January 10, 2014
Best known as the bespectacled half of the musical comedy musical duo Flight of the Conchords, the half-Maori New Zealand comedian, actor, and musician JEMAINE CLEMENT (born 1974) was a respected artist in his homeland before teaming up with Bret McKenzie for a series of albums and their 2007–09 HBO series. In 1999, he and Taika (Cohen) Waititi received the country’s highest comedy award; in 2004, the two toured New Zealand in a stage show titled The Untold Tales of Maui. Since Flight of the Conchords ended, Clement has appeared in a number of feature films — for example, he was the voice of Jerry in Despicable Me, the voice of Nigel in Rio, and he was the villain in Men in Black 3. Last year, it was announced that Clement would be starring in a Wellington, NZ-based vampire comedy, directed by his friend Waititi. But his Hollywood career isn’t the only reason he’s the sexier half of the Conchords: Whether it’s the sensual slow jam “Business Time” or the infectious synthpop strains of “Too Many Dicks (On the Dancefloor),” Clement is brilliant at blending comedy with sensuality.
HUMORISTS at HILOBROW: Michael O’Donoghue | Jemaine Clement | Andy Kaufman | Danny Kaye | George Ade | Jimmy Durante | Jack Benny | Aziz Ansari | Don Rickles | Godfrey Cambridge | Eric Idle | David Cross | Stewart Lee | Samuel Beckett | Jerry Lewis | Joanna Lumley | Jerome K. Jerome | Phil Silvers | Edward Lear | Tony Hancock | George Carlin | Stephen Colbert | Tina Fey | Keith Allen | Russell Brand | Michael Cera | Stan Laurel | Ricky Gervais | Gilda Radner | Larry David | Chris Pontius | Dave Chappelle | Jimmy Finlayson | Paul Reubens | Peter Sellers | Buster Keaton | Flann O’Brien | Lenny Bruce | Sacha Baron Cohen | Steve Coogan | PG Wodehouse | A.J. Liebling | Curly Howard | Fran Lebowitz | Charlie Kaufman | Stephen Merchant | Richard Pryor | James Thurber | Bill Hicks | ALSO: Comedy and the Death of God
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Ray Bolger, Max Roach.
READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Reconstructionist (1964–1973) and Revivalist (1974-82) Generations.