Jemaine Clement's Top 10 Roles
Half of New Zealand’s folk comedy duo, Jemaine Clement is a treasure. Since emerging from whatever rock he was hiding beneath, he has blessed us with his presence in a variety of movies and television. Without further ado, let’s take a look at his top ten characters.
10. Rio - Nigel
How do you make an animated villain accessible to all audiences? Give him the voice of a comic genius, along with a catchy song and dance. The most memorable comedy in this Blue Sky franchise comes from Jemaine’s evil cockatoo. For this, we salute him.
9. Men in Black 3 - Boris the Animal
It’s impossible to hate Jemaine. Go ahead and try. Now picture him as a homicidal monster. Now picture a greasy biker who shoots daggers from his hands. What are we doing again? Ah yes, the list. Onward and upward.
8. People Places Things - Will Henry
Jemaine can be serious and sympathetic, too. Life just can’t seem to go right for graphic designer Will Henry, as his wife leaves him and he struggles to prove he’s financially responsible enough to retain partial custody of his children. Heavy stuff, man. In Will’s own words, “I’m just having a bad life. It’ll be over eventually.”
7. Rick and Morty - Fart
We may be biased, but what’s not to love about a glow cloud filled with fruit loops, voiced by our very own Jemaine? Featured in the episode “Mortynight Run,” Morty saves the gaseous being from galactic imprisonment. The cloudy being—self-named as “Fart”—treats Morty to a psychadelic music video to say goodbye to moon men. It’s hilarious. But you don’t have to take our word for it.
6. Moana - Tamatoa
Jemaine has a certain charm about him. Even when lending his voice to an oversized crab. This crustaceous villain may not provide much narrative strength to the film, but for a brief moment he outshines the protagonists in a hilariously creepy song, “Shiny.” Good luck getting it out of your head.
5. Gentlemen Broncos - Chevalier
From the mind of director Jared Hess, this film is like a spiritual sequel to that one Disney Channel Movie, Big Fat Liar. A struggling sci-fi writer, desperate for fresh content, steals a teenager’s written story. And guess who plays that sad sci-fi writer? Jemaine seems to have found his sweet spot—playing offbeat villains.
4. Don Verdean - Boaz
Another Jared Hess film, Jemaine is reimagined as Boaz, a Middle Eastern scavenger with no scruples. He takes the title character through hell as he lies his way to fame and fortune in the Christian community. Stealing a severed head has never been funnier.
3. Legion - Oliver Bird
Two reasons to see this show—Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement. Enough said. Seriously, this FX superhero show is worth a watch. The first season is a tight, eight-episode run with mind-bending visuals. Oliver Bird is one of the most powerful mutants of the lot, with a dangerous wit to boot.
2. What We Do in the Shadows - Vladislav
A mockumentary on vampires in the modern world. You didn’t know you needed this until now, did you? Personally, I watched this film instead of the 2016 presidential election, and I have not once regretted that decision. Do yourself a favor and look up director Taika Waititi’s other films as well. You’ll thank us later.
1. Flight of the Conchords - Jemaine
The folk comedy duo graced us with a two season HBO series, and it is spectacular. Chock full of comedic talent, it features Jemaine and his partner in crime Bret McKenzie, alongside Kristen Schaal, Rhys Darby, and a whole host of cameos from the likes of Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, and Jim Gaffigan. Their greatest songs are woven into the satirical narrative, making it fun for the whole family. Maybe not the entire family. But definitely for you.
Jemaine has snuck his way into far too many roles to do justice in one list. Additional roles include the sexually depraved Kieran of Dinner for Schmucks; Dr. Zone, the Doctor Who spoof in Milo Murphy’s Law; the Prison King of the gulag in Muppets Most Wanted; and the insufferably adorable Jerry the Minion in Despicable Me.