Jemaine Clement

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Jemaine Clement
Flight Of The Conchords - Soho Theatre - Sunday 25th February 2018 ConchordsSoho250218-8 (39861151994) (cropped).jpg
Clement performing in 2018
Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement

(1974-01-10) 10 January 1974 (age 47)
Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand
Other namesHiphopopotamus, J-Dog, Mad Dog[1]
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • musician
  • singer
  • writer
Years active1994–present
Miranda Manasiadis
(m. 2008)
Musical career
  • Comedy
  • folk
  • acoustic
  • Bass guitar
  • guitar
  • percussion
  • keyboards
  • ukulele
  • omnichord
  • drums
  • xylophone
  • accordion
  • vocals
LabelsSub Pop
Associated acts
Comedy career
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
  • theatre
  • books

Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement (born 10 January 1974)[2] is a New Zealand actor, comedian, director, musician, singer and writer. With Bret McKenzie, as the Grammy Award-winning comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, he has released several albums and created comedy series for both the BBC and HBO. For the comedy series, he received six Primetime Emmy nominations.

He has had featured parts in films such as Dinner for Schmucks (2010), Men in Black 3 (2012), People Places Things (2015), Humor Me (2017) and The Festival (2018). He has also done voice-work for Despicable Me (2010), Rio (2011), Rio 2 (2014), Moana (2016) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017). In 2014, he made his directorial debut with What We Do in the Shadows, which he also co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in with Taika Waititi.

Early life[edit]

Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement[3] was born on 10 January 1974 in Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand,[4] and was raised by his Māori mother[3][5] in the Wairarapa region with his two brothers. 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, 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,[6] a reworking of the traditional Maori legends of Māui. The duo received New Zealand's highest comedy honour, the Billy T Award. Also at University he met Bret McKenzie with whom he performed in Edinburgh, thus forming Flight of the Conchords.



Clement and McKenzie 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.[7] 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.[8] In December 2009, the Conchords announced the show would not have a third season.[9]

Film and television[edit]

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[10] 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.[11] In 2000, he was given a Special Radio Awards Commendation for The Sunglass Store.[12]

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.[13][14] 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.[15]

Clement at Fantastic Fest in 2009

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.[16] Fellow Conchord member McKenzie appeared on the same list.

In 2015, Clement voiced a "mind-reading fart"[17] on an episode of the Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty, where he performed the song "Goodbye Moonmen".[18] 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, both in English, and the Māori dub. He based the character's voice on that of David Bowie.[19]

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

Personal life[edit]

In August 2008, Clement married his longtime girlfriend, theatre actress and playwright Miranda Manasiadis.[20] Their son was born in October 2008 in New York City.[21] They live in Wellington.



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Blood Suckers Vampire
1999 Fizz[22] Chased Man Short film
2002 Tongan Ninja[23] Action Fighter (Marvin) Also writer
2004 Futile Attraction Editor
2007 Eagle vs Shark Jarrod
2009 Gentlemen Broncos Ronald Chevalier Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
Diagnosis: Death Garfield Olyphant
2010 Despicable Me Jerry the Minion Voice cameo
Predicament Spook
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 director, writer and co-producer
Muppets Most Wanted Prison King
Rio 2 Nigel (voice)
2015 Don Verdean Boaz
People Places Things Will Henry
2016 The BFG The Fleshlumpeater (voice) Also motion capture
Moana Tamatoa (voice) Reprises this role in the 2017 Māori dub of the movie.
2017 The Lego Batman Movie Sauron (voice)
Humor Me Nate Kroll
Brad's Status Billy Wearsiter
2018 An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn Colin Keith Threadener
The Breaker Upperers Tinder Date Cameo
The Festival Robin
2019 Patrick Dustin
2020 I Used to Go Here David Kirkpatrick
2022 Avatar 2 Dr. Ian Garvin Post-production
2024 Avatar 3 Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Enid Blyton Adventure Series MIS Guard Episode: "Circus of Adventures"
2002 The Tribe VR Cowboy No. 2 1 episode
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Himself 22 episodes
Also co-creator, writer and executive producer
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 Various 3 episodes
2010 The Simpsons Ethan Ballantyne (voice) Episode: "Elementary School Musical"[15]
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 N/A Director
2014–2016 TripTank Various (voices) 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"
2016–2018 Another Period Father Black Donahue 4 episodes
2016 Divorce Julian Renaut 6 episodes
2016–2019 Milo Murphy's Law Orton Mahlson / Dr. Zone (voice) 5 episodes
2017–2019 Legion Oliver Bird 14 episodes
2017 American Dad! Magunga (voice) Episode: "Bazooka Steve"
2017 Wrecked Luther 3 episodes
2017 Robot Chicken Narrator (voice) 1 episode
2018–present Wellington Paranormal Mobot (voice) Co-creator, director, writer and executive producer
Episode: "Mobot"
2018 We Bare Bears Courtney (voice) Episode: "Rescue Ranger"
2018 Flight of the Conchords: Live in London Himself Special
Also writer and producer
2019–present What We Do in the Shadows Vladislav Also co-creator, director, writer and executive producer
2 episodes
2019–present Kiri and Lou Lou (voice) 52 episodes
2019 Year of the Rabbit Tall Man Episode: "Framed Rabbit"
2020 Steven Universe Future Kerry Moonbeam (voice) Episode: "Mr. Universe"
2020-present Tig n' Seek This Guy (voice) Main role
2021 Big Mouth Simon Sex (voice) Episode: "Best Friends Make the Best Lovers"


Year Title Notes
2002 Folk the World Tour Flight of the Conchords
2007 The Distant Future Flight of the Conchords
2008 Flight of the Conchords Flight of the Conchords
2009 I Told You I Was Freaky Flight of the Conchords
2016 "Shiny" Moana soundtrack
2018 ”Goodbye Moonmen” The Rick and Morty Soundtrack
2019 Live in London Flight of the Conchords
2020 “Mr. Universe” Steven Universe Future


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

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year[a] Nominated work Category Result Ref.
Annie Awards 2010 The Simpsons: Elementary School Musical Music in a Television Production Nominated
2011 Rio Voice Acting in a Feature Production Nominated
Emmy Awards 2008 "Yoko" Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Nominated [24][25]
"Inner City Pressure" Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Nominated
"The Most Beautiful Girl (In the Room)" Nominated
2009 Flight of the Conchords Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Flight of the Conchords Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
"Prime Minister" Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Nominated
"Carol Brown" Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics Nominated
2019 "Father & Son" Nominated
2020 What We Do in the Shadows Outstanding Comedy Series Nominated
Grammy Awards 2007 The Distant Future Best Comedy Album Won [26]
2008 Flight of the Conchords Nominated
2010 I Told You I Was Freaky Nominated
New Zealand Music Awards 2008 Flight of the Conchords Album of the Year Won
Best Group Won
Breakthrough Artist of the Year Won
Flight of the Conchords International Achievement Won
2013 "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)" Highest Selling New Zealand Single Won
New Zealand Television Awards 2019 Wellington Paranormal Best Script: Comedy Nominated
Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2008 Flight of the Conchords Funniest Duo Nominated
Satellite Awards 2007 Flight of the Conchords Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated
2009 Nominated
Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated
TCA Awards 2008 Flight of the Conchords Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Nominated
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2012 Men in Black 3 Choice Movie Villain Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards 2007 Flight of the Conchords Comedy Series Nominated [27]
New Series Nominated
"Sally Returns" Episodic Comedy Nominated
2019 What We Do in the Shadows New Series Nominated


  1. ^ Indicates the year of ceremony. Each year is linked to the article about the awards held that year, wherever possible.


  1. ^ Melis, Matt (15 March 2019). "Flight of the Conchords Woo Ladies and More on Hilarious Live in London". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  2. ^ "UPI Almanac for Friday, Jan. 10, 2020". United Press International. 10 January 2020. Archived from the original on 15 January 2020. Retrieved 1 February 2020. … actor Jemaine Clement in 1974 (age 46)
  3. ^ a b Bisley, Alexander (2 September 2014). "Interview: Jemaine Clement". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2018.|quote=...says the actor, whose own middle names Atea and Mahana mean universe and heat. }}
  4. ^ Mottram, James (14 July 2016). "Jemaine Clement: 'I worry that I'm not taking Hollywood seriously enough'". i. UK: JPIMedia Publications. Archived from the original on 2 February 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Humourbeasts 'Tales Of Maui" Comes to ChCh". 17 September 2004. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  7. ^ "BD Rumor Confirmed: Jemaine Clement Becomes 'Yaz' in 'Men in Black III'". 19 May 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Story – Entertainment". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 25 May 2010.[dead link]
  9. ^ "10 December". Flight of the Conchords. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  10. ^ Nathan Rabin (1 June 2010). "I Watched This On Purpose: Gentlemen Broncos".
  11. ^ Thomas C Hokenson (24 April 1999). "1999 New England Radio Awards Finalists". Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  12. ^ Thomas C Hokenson. "2000 New Zealand Radio Awards Finalists". Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Skitz". Gibson Group. Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Tellylaughs". Gibson Group. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Will Smith Pondering Return in 'Men in Black III'". 24 March 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  17. ^ Collis, Clark (30 July 2015). "Jemaine Clement voices a 'mind-reading fart' in exclusive Rick and Morty clip". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  18. ^ Dean, Rob (7 August 2015). "Listen to "Goodbye Moonmen" from Rick And Morty in its entirety". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  19. ^ Lawrence, Derek (20 December 2016). "Jemaine Clement gets crabby in musical Moana clip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Sorry ladies, the Conchord has flown". 18 August 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Jemaine Clement Welcomes Son Sophocles Iraia". People. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Jemaine Clement". What the Folk!. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  23. ^ "tongan ninja tonga taimi o at". Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  24. ^ "Flight of the Conchords". Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Flight of the Conchords". Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Grammy Award Results for Bret McKenzie". Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Conchords miss out on awards". 31 January 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2020.

External links[edit]