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Bret McKenzie

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TheMuppets-(2011)-Kermit&BretMcKenzie
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Bretpiano

Bret with Animal

Bret Mackenzie in early The Muppets movie promo photo

Brett McKenzie (b. 1976) is an Academy Award-winning comedian, actor, musician and producer, best known for being one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, along with Jemaine Clement.

As music supervisor on the 2011's The Muppets, the native New Zealander wrote four original songs for the film, the first being "Life's a Happy Song." He states that his mandate for working on the film was to have zero sexual references, as well as making cuts such as Tex Richman calling Kermit a "mother frogger."[1] He won his Academy Award for the song "Man or Muppet."

In an interview for the Los Angeles Times, McKenzie revealed he taught Chris Cooper how to rap, got in an argument with Miss Piggy in a recording session over how to sing a song, and that his daughter would ask him in the morning, "Off to work, Daddy? Muppets?," with her considering Kermit a friend of her father's. He considered the whole experience "awesome" and goes on to say, "When I was recording Kermit doing "Rainbow Connection," it was a strange "I've made it" moment. Working with the A-list.[2]

Aside from his work on the HBO series, he also made a cameo, as an Elf escort, on two of The Lord of the Rings movies; a role he is set to reprise in The Hobbit. He also guest-starred on the 22nd season premiere of The Simpsons, along with his Conchords partner Jemaine Clement.

McKenzie was caricatured as Burt in a 2010 episode of Sesame Street.

Notes

  • On November 12, 2010, Disney issued an early publicity image for The Muppets, showing the team behind the movie. Included was previously unannounced McKenzie with Rowlf the Dog on the piano, already hinting at the fact that he wrote the songs for the Muppet movie.
  • In an August 20, 2013 interview with Collider in anticipation of 2014's Muppets Most Wanted, McKenzie revealed that he has never been on set with the Muppets, saying "I don't think I have seen a Muppet on set. [This time] they were filming in London and I was in the studio the whole time. So I work with them in the studio but never on set." He also revealed that "Piggy does a ballad. I can't say much more about it, but it's exciting" and "Ricky Gervais does a song with a green frog - it might or may not be Kermit. He's got a really good singing voice so that was cool. It's always more fun when the actors come in and they can really sing, like Jason Segel."[3]

Sources

  1. "The Contenders: It's easy being Bret McKenzie." Ordoña, Michael. Los Angeles Times. December 8, 2011
  2. "The Contenders: It's easy being Bret McKenzie." Ordoña, Michael. Los Angeles Times. December 8, 2011
  3. Independent.ie - McKenzie: I'm never on Muppets set (2013-08-20)

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