February 2006, Outback Steakhouse began running a series of television commercials starring Clement during Super Bowl XL in which Clement pretends to be Australian and feigns an Australian accent. One of the long-running gags of Flight of the Conchords is the traditional rivalry between New Zealand and Australia and the differences between their accents. The campaign ended in July 2006.

Clement has been involved in award-winning radio work. In 1999, Clement was a Radio Awards Winner as writer for Trashed, for Channel Z, Wellington.[8] In 2000, he was given a Special Radio Awards Commendation for The Sunglass Store.[9]

Besides his television work on Flight of the Conchords, Clement was a writer and cast member of the television shows Skitz and Tellylaughs in New Zealand.[10][11] Clement, with fellow Conchord member Bret McKenzie, guest starred as a pair of camp counselors in "Elementary School Musical", the season premiere of the 22nd season of The Simpsons, which aired on 26 September 2010.[12]

Clement also played the role of a prisoner in a Russian gulag in the 2014 film Muppets Most Wanted, a sequel to The Muppets (2011).

Clement was featured as one of 2008's "100 Sexiest People" in a special edition of the Australian magazine Who.[13] Fellow Conchord member McKenzie appeared on the same list.

In 2015, Clement voiced a horse in two DirecTV commercials.[14] In the same year, he voiced a "mind-reading fart"[15] on an episode of the Adult Swim animated series Rick And Morty, where he performed the song "Goodbye Moonmen".[16] Clement also starred in the independent film, People Places Things, which received positive reviews.

In 2016, Clement lent his voice to Tamatoa, a giant coconut crab, in the Disney animated film Moana. He based the character's voice on that of David Bowie.[17]

In 2017, Clement played Oliver Bird in the FX TV series Legion. He also plays Sauron in The Lego Batman Movie.

Personal lifeEdit

In August 2008, Clement married his longtime girlfriend, theatre actress and playwright Miranda Manasiadis.[18] Their first child, a son named Sophocles Iraia Clement, was born in October 2008, in New York City.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Blood Suckers Vampire
1999 Fizz[20] Chased Man Short film
2002 Tongan Ninja[21] Action Fighter (Marvin) Also writer
2004 Futile Attraction Editor
2007 Eagle vs Shark Jared
2009 Gentlemen Broncos Ronald Chevalier Nominated–Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
2009 Diagnosis: Death Garfield Olyphant
2010 Despicable Me Jerry the Minion Voice cameo
2010 Predicament Spook
2010 Dinner for Schmucks Kieran Vollard
2011 Rio Nigel Voice
Nominated–Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production
2012 Men in Black 3 Boris the Animal Nominated–Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
2014 What We Do in the Shadows Vladislav Also writer, director and co-producer
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Prison King
2014 Rio 2 Nigel Voice
2015 Don Verdean Boaz
2015 People Places Things Will
2016 The BFG The Fleshlumpeater Motion capture
2016 Moana Tamatoa Voice
2017 The Lego Batman Movie Sauron Voice
2017 Humor Me Nate Kroll
2017 Brad's Status Billy Wearsiter
2018 An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn Colin Keith Threadener Post-production
2018 The Festival Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Enid Blyton Adventure Series MIS Guard Episode: "Circus of Adventures"
2002 The Tribe Virtual Reality Cowboy No. 2 Episode: #4.24
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Jemaine 22 episodes; also writer and executive producer
Nominated–Writers Guild of America Award for Television: New Series (2008)
Nominated–Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Comedy Series (2008)
Nominated–Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy (2008)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (2008–2009)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (2008–2009)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (2009)
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series (2009)
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (2009)
2008 The Drinky Crow Show Alien Voice
2 episodes
2009 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Eric's tennis double Episode: "Tennis"
2010 Radiradirah Voice
3 episodes
2010 The Simpsons Ethan Ballantyne Voice
Episode: "Elementary School Musical"[12]
2012 Napoleon Dynamite Professor Koontz Voice
Episode: "Scantronica Love"
2013 Out There Babel & Tenebres Voices
Episode: "Enter Destiny"
2013 #7DaysLater Ms. Lockett's Father Voice
Episode: "Portrait"
2014 Short Poppies Directed 2 episodes
2014–2016 TripTank Sir Ian / Various Voice
7 episodes
2015 Rick and Morty Fart Voice
Episode: "Mortynight Run"
2016 Regular Show Ziggy Voice
Episode: "California King"
2016 Inside Amy Schumer DJ Episode: "Psychopath Test"
2016 Another Period Father Black Donahue 3 episodes
2016 Divorce Julian Renaut 6 episodes
2016–present Milo Murphy's Law Dr. Zone Voice
2017–present Legion Oliver Bird 5 episodes
2017 American Dad! Sky Crooner Voice
Episode: "Bazooka Steve"
2017 Wrecked Luther 3 episodes
2017 Robot Chicken Voice
Episode: "Freshly Baked: The Robot Chicken Santa Claus Pot Cookie Freakout Special: Special Edition"



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Also writer
2016 The Mysterious Secrets Of Uncle Bertie's Botanarium Lord Joseph Banks Podcast

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Jemaine Clement Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  2. ^ O'Neal, Sean (30 October 2009). "Interview: Jemaine Clement". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 30 October 2009. I'm part Maori. My mum's Maori, and she raised me. 
  3. ^ "Humourbeasts 'Tales Of Maui" Comes to ChCh". 17 September 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "BD Rumor Confirmed: Jemaine Clement Becomes 'Yaz' in 'Men in Black III'". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Story – Entertainment". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ "10 December". Flight of the Conchords. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Nathan Rabin (1 June 2010). "I Watched This On Purpose: Gentlemen Broncos". 
  8. ^ Thomas C Hokenson (24 April 1999). "1999 New England Radio Awards Finalists". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Thomas C Hokenson. "2000 New Zealand Radio Awards Finalists". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Skitz". Gibson Group. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Tellylaughs". Gibson Group. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Strachan, Alex (2 August 2010). "Gleeful over Glee: Cory Monteith to appear on The Simpsons". Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Will Smith Pondering Return in 'Men in Black III'". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Liviu Marica. "DIRECTV: Hannah Davis Riding Her Horse". Daily Commercials. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Collis, Clark (July 30, 2015). "Jemaine Clement voices a 'mind-reading fart' in exclusive Rick and Morty clip". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  16. ^ Dean, Rob (August 7, 2015). "Listen to "Goodbye Moonmen" from Rick And Morty in its entirety". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  17. ^ Lawrence, Derek (December 20, 2016). "Jemaine Clement gets crabby in musical Moana clip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Sorry ladies, the Conchord has flown". 18 August 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  19. ^ Scott Wolf, on Scott Wolf Spent Wife's Labor Sobering Up (29 March 2010). "Jemaine Clement Welcomes Son Sophocles Iraia". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "Jemaine Clement". What the Folk!. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "tongan ninja tonga taimi o at". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 

External linksEdit