Flight of the Conchords meet 'The Simpsons'
Obsessive fans of Flight of the Conchords — are there any other kind? — have had to settle for repeats of the musical folk duo's HBO show, since singers-songwriters-actors Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement pulled the plug on series TV after two short seasons.
But the Kiwi funnymen popped up on the season premiere of "The Simpsons" on Sunday night doing what they do best: rapping like hyper-literate white boys and living like starving artists in a hipster Springfield borough dubbed Sprooklyn. Nerd nation rejoice!
McKenzie and Clement, with deadpan humor and acoustic guitars at the ready, played counselors as Lisa Simpson lived a summer dream of singing, dancing and acting at a theater camp with fellow geeks or, gleeks, as it were.
Several members of the Fox hit musical, "Glee," also made animated guest appearances on the 22nd-season launch. Cory Monteith, Lea Michele and Amber Riley showed Lisa the ropes at a camp called Expressions by bursting into song, much like they do in their own show. (Why was Riley's cartoon avatar so thin, by the way?)
U.S.-based fans might've caught a glimpse of Grammy winners Flight of the Conchords during live performances or comedy festivals around the country over the past year or so, but their HBO series of the same name lasted just 22 episodes. The musicians announced in late '09 that they wouldn't continue for a third season of the show, which also starred Rhys Darby and Kristen Schaal, in favor of touring, Internet projects and film work.
In an episode dubbed "Elementary School Musical," McKenzie and Clement advise Lisa Simpson to follow her dramatic dreams. (They even got an assist from Stephen Hawking.) She ends up following the guys back to their sad little hovel and their jobs as sandwich artists where they kind of take back everything they said before. Springfield, Bart, Homer and the rest didn't look so bad after that, but Lisa hasn't given up the sax. Check out the clip to see that the guys haven't lost their ironic touch.
-- T.L. Stanley