This post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”
Flight of the Conchords is a comedy duo (comprised of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) based out of New Zealand and best-known for their HBO TV series of the same name. In the show’s two seasons, their songs were interwoven into the plotlines. Their songs tended to be either self-deprecating or poking gentle fun at specific styles of music.
In Season 1, Episode 6 (“Bowie”), Bret is visited by David Bowie (played by Jermaine) in a series of dreams, each covering a different era of Bowie’s career. One of the episode’s final songs, “Bowie’s in Space” (2007) [see below] parodies Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (1969). (I read somewhere that the idea for this episode was based on Bret and Jemaine competing to see who could do the best impression of Bowie’s singing voice).
In the second season, one of my favorite songs is “I Told You I Was Freaky” (2009) [see below], which visually quotes the equally comedic “Danger! High Voltage” (2003) by Electric Six. This may be one of the few instances in which the original is more over-the-top than its parody.
Week 2 (Sounds of Laughter)