Bret McKenzie

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Bret McKenzie
Bret McKenzie Muppets Most Wanted Premiere (cropped).jpg
McKenzie at the Muppets Most Wanted premiere on 11 March 2014
Background information
Birth name Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie
Also known as Rhymenoceros
Born (1976-06-29) 29 June 1976 (age 44)
Origin Wellington, New Zealand
Genres Comedy, Folk, Acoustic
Occupation(s) Musician/Comedian/Actor
Instruments Guitar, keyboards, drums, vocals, ukulele
Years active 1994–present
Labels Sub Pop
Associated acts Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords, Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, The Black Seeds, So You're a Man, Video Kid, The Muppets
Notable instruments
Casio DG20 electric guitar (1983)

Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie, ONZM (born 29 June 1976) is a New Zealand comedian, actor, musician and producer, best known for being one half of the Grammy Award winning musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords along with Jemaine Clement. The duo's comedy and music became the basis of a BBC radio series and then an American television series, which aired for two seasons on HBO. McKenzie served as music supervisor for two Muppet films, The Muppets (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted (2014), the former of which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "Man or Muppet".

As an actor, he is known for portraying Lindir in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, respectively: in the first he remained unnamed with fans naming him Figwit, a character originally cast as an extra who gained attention thanks to the trilogy's fan community, and in The Hobbit is credited as Lindir, a small character who originally appears in the book of The Fellowship of the Ring.


McKenzie was born in Wellington, New Zealand. He is a former member of The Black Seeds. He released an album called Prototype as Video Kid[1] and is a member of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.[2] McKenzie attended Clifton Terrace Model School ("model" refers to a standard school for training teachers as opposed to modeling), Wellington College and then Victoria University of Wellington where he met Jemaine Clement who was also studying film and theatre. Together, they were members of So You're a Man and they later formed Flight of the Conchords.

As Flight of the Conchords they have toured internationally and released four CDs: Folk the World Tour in 2002,The Distant Future (which won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album) in 2007, the Grammy nominated 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 for the BBC and have appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. After a successful appearance in 2005 on HBOs One Night Stand, the Conchords were offered their own 12-part HBO series Flight of the Conchords. Its first season ran from June to September 2007, and its second season premiered on HBO 18 January 2009.

McKenzie has appeared in the first and third films in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. His silent role in the first film as Figwit achieved some minor internet fame, which led to Jackson giving him a line in the third film. In April 2011, McKenzie was cast as the elf Lindir for The Hobbit. His father Peter McKenzie played the role of Elendil in Lord of the Rings.

Along with Clement, McKenzie was featured as one of 2008's "100 Sexiest People" in a special edition of the Australian magazine Who.

McKenzie and fellow Conchord Clement 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.[3]

During the summer of 2010, McKenzie flew to Los Angeles to serve as the music supervisor for the The Muppets.[4] He went on to write four of the five original songs from the film's soundtrack including "Man or Muppet" and "Life's a Happy Song" both of which were nominated for Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and Satellite Awards for Best Original Song.[5]

At the 84th Academy Awards in 2012 his song, "Man or Muppet", won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

McKenzie, together with Australian comedian Hamish Blake starred in a New Zealand feature film, Two Little Boys, finished in late 2011 and released in New Zealand on March 2012.[6]

McKenzie wrote the original songs for the 2014 movie Muppets Most Wanted.

Personal life

He is married to New Zealand publicist Hannah Clarke[7][8] and currently maintains residences in Los Angeles, New York City and Wellington, New Zealand. They have two children; daughter Vita, born in 2009 and son Leo, born in 2011.[9]

Selected filmography

Year Title Character Format Notes
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Lindir (Elf Escort) [10] Feature film Uncredited
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Lindir (Elf Escort) [10] Feature film
2007–2009 Flight of the Conchords Bret McClegnie[11] TV series Also creator, co-writer, and executive producer
2008 The Drinky Crow Show Rob, the Alien TV series 2 episodes
2009 Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! TV series Episode: "Tennis"
2009 Diagnosis Death Dr. Cruise Film
2010 The Simpsons Kurt Hardwick TV series Episode: "Elementary School Musical"[3]
2011 The Muppets Feature Film Music supervisor[12] Original song, "Man or Muppet", won Academy Award for Best Original Song
2012 Austenland Martin Feature Film
2012 Two Little Boys Nige Feature Film
2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Lindir[10] Feature Film
2014 Muppets Most Wanted Feature Film Music supervisor[13][14][15]
2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Lindir[10] Feature Film


  1. "Video Kid".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Strachan, Alex (2 August 2010). "Gleeful over Glee: Cory Monteith to appear on The Simpsons". Retrieved 2 August 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Conchords star flies south". Stuff. Retrieved 15 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Satellite Award for Best Original Song
  6. Catanzariti, Katelyn (9 December 2010). "Hamish Blake to star with Bret McKenzie in Sarkies' Two Little Boys". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). News Corporation. Retrieved 9 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lewis, Rebecca (22 March 2009). "Bride of the Conchord - Bret marries childhood sweetheart". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Conchord has wings clipped". Fairfax New Zealand. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Smith, Jacqueline (5 November 2009). "Fatherhood keeps 'Conchords' stars busy". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 McNary, Dave (4 April 2011). "'Conchords' star McKenzie an elf in 'The Hobbit'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 4 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Vernon, Polly (9 February 2008). "The accidental sex gods". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Sternbergh, Adam (17 November 2011). "On Composing for Kermit the Frog". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 19 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Weintraub, Steve (5 November 2012). "THE MUPPETS Sequel Update: Filming Begins in Late January at Pinewood Studios in London; Bret McKenzie Writing New Songs". Collider. Demand Media Entertainment. Retrieved 7 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Fritz, Ben (15 January 2013). "Disney cancels 'Little Mermaid 3-D,' dates 'Pirates 5' for 2015". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Kit, Borys (8 January 2013). "Tina Fey in Talks to Join Disney's 'Muppets' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links