Figwit Lives! From Rivendell to the Oscars…

As a huge fan of Kiwi Bret McKenzie, I am so thrilled for his Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, even if he is up against Sergio Mendes. And also as someone who has spent a significant amount of time in New Zealand, I am so fond of the way he talks about his childhood memory of watching “The Dog Show” (it’s actually “A Dog’s Show” according to Wikipedia, and is appropriately referenced in an episode of Flight of the Conchords). I also love this clip for revealing that the McKenzies are Elven royalty when it comes to being LOTR extras (well, most of the McKenzies anyway). For anyone that is not aware of the Bret McKenzie story, you might be interested in learning that Bret was not just an elf extra in Fellowship of the Ring, he was an Internet and LOTR sensation – earning the fan-created name Figwit (acronym for “Frodo is great…who is THAT?!” based on the reaction of a fan pleasantly surprised by the ethereal beauty of Bret’s natural Elven qualities). Meanwhile, Bret was also a member of three musical acts: reggae band The Black Seeds, The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, and of course Flight of the Conchords. Quite a repertoire if you ask me. In researching his Figwit days in further detail, I came across a made-for-television documentary about it that aired in New Zealand just as McKenzie and Conchords partner Jemaine Clement landed the HBO deal to adapt their live comedy act into a series. Watch the documentary below (it’s in five parts, only an hour long) and you’ll see some great footage of LOTR cast and crew, of McKenzie as an even shier and more modest guy than he is today, Jemaine Clement looking ridiculously young with shaggy hair, and some really entertaining footage of LOTR superfans.*

Figwit Documentary

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

*This content includes fake elf ears and gratuitous amounts of awkward silence


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