Gr8at: Murray Hewitt

Wacky New Zealand comedy Flight of the Conchords featured some wonderfully entertaining and highly eccentric characters. Arguably, the funniest of these was the band’s naively optimistic and musically ignorant manager Murray Hewitt. Here are eight of his finest quotes.

Murray Hewitt

Murray: We need ways to enlarge the fan base
Jemaine: What fan base? You mean Mel? That’s not a fan base, that’s just a woman 
Murray: I’m calling it a fan base from now on. It makes it sound better. If you call and say ‘the fan will be there’ they can tell it’s only one person.

Jemaine: Murray, we need some money.
Murray: Oh, okay. How much? [He fetches a lock box from a drawer] We’ve got four dollars in here.
Jemaine: I thought we had ten dollars?
Murray: This box cost six.

Murray: A lot of New Zealanders come over here and they come into my office. I give them reflective vests, a map, I tell them to stay away from large crowds by going through back-alleys, yet almost every day a New Zealander is mugged!

Murray: When you’re in a band, you don’t get with your bandmate’s girlfriend – past or present.
Jemaine: Yes, well thanks for that.
Murray: You get a love triangle – you know? Fleetwood Mac situation. Well there there was four of them, so more of a love square. But you know, no one gets on.
Jemaine: Okay, I see.
Murray: Mind you, they did make some of their best music back then.
Bret: Rumours.
Murray: No, that’s all true.

Bret: We don’t look like Daft Punk. We wanted costumes that looked like Daft Punk.
Murray: I don’t know who he is.

Jemaine: You booked us a gig as a Simon and Garfunkel tribute act?
Murray [sighs] You’re onto it.
Jemaine: You’re trying to disguise it?
Murray: I tried to disguise it as a gift. Okay? I’ll admit it.
Bret: Murray, we don’t sing other people’s songs.
Murray: Oh, I know, Bret. But here’s the thing. I listened to some of their songs, and they’re actually better than your songs.

Jemaine: Murray, I was thinking perhaps we could do gigs at night.
Murray: No.
Jemaine: Yes. Most bands –
Murray: No.
Jemaine: Most bands play at night.
Murray: Not again. We’ve talked about this.
Jemaine: Most bands play at night.
Murray: It’s too dangerous out there at night.
Jemaine: We go around walking around at night all the time.
Murray: Well, you know, anything could happen. You could get run over, pickpocketed, erm… fall down a manhole, bump into people, murdered… imagine that. Or even just ridiculed.

Murray: Pied Piper was cool.
Jemaine: No he wasn’t, he kidnapped all those children.
Murray: “I mean before that phase, when it was just the rats.

Line(s) of the Day #FlightoftheConchords

Flight of the Conchords

Jemaine: Bret dissed a lot of people in that rap thing that he did.
Murray: Who were these people you were dissing? The only one I could make out was Snoopy! What’s your problem with him?
Bret: No, Snoop Dogg.
Murray: Yeah, I know he’s a dog, Bret. I’m not totally in the dark ages. I do go out every once in a while. But, Snoopy’s lovable! Leave him alone

Jemaine Clement, Rhys Darby and Bret McKenzie in the New Zealand comedy Flight of the Conchords (2007 -2009).

Reviews and other Features: Sitcoms quiz

As you all will have noticed I really do love to laugh. It really is such a great feeling. Below are 15 of the shows I watched that continually had me in stitches. How many of the 15 sitcoms can you work out? Is there one that make you laugh more than the others? As always, feel free to share your thoughts.

TV show 1 1.

TV show 2 2.

TV show 3 3.

TV show 4 4.

TV show 5 5.

 

TV show 6 6.

TV show 7 7.

TV show 8 8.

TV show 9 9.

TV show 10 10.

TV show 11 11.

TV show 12 12.

TV show 13 13.

TV show 14 14.

TV show 15 15.

 

Answers

_______________________

1. Father Ted

2. The Golden Girls

3. Blackadder

4. Yes, Minister

5. Friends

6. Frasier

7. The Inbetweeners

8. Seinfeld

9. The Larry Sanders Show

10. Only Fools and Horses

11. Everybody Loves Ramond

12. Flight of the Conchords

13. Fawlty Towers

14. Scrubs

15. Arrested Development

 

Gr8 – Bromances

The term may be recent, but TV has caught up fast with the closest of male friendships. Do you have a favourite? Here are mine.

Bert and Ernie – Sesame Street

Bert and Ernie

It isn’t just any male friendship that has a company press statement denying both characters are gay and that they are in fact, “just good friends”.  But then not just any bromance leads to regular cultural references in shows like Friends, Family Guy and Saturday Night Live. Since their introduction to Sesame Street in 1969, this muppet pair have been an inseparable double act, with Bernie the long-suffering straight man and Ernie the wacky funnyman. With many scenes set in their shared bedroom (and with Ernie even sharing Bert’s bed when he feels scared), and their bath habits well known to each other, the friendship is incredibly close. Ernie’s short concentration span, madcap theories and fondness for his “rubber duckie” provide a lot of the duo’s humour, as does the regular exasperation of the long suffering Bert. But for all the frustration, the unexciting Bert, with his love of pigeons and paperclips, is really fond of his maverick pal, and couldn’t manage without him. Even if he would get far more sleep.

JD and Turk – Scrubs

JD and Turk

In many ways, the definitive bromance. Going above and beyond the Richter Scale for traditional boundaries of male friendship, the medical duo share more than just the Sacred Heart Hospital workplace.  Sharing feelings, pet names and countless in-jokes, their mutual love for each other is a longstanding joke to everyone else. This is summed up when two female interns do a mocking skit of their behaviour and end it by passionately kissing. Not to mention when Carla and Turk get back from their honeymoon. Turk and JD ecstatically run into each other’s arms and she wistfully says of her husband: “Maybe one day he will love me like that”. Unable to stay apart for any significant length of time, the friendship survives all possible challenges. JD kissing Carla, Turk’s competitive nature and his settling down with Carla, as well as occasional professional differences of opinion, only seem to strengthen the friendship. JD and his “brown bear” are high school sweethearts that have no interest in graduating.

Carter and Stuart – Spin City

Carter and Stuart

Before creating Scrubs, sitcom guru Bill Lawrence helped to come up with a different angle of the close buddy friendship. Spin City told of the adventures of the fictional PR team behind a bumbling New York Mayor. Though Michael J Fox was the show’s star and lead character, the most hilarious moments tended to come from scenes between Chief of Staff Stuart and Head of Minority Affairs Carter.  With Carter an erudite, stylish and charming black homosexual, and Stuart a sleazy womaniser who shoots from the proverbial hip, the dynamic spark jumped off the screen. As well as generating all kinds of laughs, the relationship even gained praise for its positive portrayal of a character being both black and confident of his sexuality, and how two such seemingly different characters in Carter and Stuart could become such genuinely close friends. Getting jealous and over protective of each other’s dating choices, and even sounding like an old married couple with all their bickering, they really are sitcom’s “Odd Couple”.

Joey and Chandler – Friends

Joey and Chandler

Amidst Jennifer Anniston’s haircuts, the Ross and Rachel storyline, Monica’s dreams of culinary recognition and Pheobe’s ever-peculiar familiar history, there was always Joey and Chandler’s friendship. Meeting after Joey answered Chandler’s advert looking for a flatmate, the pair soon embraced each other and became the closest of friends. Chandler may have been smarter, funnier and had the well-paid job that no one could quite name, but it was Joey who really brought the fun to the party. He may know how to bring a girl back to his flat, win a game of foosball (table football) and make the perfect sandwich, but it was his fierce loyalty and good humour through his acting struggles that made him so endearing. The fact that Joey knew exactly what Chandler looked like in the shower, was happy to wear his flatmate’s clothes and laugh at Chandler’s attempts at dating, makes the friendship all the sweeter.

Mark and Jeremy – Peep Show

Mark and Jeremy

What do you get if you throw an uptight, dull, history lover and a hedonistic DJ who is usually unemployed and flat broke? The “El Dude Brothers” of course! As much as Croydon’s favourite misfits are secretly relieved not to have the lifestyle of the other, they’d be lost without the reassurance their best friend provides. What makes it so much of it funny is the desperate lengths they will go to in order to hide all their insecurities from everyone else, but are happy to tell each other absolutely anything, no matter how bad it sounds. The fact that Jeremy actually slept with Mark’s original dream girl and eventual wife Sophie shows that though the friendship is rock solid, they do cross the line sometimes. But the madness is probably best summed up when both characters are hoping that their best friend was in fact the one that got Sophie pregnant, so as to avoid taking any parental responsibility. And with the eighth series out later this year, long may that madness continue.

Bret and Jermaine – Flight of the Conchords

Bret and Jermaine

Bret and Jermaine may only have been in 22 episodes, but the New Zealand digi-folk duo has more than made an imprint on the bromance scene. After all, there can’t be many friendships where the two friends spend quite so much time together. Flat broke and miles away from home in New York, the musical pair are inseparable. It’s just as well, as the two would be even worse off alone, or worse still, with their incompetent manager Murray, or obsessive fan Mel. As with all bromances, outside romantic influences do threaten to get in the way. The pair are initially delighted when they are offered the chance of a threesome with two hot girls, but dismayed when they realise the threesome involves the two of them and only one of the girls. To paraphrase the Bard himself, the course of true bromance never did run smooth.

Dennis, Mac and Charlie – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Denis, Mac and Charlie

With episode titles like “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” and “Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire”, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is far from your traditional comedy. With seemingly no topic matter being off-limits, its irreverent and playful tone on controversial issues such as serial killers, abortion, capital punishment, paedophilia and terrorism, makes the show Seinfeld’s natural heir. So, no surprise then, that the conventional bromance has a twist, with three buddies instead of the regular two. Co-workers as well as friends, Dennis, Mac and Charlie blur all the rules of friendship as nothing can break it, not even Dennis sleeping with Charlie’s dreaming girl, or Charlie pretending to have cancer to get sympathy sex. No opinion is off limits, and however badly they sell each other out for money or a hot girl, they are still there as each other’s wingman. There’s no need to share sex secrets, Mac and Charlie are quite happy looking at the tapes Dennis secretly uses of his encounters. Not to mention the favourite angle he uses to position the camera and his scoring system out of three stars.

Troy and Abed – Community

Troy and Abed

Now filming its fifth season, cult comedy Community has its own offering to the bromance arena, and a reminder of just what it can achieve. The nerdy and detached Abed is quite content to watch the action from the sidelines, until his friendship with Troy brings him more into the action. Indeed, the transformation of Troy from being a jock to becoming a geek could make a Hollywood storyline. The impromptu musical performances which usually end each episode are homage to their friendship, and just how comfortable they feel in each other’s company. So much so that during Halloween, and in costumes, Abed is even happy to tell Troy how good looking he is. Troy’s response: “I knew it!” Naïve Annie even gives up her long-held crush on Troy as she realises she could never compete with his affections for Abed. Someone really should tell Abed that’s not how a wingman is supposed to work!