Jemaine Clement

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Jemaine Clement
Jemaine Clement.jpg
Clement performing at Cirkus in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2010
Background information
Birth name Jemaine Clement
Born (1974-01-10) 10 January 1974 (age 42)
Masterton, Wellington, New Zealand[1]
Genres Comedy, folk, acoustic
Occupation(s) Comedian, musician, actor
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, percussion, keyboards, ukulele, omnichord, drums, xylophone, accordion, vocals
Years active 1994–present
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts Bret McKenzie, The Humourbeasts, Flight of the Conchords, So You're a Man
Comedy career
Medium Stand-up, film, television, theatre, books
Genres Observational comedy, satire, black comedy, self-deprecation, cringe comedy, deadpan
Subject(s) Jewish culture, race relations, human sexuality

Jemaine Clement (born 10 January 1974) is a New Zealand comedian, actor and multi-instrumentalist, known as one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Bret McKenzie and the voice of Nigel the Cockatoo in the Rio film series.

Early life[edit]

Jemaine Clement was born in Masterton, New Zealand on 10 January 1974 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. The Conchords produced a six-part improvisational comedy radio program on BBC Radio 2 and have 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.[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 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. 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 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.

Personal life[edit]

In August 2008, Clement married his longtime girlfriend, theatre actress and playwright Miranda Manasiadis.[17] Clement's first child, a son named Sophocles Iraia Clement, was born in October 2008, in New York City.[18]


Year Film Role Notes
1995 Blood Suckers Vampire
1996 The Enid Blyton Adventure Series MIS Guard Episode: Circus of Adventures
1999 Fizz[19] Chased Man Short Film
2002 The Tribe Virtual Reality Cowboy No. 2 Episode: #4.24
Tongan Ninja[20] Action Fighter (Marvin) Also Writer
2004 Futile Attraction Editor
2006 What We Do in the Shadows Director/Writer Short film
2007 Eagle vs Shark Jared
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Clemaine TV Series: 22 Episodes
Also Writer/Executive Producer
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (2009)
2008 The Drinky Crow Show Alien TV series: 2 episodes
Voice Only
2009 Gentlemen Broncos Ronald Chevalier Nominated - Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male (2009)
Diagnosis: Death Garfield Olyphant
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Eric's tennis double Episode: "Tennis"
2010 Despicable Me Jerry the Minion Voice only
Predicament Spook
Dinner for Schmucks Kieran Vollard
Radiradirah TV series: 2 episodes
Voice only
The Simpsons Ethan Ballantyne Voice only
Episode: "Elementary School Musical"[12]
2011 Rio Nigel Voice only
Nominated - Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production (2011)
2012 Men in Black 3 Boris the Animal Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain
Napoleon Dynamite Professor Koontz Voice only
Episode: "Scantronica Love"
2013 Out There Tenebres (Destiny's little brother)
Babel (Destiny's father)
Voice only
Episode: "Enter Destiny"
#7DaysLater Harrison Engstrom Voice only
Episode: "Portrait"
2014 What We Do in the Shadows Vladislav Also writer/director
Muppets Most Wanted Prison King
Rio 2 Nigel Voice only
TripTank Various TV series: 4 episodes
Voice only
2015 Don Verdean Boaz
People Places Things Will
Rick and Morty Fart TV series
Voice only
Episode: "Mortynight Run"
Divorce TV series
Episode: "Pilot"
2016 The BFG TBA

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jemaine Clement Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  2. ^ O'Neal, Sean (30 October 2009). "Interview: Jemaine Clement". AV 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. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  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. 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". 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. ^ "Sorry ladies, the Conchord has flown". 18 August 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Scott Wolf, on Scott Wolf Spent Wife's Labor Sobering Up (29 March 2010). "Jemaine Clement Welcomes Son Sophocles Iraia". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  19. ^ "Jemaine Clement". What the Folk!. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  20. ^ "tongan ninja tonga taimi o at". Retrieved 25 May 2010. 

External links[edit]