There always has been something delightfully childlike about the Flight of Conchords – even when the comedy-music duo sang about their "sugar lumps."
The TV scenes of the absurd in which their hapless manager Murray takes attendance at band meetings made the grown men look – and act – like schoolboys. Bret and Jemaine's naïve approach to life in New York – forming a “gang” of misfits for protection, paying rent in the currency of their native New Zealand, believing that Murray actually got them a gig in Central Park – reinforced a certain semi-innocent charm that couldn't quite inure them from their gritty surroundings or reality.
Since the duo officially pulled the plug on their droll and surreal hipsters-meet-the-Monkees HBO show nearly three years ago, Jemaine Clements has turned up in movies, most notable stealing scenes with Russell Brand-like antics in “Dinner for Schmucks.” Bret McKenzie penned some great songs for "The Muppets," including the Oscar-winning "Man or Muppet," which has a decidedly Conchords-like feel.
But save for a cameo on “The Simpsons” a couple years ago, the Conchords have been sadly grounded as a team. Our spirits, though, got a welcome Hiphopopotamus-strength boost with the recent news of the duo’s reunion of sorts to record a song for a children's charity – offering sweet-and-hilarious proof that the kids-at-heart are all right.
The accompanying video, shown as part of New Zealand's Red Nose Day charity fundraising special, plays like a lost episode of "Flight of the Conchords." Murray's on hand to take attendance – and to introduce his new complicated, multi-level in-box system. Bret and Jemaine interview kids to get inspiration for lyrics – and also field ideas for raising money that range from robbing robbers to convincing parents to have more children so there will be more Tooth Fairy proceeds to raid.
The song, called "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)" and performed by the duo with other Kiwi artists, is part parody of and part homage to "We are the World." The faux-soul pop tune is vintage Concords, who remain adept at poking fun at song genres (folk, hip-hop, smooth R&B) while making strong music – and making fun of themselves.
The song is available on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Cure Kids charity. That's a good deed worthy of a high point on Murray's friendship chart. The tune also makes us long for a more permanent return of New Zealand's "fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo a cappella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo."
In the meantime, check out the video below (hat tip to The Huffington Post):
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.