Bret McKenzie

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Bret McKenzie
McKenzie at the Muppets Most Wanted premiere on 11 March 2014
McKenzie at the Muppets Most Wanted premiere on 11 March 2014
Background information
Birth nameBret Peter Tarrant McKenzie
Also known asRhymenoceros
Born (1976-06-29) 29 June 1976 (age 43)
Wellington, New Zealand
Occupation(s)Musician, comedian, actor
Years active1994–present
LabelsSub Pop
Associated acts

Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie ONZM (born 29 June 1976) is an Academy award winning New Zealand comedian, actor, musician and producer. He is one half of musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Jemaine Clement. The duo's comedy and music became the basis of a BBC radio series and then an oft-lauded American television series, which aired for two seasons on HBO. McKenzie served as music supervisor for two Muppet films, The Muppets (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted (2014), the former of which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "Man or Muppet". His latest work has seen him write the lyrics to the 2016 Sainsbury's Christmas advert featuring James Corden on vocals.[1]

As an actor, he portrayed elves in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies: in the first he remained unnamed with fans naming him Figwit, a character originally cast as an extra who gained attention thanks to the trilogy's fan community, and in The Hobbit is credited as Lindir, a minor character who originally appears in the book of The Fellowship of the Ring.


McKenzie was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is a former member of The Black Seeds. He released an album called Prototype as Video Kid[2] and is a member of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.[3] McKenzie attended Clifton Terrace Model School ("model" refers to a standard school for training teachers as opposed to modelling), Wellington College and then Victoria University of Wellington where he met Jemaine Clement who was also studying film and theatre. Together, they were members of So You're a Man and they later formed Flight of the Conchords.

As Flight of the Conchords they have toured internationally and released four CDs: Folk the World Tour in 2002,The Distant Future (which won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album) in 2007, the Grammy nominated Flight of the Conchords in 2008, and I Told You I Was Freaky in 2009. The Conchords produced a six-part improvisational comedy radio program for the BBC and have appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. After a successful appearance in 2005 on HBOs One Night Stand, the Conchords were offered their own 12-part HBO series Flight of the Conchords. Its first season ran from June to September 2007, and its second season premiered on HBO 18 January 2009.

McKenzie has appeared in the first and third films in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His silent role in the first film as Figwit achieved some minor internet fame, which led to Jackson giving him a line in the third film. In April 2011, McKenzie was cast as the elf Lindir for The Hobbit. His father Peter McKenzie played the role of Elendil in Lord of the Rings.

Along with Clement, McKenzie was featured as one of 2008's "100 Sexiest People" in a special edition of the Australian magazine Who.

McKenzie and fellow Conchord Clement 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.[4]

During the summer of 2010, McKenzie flew to Los Angeles to serve as the music supervisor for The Muppets.[5] He went on to write four of the five original songs from the film's soundtrack including "Man or Muppet" and "Life's a Happy Song" both of which were nominated for Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and Satellite Awards for Best Original Song.[6]

At the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 his song, "Man or Muppet", won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

McKenzie, together with Australian comedian Hamish Blake starred in a New Zealand feature film, Two Little Boys, finished in late 2011 and released in New Zealand on March 2012.[7]

In the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, McKenzie was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to music and film.[8]

McKenzie wrote the original songs for the 2014 movie Muppets Most Wanted.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to New Zealand publicist Hannah Clarke[9][10] and currently maintains residences in Los Angeles, New York City, and Wellington. They have three children and mainly live in Wellington.[11]


2012 Academy Awards Best Original Song - "Man or Muppet" The Muppets


Year Title Character Format Notes
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Lindir[12] Feature film Uncredited cameo
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Lindir[12] Feature film
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Bret McClegnie[13] TV series Also creator, co-writer, and executive producer
2008 The Drinky Crow Show Rob, the Alien TV series 2 episodes
2009 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Tim's Tennis Double TV series Episode: "Tennis"
2009 Diagnosis Death Dr. Cruise Film
2010 The Simpsons Kurt Hardwick TV series Episode: "Elementary School Musical"[4]
2011 The Muppets Feature Film Music supervisor and writer of original songs[14]
Academy Award for Best Original Song
2012 Two Little Boys Nige Feature Film
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Lindir[12] Feature Film Cameo
2013 Austenland Martin Feature Film
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Feature Film Music supervisor and original songwriter[15][16][17]
2017 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Huck TV series Episode: "Looking Forward"
2018 Flight of the Conchords: Live in London Himself TV special Also writer and producer
TBA Bob the Musical Feature Film Songwriter[18]
Moonland[19] Writer, songwriter
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas[20]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Video Kid". Archived from the original on 16 October 2005. Retrieved 24 November 2005.
  3. ^ "Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra".
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Conchords star flies south". Stuff. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  6. ^ Satellite Award for Best Original Song
  7. ^ Catanzariti, Katelyn (9 December 2010). "Hamish Blake to star with Bret McKenzie in Sarkies' Two Little Boys". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). News Corporation. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee honours list 2012". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  9. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (22 March 2009). "Bride of the Conchord - Bret marries childhood sweetheart". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
  10. ^ "Conchord has wings clipped". Fairfax New Zealand. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  11. ^ Smith, Jacqueline (5 November 2009). "Fatherhood keeps 'Conchords' stars busy". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (4 April 2011). "'Conchords' star McKenzie an elf in 'The Hobbit'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  13. ^ Vernon, Polly (9 February 2008). "The accidental sex gods". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  14. ^ Sternbergh, Adam (17 November 2011). "On Composing for Kermit the Frog". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  15. ^ Weintraub, Steve (5 November 2012). "THE MUPPETS Sequel Update: Filming Begins in Late January at Pinewood Studios in London; Bret McKenzie Writing New Songs". Collider. Demand Media Entertainment. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  16. ^ Fritz, Ben (15 January 2013). "Disney cancels 'Little Mermaid 3-D,' dates 'Pirates 5' for 2015". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (8 January 2013). "Tina Fey in Talks to Join Disney's 'Muppets' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (27 July 2015). "Michael Chabon to Write Disney's 'Bob the Musical' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  19. ^ Crittenton, Anya (8 August 2016). "BRET MCKENZIE OF FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS WRITING FANTASY FILM FOR WARNER BROS. (EXCLUSIVE)". The Tracking Board. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Bret McKenzie to Develop New Film Adaptation of 'Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas'". Film Music Reporter. 21 October 2019.

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