Jemaine Clement is a New Zealand comedian, singer, actor, musician, and director. He is popularly known for creating the comedy group ‘Flight of the Conchords’ along with Bret Peter Tarrant McKenzie. Clement has been nominated four times in his career so far at the Primetime Emmy Awards in various categories for his association with ‘Flight of the Conchords’. He has also been nominated at the Writers Guild of America Award for Television awards multiple times. Clement and McKenzie won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for their 2007 extended play ‘The Distant Future’. They were also nominated at the Grammy Awards two more times for their studio albums, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ and ‘Told You I Was Freaky’. As a voice artist, Clement has appeared in animation films like ‘Despicable Me’, ‘Rio’, ‘Rio 2’, ‘Moana’, and ‘The Lego Batman Movie’. He has also acted in films, such as ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ and ‘Men in Black 3’ (as ‘Boris the Animal’), for which he was nominated at the Teen Choice Awards for the Choice Movie Villain category.
Jemaine Clement found initial fame in his career through his association with ‘Flight of the Conchords’ which he co-founded with fellow musician and comedian, Bret McKenzie, in 1998. Clement was still a student at the Victoria University during the time of the formation of the comedy duo. The comedy duo has since released four CDs, with their debut live album releasing in 2002. They released their extended play ‘The Distant Future’ in 2007 and won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. The album contained six tracks and was certified Gold in their native country, selling over 7,500 copies.
Their two studio albums, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ and ‘I Told You I Was Freaky’, were released in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Both of these studio albums became fairly popular in New Zealand and also managed to earn a nomination each at the Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album. The duo also created the comedy radio program ‘Flight of the Conchords’ on BBC Radio 2. This was a six-part comedy radio program which later grabbed the attention of HBO.
The premium American cable network decided to offer the duo a twelve-part show on their channel. However, things didn’t go as per plans and the show was cancelled after the second season in 2009. Between 2007 and 2009, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ earned them four Primetime Emmy Award nominations and three Writers Guild of America Awards nominations. Jemaine Clement personally won a nomination at the Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for his part in the show.
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Acting & Voice Acting
Jemaine Clement has also appeared in many television shows as himself or in bit-part roles. Some of his popular appearances were in shows like ‘Another Period’ (as ‘Father Black Donahue’), ‘Divorce’ (as ‘Julian Renaut’), and ‘Legion’ (as ‘Oliver Bird’). He has worked as a voice artist in multiple television shows, including ‘The Drinky Crow Show’, ‘The Simpsons’, ‘TripTank’, ‘Rick and Morty’, ‘Milo Murphy's Law’, ‘American Dad!’, and ‘Robot Chicken’.
He appeared in the film ‘Tongan Ninja’ as an actor in 2002. He later appeared in the 2009 American comedy film ‘Gentlemen Broncos’, for which he was nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Supporting Male. He did voice acting in the 2010 animated film ‘Despicable Me’ (cameo role), as well as in the 2011 animated film ‘Rio,’ which was based on birds. Clement won a nomination at the Annie Awards for Voice Acting in a Feature Production for his voice of the character ‘Nigel’ in the animated film. He also did voice acting in the second part of the animated film in 2014, and later in films like ‘Moana.’ Clement appeared in the 2014 New Zealand mockumentary horror-comedy film ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ as an actor and also directed, wrote and co-produced the film.
In 2012, he portrayed the character of ‘Boris the Animal’ in the American action sci-fi film ‘Men in Black 3’. The film was the third part of the original film ‘Men in Black, featuring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in lead roles. He was nominated at the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Villain for his role in the film. His other notable acting roles were in films like ‘People Places Things’, ‘Don Verdean’, ‘Humor Me’, and ‘The Festival’.
Family & Personal Life
Jemaine Atea Mahana Clement was born in Masterton, New Zealand, on January 10, 1974, to a ‘Maori’ mother. His father, Robert Clement, was not involved in his upbringing. Clement went to Makoura College in Masterton and later attended the Victoria University of Wellington to study drama and film.
He married his long-term girlfriend Miranda Manasiadis, who is a theatre actress by profession, in 2008, and has a son, named Sophocles Iraia Clement, with her.