Rhys Darby

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Rhys Darby
Rhys Darby 2013 (cropped).jpg
Darby performing in 2013
Rhys Montague Darby

(1974-03-21) 21 March 1974 (age 48)
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)Rosie Carnahan

Rhys Montague Darby (born 21 March 1974)[1][2] is a New Zealand actor and comedian, known for his energetic physical comedy routines, telling stories accompanied with mime and sound effects[3] of things such as machinery and animals.[4] He was nominated for the Billy T Award in 2001 and 2002.[5] He also won the 2012 Fred (Dagg) award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, for best NZ show.[6]

Darby is best known for playing Murray Hewitt, the band manager of Flight of the Conchords in the television series, a role he originally played in the BBC radio series under the name Brian Nesbit,[7] and for playing the boss of Jim Carrey's character in Yes Man, as well as roles in What We Do in the Shadows, The Boat That Rocked, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Voltron: Legendary Defender, Psycho Sam in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Crash Bandicoot in Skylanders Academy, and Half-Life: Alyx. He is currently co-starring with Taika Waititi as Stede Bonnet in the HBO Max period romantic comedy series Our Flag Means Death.[8]

Early life[edit]

Darby was born in Auckland and was brought up in the suburb of Pakuranga. He attended Edgewater College.[9] A former soldier (signaller trained in morse code), he left the New Zealand Army in 1994 and began studies at the University of Canterbury.[10] In 1996 he formed a comedy duo, Rhysently Granted, with Grant Lobban.[11] After winning an open mic contest at Southern Blues Bar in Christchurch, they began performing at local venues.[12]


Rhys Darby at Gramercy, 2007

Rhysently Granted performed at two international comedy festivals which led to Darby moving back to Auckland to seek more solo stand-up experience.[13] After performing his first solo show at the 2002 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Darby moved to the UK to pursue his career further.[5]

In 2004 he appeared in the Flight of the Conchords BBC radio series as the band's manager Brian Nesbit alongside comedy stars such as Rob Brydon, Andy Parsons and Jimmy Carr.[7] Darby plays Murray, the band's manager, on Flight of the Conchords TV show. He provided vocals for the track "Leggy Blonde" on their self-titled first album and also in the second series of the show on the track "Rejected" during the episode "A Good Opportunity" alongside tenor Andrew Drost.[14]

Darby played the role of Norman, the boss of Jim Carrey's character in Yes Man.[15] In July 2008 he appeared in a Nike advertisement featuring Roger Federer; he played an impostor posing as Federer's coach.[16][17]

He appeared on a British children's television program The Slammer during its first season. He also appeared in several advertisements for New Zealand mobile phone company 2degrees. He appeared on Soccer AM on 18 October 2008 and on Never Mind The Buzzcocks on 23 October. The DVD of his live performance Imagine That! has gone platinum in New Zealand.[citation needed]

Rhys Darby's hair colour is self-described as Electric Copper in the episode of Flight of the Conchords entitled Murray Takes It to the Next Level. He refers to this in his stand-up show It's Rhys Darby Night which he performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 6–15 August 2009,[18] The Bloomsbury Theatre in London from 27 July–1 August and toured around New Zealand with in October and November that year.

Darby played the role of Angus in the Richard Curtis film The Boat That Rocked[19] released in the UK on 1 April 2009. This film was released in some countries in November 2009 under the name Pirate Radio.[20]

In 2009 while home in New Zealand he began filming TV ads for NZ's new mobile network 2degrees and appearing in NZ shows Rocked the Nation 2, Jaquie Brown Diaries and Intrepid Journeys. He has also branched out into producing live comedy with his wife and their company Awesomeness International. At the NZ International Comedy Festival they produced shows for local comedians. Darby became a climate ambassador for Greenpeace in its Sign on climate campaign[21] and published a poem on Youtube in support of the campaign.

In 2009 Darby became a part of the New Zealand TV ONE series Intrepid Journeys, Season 5, touring Rwanda. On 10 August 2010, Entertainment Weekly claimed that Darby was in consideration for a role in the television series The Office after Steve Carell left at the end of the 2011 season, however this did not materialise.[22]

In May 2011, he also filmed a pilot for a Channel 4 sitcom in the UK, The Fun Police.[23] The pilot was broadcast on 16 September. In 2011, Darby and family moved to the US for Darby to take a role in the CBS sitcom How to Be a Gentleman.[24] Darby's second DVD "It's Rhys Darby Night!" was released in NZ on 12 December 2011.[20]

He wrote a self-described "autobiographical space novel" entitled This Way to Spaceship, which was released on 12 April 2012. On 20 May 2012, Darby was awarded the Fred Award by the New Zealand International Comedy Festival for his show of the same name as his book.[6]

In 2013, he was responsible for flying 'Cornish rappers' Hedluv + Passman to New Zealand for the New Zealand International Comedy Festival.[25] This was followed by an appearance on Seven Sharp, where he introduced 'his rappers'[25] to the New Zealand public.[26]

Since 2013, Darby has co-hosted the cryptozoology-focused podcast The Cryptid Factor with Dan Schreiber, David Farrier and producer Leon 'Buttons' Kirkbeck.[27]

Darby climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in July 2013 as part of a World Vision team of celebrities that included Olympian Mahé Drysdale and musician Boh Runga. On 8 November 2013, Darby made an appearance and performed some standup comedy in his capacity as second guest on the Late Show with David Letterman. He portrayed Anton in the 2014 release comedy horror film What We Do in the Shadows.[28]

As of July 2014, Darby and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.[29]

In February 2016, he played Guy Mann in the third episode ("Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster") of season 10 of The X-Files. Darby, a long time fan of the show, was thrilled by his experience on set. He saw this as an opportunity that only comes around every so often and said he'd return to the set the first chance he received.[30]

In 2022, he starred in the HBO Max show Our Flag Means Death as pirate Stede Bonnet. Our Flag Means Death received praise for its non-binary and LGBTQ representation,[31] in part due to the romantic relationship between Bonnet and Blackbeard, played by co-star Taika Waititi.[32]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Yes Man Norman "Norm" Stokes
2009 The Boat That Rocked Angus Nutsford Renamed Pirate Radio
Diagnosis: Death Specialist
Peacock Season Galtrex Guy
2011 Coming & Going Lee Leonetti
Love Birds Doug
Arthur Christmas Lead Elf Voice
2014 What We Do in the Shadows Anton
2016 Hunt for the Wilderpeople Psycho Sam
Trolls Bibbly Voice
2017 Killing Hasselhoff Fish
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Nigel Billingsley
2019 Guns Akimbo Glenjamin
Mosley Deaver Voice
Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans The Master of Games Voice
Jumanji: The Next Level Nigel Billingsley
2020 100% Wolf Foxwell Cripp Voice
TBA Next Goal Wins Post-production


Years Title Role Notes
2005 Who's Ya Mate? Multiple Television film
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Murray Hewitt 22 episodes
2009 The Jaquie Brown Diaries Terence Ben'et 1 episode
Comedy Showcase: The Amazing Dermot Dermot Flint
2010 Radiradirah Gavin Hoode, First Officer Rangi 3 episodes
2011 How to Be a Gentleman Mike 9 episodes
Comedy Showcase: The Fun Police Leslie
2012 Jake and the Never Land Pirates Percy
Life Stinks Connor Miniseries
The Skinner Boys: Live at Mingara NSW Professor Tinkerpuff Television stage show
QI Guest panellist Episode: Justice
2013 How I Met Your Mother Hamish 1 episode
Watsky's Releasing an Album Flynn 3 episodes
The Aquabats! Super Show! The Shark Fighter
Tiny Commando Tony Turk 2 episodes
Jake and the Never Land Pirates Percy the Penguin
Keep Calm and Karey On Television film
2014 Legit Trevor 1 episode
Short Poppies Various characters
Modern Family Fergus Anderson 1 episode
Comedy Bang! Bang! Uncle Deckard
Hot in Cleveland Jack 3 episodes
The Millers Martin Episode: "CON-Troversy"
It's a Date Craig 1 episode
2015–2016 Thunderbirds Are Go Langstrom Fischler (voice) 3 episodes[33]
2015 Life in Pieces Teddy 2 episodes
2016 The X-Files Guy Mann Episode: "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster"
Mike Tyson Mysteries Terry (voice) Episode: "Yves Klein Blues"
2016–2018 Wrecked Steve Regular
Voltron: Legendary Defender Coran (voice) 27 episodes
2017 A Series of Unfortunate Events Charles 2 episodes
Fresh Off the Boat Tony Wonder Episode: "Living While Eddie"
Dr. Ken Charles Evans Episode: "Ken and the CEO"
The Lion Guard Mwenzi (voice) Episode: "Ono the Tickbird"
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Stevahn Rabren Episode: "Dean's Legacy"
Milo Murphy's Law King Pistashion (voice) Episode: "Missing Milo"
We Bare Bears Kyle (voice) Episode: "Kyle"
The Jim Jefferies Show Jacko Episode: "America’s Opioid Epidemic"
Welcome to the Wayne Isthotep (voice) Episode: "Flutch"
2017-2019 Bob's Burgers Duncan (voice) 2 episodes
2018 Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hypno-Potamus / Mezmer-Ron (voice) Recurring role
Skylanders Academy Crash Bandicoot (voice)
The Simpsons Tag Tuckerbag (voice) Episode: "Heartbreak Hotel"[34]
The Venture Bros H.E.L.P.eR. Model Two (voice) Episode: "The Inamorata Consequence"
2018–2019 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Eddie (voice) 5 episodes
2019 Mike Tyson Mysteries Terry (voice) Episode: "Time to Fly"
2019–2020 Infinity Train Randall (voice) Episode: "The Beach Car", "The Lucky Cat Car", "Le Chat Chalet Car"
Short: "The Tech Support Car"
2019–2020 Carmen Sandiego Neal the Eel (voice) Episode: "The Crackle Goes Kiwi Caper" & "The Masks of Venice Caper"
2020 Big City Greens Life Guard (voice) Episode: "Shark Objects"
Moominvalley Mysterious Fisherman (voice) 3 episodes
The Big Fib C.L.I.V.E. 10 episodes
The Boss Baby: Back in Business Happy Sedengry 3 episodes
2021 Wellington Paranormal Anton-Park Ranger Episode: "Te Maero"
The Great North Denny the Snowflake Episode: "Game of Snownes"
2022 Our Flag Means Death Stede Bonnet Main role, 10 episodes
Pacific Rim: The Black Bunyip Man Episode: "The Never Never"
Home Economics Monroe Davies Episode: "Book Deal, Terms Negotiable"

Television appearances as himself[edit]

Year Title
2001–2002 Billy T Award
2005 Mighty Truck of Stuff
2006 The Slammer
2007–2008 Sounds Like a Laugh
2008 Yo Gabba Gabba!
2008 The Comedy Store Live
2009 Rocked the Nation 2: 100 NZ Pop Culture Moments
2009 Spicks and Specks
2009 Thank God You're Here
2009 ROVE
2009 Intrepid Journeys
2009–2012 7 Days
2010 The Qantas TV and Film Awards
2011 A Quiet Word With ...
2011 The Rob Brydon Show
2012 Mad Mad World
2012 Sunday Brunch
2012 The Comedy Marathon Spectacular
2012 QI
2013–2017 @midnight
2013 Late Show with David Letterman
2014 No, You Shut Up!
2016 The Café
2016–17 Whose Line is it Anyway? Australia
2021 The Masked Singer NZ

Comedy specials[edit]

  • Imagine That! (2008)
  • It’s Rhys Darby Night! (2011)
  • This Way to Spaceship (2012)
  • I'm a Fighter Jet (2017)
  • Mystic Time Bird (2021)

Video games[edit]

Year Title Voice role
2017 Voltron VR Chronicles Coran
2018 Dr. Grordbort's Invaders Gimble
2019 Jumanji: The Video Game Nigel Billingsley
2020 Half-Life: Alyx Russell[35]
2020 Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 3 Battle Pass voiceover


  1. ^ McDonald, Greer (7 November 2009). "Rhys Darby not planning to slow down". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  2. ^ Hunkin, Joanna (10 October 2008). "Roll call: Rhys Darby". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Rhys Darby's review". Chortle. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  4. ^ Keith Huang (13 August 2007). "Inside With: Rhys Darby". The Apiary. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  5. ^ a b Rhys Darby profile Archived 6 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Rhys Darby wins top NZ award". Television New Zealand. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Radio 2 Comedy". BBC. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  8. ^ Pulliam-Moore, Charles (15 April 2022). "How Our Flag Means Death's creator made a period romance disguised as a pirate comedy". The Verge. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Global star recalls roots". Howick and Pakuranga Times. 12 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Performance in University Comedy Show". Retrieved 25 May 2010 – via YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  11. ^ ""Mrs Whippy" song by Rhysently Granted". 2 April 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010 – via YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  12. ^ "Rhysently Granted performance in Christchurch bar 1997". 10 April 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010 – via YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  13. ^ "May 2000 Stand-up Performance". 2 September 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010 – via YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  14. ^ "Flight of the Conchords - A Good Opportunity". BBC Four. BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  15. ^ "Darby joins Jim Carrey movie". Chortle. 24 September 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  16. ^ Brown, Rich (2 July 2008). "Roger Federer's coach 'revealed' in Nike advert". The Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Video - watch video clips, live streaming, daily". Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Rhys Darby: It's Rhys Darby Night". Edinburghfestival.list.co.uk. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  19. ^ "Pirate Radio (2009)".
  20. ^ a b Rhys Darby at IMDb
  21. ^ "GREENPEACE New Zealand". Sign On. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  22. ^ Brian Gallagher (10 August 2010). "The Office Seeking Danny McBride and Rhys Darby?". MovieWeb.com. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  23. ^ "Vic Reeves and Rhys Darby to star in health and safety sitcom pilot". The British Comedy Guide. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  24. ^ "rhysdarby.com". How to Be a Gentleman.
  25. ^ a b "Rhys Darby: Two Cornish rappers and a Casiotone to go". The New Zealand Herald. 15 April 2013.
  26. ^ "Hedluv + Passman on Seven Sharp NZ". 17 April 2013. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2016 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "The Cryptid Factor".
  28. ^ "What We Do in Shadows stars FOTC's Rhys Darby, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stu Rutherford, and Jackie Van Beek". Absolute Radio. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  29. ^ Geoff Lloyd (7 July 2014). "Geoff Lloyd – Rhys Derby". absoluteradio.co.uk/onair/geoff/index.html (Podcast). Absolute Radio. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  30. ^ "Rhys Darby on Playing an X-Files Monster and the Future of Flight of the Conchords". Vulture. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Our Flag Means Death Might Just Be the Best Queer Show of the Year". Junkee. 23 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  32. ^ "Our Flag Means Death: Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby on Their Pirate Love Story's Sincere Finale — Q&A". IndieWire. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  33. ^ "News - Thunderbirds Are Go".
  34. ^ "Simpsons showrunner on Homer's 'cheating' on Marge, RuPaul's guest spot, Apu controversy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  35. ^ O'Connor, James. "Half-Life: Alyx Recasts Alyx, Eli, And Others, And Features Rhys Darby". GameSpot. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

External links[edit]