New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords are seriously funny.
Sid Smith 2008-12-12
New Zealand's Flight of the Conchords are seriously funny – Grammy nominated and single-handedly (can a duo be single handed?) keeping the Christmas stocking filler market afloat, they've been well and truly welcomed to the collective bosom of the country.
There's an honourable and long-lived tradition of comedy songs getting under the British public's skin. Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, and Charlie Drake had a post-war nation rolling in the aisles with their mix of cheeky chappie, FX-appended novelty noises.
A few years on and it was the slap-and-tickle innuendo of Ernie by Benny Hil(one of Tory leader David Cameron's Desert Island Discs!) that had this sceptered isle all a-twitter. Ditto the albums of sketches and songs by Monty Python, The Goodies' chart-climbing Funky Gibbon, and others too numerous and possibly not so humorous to mention.
Of course, with any laugh-a-minute ditty we inevitably enter into the diminishing returns of an all-too-brief infatuation that ultimately sours as the joke wears thin and the smile wears off.
It's difficult to be churlish about the musical heart that beats at the centre of the Flight of The Conchords' schtick. Yet as plausible as the targets are for these post-modern Barron Knights - The Pet Shop Boys (Inner City Pressure), Hip-Hop (Hiphopatamus Vs Rhymenoceros) socially conscious Marvin Gaye soul (Think About It), David Bowie (er, Bowie) et al, how often these studio-polished versions of the live act would be cracking you up is open to debate. This material probably works best when you can see their whites of their geeky eyes and their witty quips are well to the fore.