Bret McKenzie
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Bret McKenzie

Flight of the Conchords

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About Him

Living... in New York City with his roommate and bandmate, Jemaine Clement. The two recently moved from their native New Zealand to try and 'make it big' as musicians in The Big Apple.

Profession... guitarist in the folk duo, Flight of the Conchords. Bret's move to New York results in a completely different life than his former existence as a shepherd in New Zealand. The band hasn't gained much ground yet – they have one fan – and the duo has to work a consistent stream of menial jobs to pay the bills. Still, while they haven’t found their break, Bret loves pursuing music and would rather struggle for his dream than do anything else.

Interests... love. Bret is a hopeless romantic. For example, when faced with the ultimatum of choosing one girlfriend (Coco) or the band, he is inclined to choose her even after she tells him, "I wouldn't mind, I mean if that's what you really want. I don't really see us as a long-term." He does love the band, but often disappoints Jemaine when he puts his fledgling relationships before their musical partnership.

Relationship Status... serially monogamous dater. Bret gets involved in many relationships but almost always takes them too seriously, leading to their inevitable demise. He has dated multiple women since moving to New York but none ever seem terribly interested in him. Bret can’t understand his romantic failures, once musing: “After six of seven weeks girls find me boring. Which is weird, because that’s about the amount of time it takes to get to know someone.” Mel, the band's number one (well, only) fan, is obsessed with Bret but he doesn’t even give her the time of day. The most consistent and healthy relationship in his life is with Jemaine, who supports Bret through his many romantic trials and tribulations. His truest friend, Jemaine is always there to remind Bret that he’s “got it going on.”

Challenge... getting his band off the ground. It's been tough going for Flight of the Conchords, and their inept manager Murray Hewitt might be more of a hindrance than a help. Unable to make much money off their music, the most consistent problem in Bret’s life is keeping the lights on in his apartment. While financial worries are constant, it’s far from Bret’s only problem, as he and Jemaine seem to entangle themselves in new trouble on an almost weekly basis.

Personality... reserved yet confident, even if it’s not always justified. He is the more level-headed member of the band, and balances Jemaine's nitpicky and temperamental persona. Bret is extremely naive, a quality that allows him to see the good, or at least ignore the bad, in all but the most trying scenarios. Despite his general lack of concern for practical matters, Bret happily meanders his way through life and maintains a positive attitude.

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